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Killing or Kissing

27 Apr

I am at your local Starbucks last week – meeting with a guy I have developed a lot of respect for over the years.  He has about 10 years on me in the recruiting biz and has built a relatively successful recruiting firm along with a couple of partners.  Besides being a good recruiter – he is a good guy.

We talk our usual shop as well as what is going on in your world stuff.  It was a one hour meeting and good to reconnect.  In the midst of the conversation, the light bulb goes off for me that I have a blog entry brewing with a phrase he drops on me.  I had never heard the phrase, still don’t know if it is common and if I had missed it or not somewhere, but it completely resonated and I think offers clear perspective in your job search.

His term for reviewing potential candidate resumes – Kiss It or Kill It.  I know you would expect the pile or file folder to have a better name – maybe A candidates or B candidates – NO, NO – Kiss it or Kill it.  Seriously – a smooch for being qualified and a snuff for not.  I love the word picture that paints for the job seeker and the question you should ask before you press submit.  Is my resume going to be in the kissed or shredded – I mean – filed under future consideration in their Applicant Tracking System – allegedly.

The idea of kiss it or kill it says decisions will be made and made quickly.  How long is the resume perusal?  At the most – 15 seconds.  Pucker up or say Buh-bye.  Have you spent the extra time proofreading it?  Read it out loud.  Not every HR manager and hiring manager offers grace to the typo.  Just assume they do not.  I don’t think it is that much of a penalty – it is more a basic easy reason to ding ya to the kill pile.  DOA.

The whole resume review process is all about having a glanceable resume that gives me a reason to actually read it.  In deference to the hiring manager, it has to be.  You have competition and there is no time.  More people applying for the same job.  I know this is basic stuff but I continue to see terrible resumes and plain cover letters.

Are you offering a solution to their problem?  Are you surveying the job description for key words?  Again, basic.  Be clear, be honest, be compelling.  Make them want to actually read on.  Tell your story.   Give the employer reasons to bring YOU in now.

My favorite quote of the week was from a VP of HR that said, “I just want to see that these people have done a little extra work.”  Is your resume begging for a big wet kiss or simply asking for it?

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THE I Need To Do My Resume Solution

20 Nov

Andy, I need to update my resume over the weekend.  Right.  If by I will get that resume to you on Monday – you mean a Monday this year –  then great.  I know it is so hard for you people to get it done.  What a pain the a – and it falls in the category of "Thinking about is worse than doing it" but nevertheless it is tough to get the resume done, updated all that.

My quick solution for you is Pongo Resume.  Check it out now – solid, useful website designed by some good folks.   

Create your resume online for free.  In addition, they will help you distribute it – there is a fee for this service but it is ridiculously reasonable and they do all the tracking.  I think the best thing is you will always know where your resume is and you can create infinite versions.

Let me know how this works for you.

No One Wants to Read That Resume Of Yours

18 Jun

Glanceable – is that a word? To paraphrase George Costanza, if you believe the lie you tell it must be a true statement. Perhaps if you use a word so many times it becomes one.

When asked what is important in a resume – I always say – make it glanceable. The hiring manager needs to be able to look at your resume and size you up quickly. How quick? Real quick – they have no time, they have ballgames, recitals, church activities, and a life just like you. You don’t know the attention span of the hiring manager but if they are like me I could easily nod off reviewing some of the resumes I have seen. I mean…seriously.

What does this mean to me, Andy? It means you need to read your resume critically. It means that form is more important than substance. It means bold, italics, bold italics, bullet points, sentence fragments – all that stuff works. If you are applying for a position as an English teacher – this would not be good advice – but enjoy your summer vacation should you land that job.

Your resume’s substance needs to be in the right format or you will not get in the door – and I want you in that door.

Review your resume with a critical eye.  Think – would you interview you?   Bust up paragraphs.  Implement the changes.  Ask your spouse, significant other or a trusted colleague to review your resume for glanceability(a derivative of glanceable).

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