Does your resume pass the 6-second test?
In 2012, The Ladders conducted a study with 30 recruiters over 10 weeks to better understand how recruiters look at resumes. While they gathered tons of data, the most notable data point centered around how long, on average, a recruiter spends looking at a resume. Care to guess? I’ll wait.
SIX SECONDS! That’s right, six seconds, not six minutes!
Since I learned of this study’s results, I’ve often shared this with clients (some of you know!). For those of you who’ve done my time 6-second review test, you know if you review a resume for six seconds, the most you’ll see is half way down page one. That’s it!
Since you have one-half or less of a page to impress a recruiter, how do you do it? Here are few tips to help you strengthen the top half:
1. Don’t waste valuable resume real estate with a fancy layout of your name. Make it nice but simple.
2. Start with a Professional/Leadership/Executive Summary (pick one) section to highlight your most relevant and impressive skills/experience. This also allows you to include keywords from the job posting which are sought after by the recruiter.
3. Create a Career Highlights or section, listing 3-4 (statement format) of your most impressive results that relate to the job you’re pursuing.
You have not because you ask not!
Ever interview for a job then find out the job isn’t what it was “advertised” to be once you started? In my corporate career, I saw this happen over and over and over again. The reason is often because most candidates don’t ask good questions when they’re interviewing, so they don’t learn what they need to know in order to make a good job search decision.
Don’t be like most people.
When interviewing, you need to pay attention to EVERYTHING! How people interact with one another, what’s the office environment like, how do people dress, what types of equipment are used, and more can all be essential elements in your decision.
One of the best ways to help ensure you make the right choice for you is to ASK QUESTIONS. An interview should be a two-way street – you should be interviewing the employer just like they’re interviewing you.
Interviewing with an employer should always be a two-way street. If the employer seems irritated that you want to ask questions, R-U-N!!
Many people will ask questions during an interview, but not many ask GOOD questions – those questions that help paint the real picture of what it will be like for you working there. Here are a few of the best questions I’ve asked and received over the years that I encourage you to incorporate into your next interviews:
- What’s the biggest change the organization has gone through in the last year? Have needed changes been identified? If so, what are they? What is the plan to achieve them?
- What three goals would I need to achieve within my first six months or year in order to be deemed successful?
- What are the common traits of successful people in this organization? Why have these traits made them a success?
- If you could change one thing about the organization or department, what would it be and why?
- How would I be evaluated? Based on what criteria?
- What are the top 2-3 problems (challenges!) I would face coming in the door?
- Describe your leadership style?
- What style of employee do you lead best? Why?
- Tell me about my (internal/external) customers? Who’s the easiest to work with and who’s the most difficult? Why?
- Give me an example of how the organization encourages and supports innovation and risk taking.
- What happened to the person who had the position before me?
- What are the most common reasons why people have left the department/team/job?
- What training and/or other resources will be available to me to help me do the job well?
- What are the growth opportunities and to where?
Good questions, right? Of course, I could list over five times more, but hopefully these have spawned others in your mind that you can and should ask.
Once you receive your answers, then make your decision.
You get what you negotiate, not what you deserve!
I shared some negotiation tips a short while ago, but since many new people have joined us, they bear repeating.
|Internal: Asking for a Raise
|1. Understand your employer’s pay practices. If you can’t find this information via your employer’s intranet, contact your Human Resources representative.
2. Be very clear on your perceived performance and impact by your decision makers, not what YOU think it is. Know if you’re seen as a top performer (or not), or if your role is indispensable (or not).
3. Choose your timing for the conversation wisely. Don’t try to talk to your boss when (s)he is in a bad mood, tired, or rushing. Ideally, do it after you’ve had a good win and your boss is in a good mood.
4. Prepare and practice. Research to find out the prevailing compensation in your area (Salary.com, Payscale.com, Bankrate.com), gather any pertinent information from Human Resources, then practice your intro and the points you want to make.
5. Act confident (not cocky!). This will show your boss you’re serious and you understand your worth.
Candidates who don’t negotiate compensation with their job offer often leave 5-20% additional income, benefits and perks on the table.
|External: Asking for an Offer Increase
|1. Take inventory of your tangible assets. Avoid things like being a hard worker and/or liking people.
2. Understand the going salaries in your market. Visit Salary.com, Payscale.com, or Bankrate.com to learn more.
3. Understand the scope of the job. The more complex or more responsibility, the more it should pay.
4. Practice with a family member or friend. Remember, practice makes better!
5. Reinforce your interest. No employer wants to negotiate if they aren’t clear about your level of interest.Now, if you don’t get a nice increa$e with your next offer, you can’t say I didn’t tell you how.
And, of course, if you need someone to help you pull it all together,
I offer you my coaching services. 🙂
To your success,