Ten Questions Your Resume Must Answer In Ten Seconds

There are only so many ways a hiring manager can come face-to-face with your resume. Here are the possibilities:

• They can view your resume on a screen, the way you’re reading this column right now. Imagine reading your resume on a phone.

• They can print your resume and read it on paper.

• They can receive a physical copy of your resume when someone hands it to them, or receive it in an envelope in the mail.

However your reader gets your resume, it’s only going to get a quick glance. The first phrase or sentence that grabs the reader will pull them in its direction, like a magnet.

Something in your resume will grab them, or nothing will grab them and they’ll put your resume down or turn the page on the screen.

That will be it. How many seconds elapsed while the manager scanned your resume? Maybe ten seconds!

Grab is the key verb. You have to grab their attention. You have to give them a reason to keep reading. Your resume has ten seconds to answer these critical questions that will be in a hiring manager’s mind.

You can answer all of them in your Human-Voiced Resume but you have to have the answers in your mind, first.

What kind of work do you do?

We have to know what kind of work you plan to do. You have to go to the costume party with some kind of costume. The hiring manager has specific pain if s/he has pain at all. “I can do all kinds of things” is not a brand. The Summary at the top of your Human-Voiced Resume will tell us exactly what you do professionally.

Keep in mind that you can have as many versions of your resume as you want, branding yourself for as many career directions or ‘prongs’ as you can manage.

Here is Petra’s Not-for-Profit Marketing Summary. (She has four resumes, thus four slightly differently Summaries. Each one emphasizes a different aspect of Petra’s background.)

Not-For-Profit Marketer

I’m a Not-for-Profit Marketing person who loves to grow awareness and participation in sustainability and environmental efforts. I conceived and grew the Frog and Toad Society’s “Adopt a Tadpole” program to include 75 elementary schools, tremendous corporate sponsors and hundreds of individual donors.

I thrive in a fast-paced, make-it-work environment and love to design marketing programs from the ground up. I’m comfortable in traditional and social marketing, PR and trade show planning. I’m a budding public speaker who has spoken at two Not-for-Profit Marketing conferences so far and I’m looking for a new challenge.

How are you qualified to do this kind of work?

Petra did not wait to get into the body of her resume to give the reader (possibly her next manager) a sense of what she’s done. She knows that the manager doesn’t have any extra time. Petra is going to get into more detail about the Frog and Toad Society and her other jobs down in the body of her resume, but she gives the reader a taste of her awesomeness with a quick Dragon-Slaying Story in the Summary at the top.

Now the reader has gotten hooked by Petra’s story-magnet. The reader is intrigued. What’s the story with this Frog and Toad Adopt-a-Tadpole thing, anyway? The reader keeps reading and gets to the Frog and Toad section of Petra’s resume a little farther down the page. Now s/he can read all about what Petra did at the Society.

Do you have a sense of yourself professionally beyond “Here are the jobs I’ve held?”

Petra says in Summary that she knows who she is. There’s no hiding behind robot boilerplate language like “Results-oriented professional” for Petra—no way! She wants you to know who she is. She has no desire to cower behind her degree (which shows up on Page Two of her resume) or her certifications.

You can get your personality across on the page in your resume if you try. If you don’t try to do that, your personality will not get through the sludgy corporate zombie language. Once you’ve met 10 million “results-oriented professionals,” you don’t meet to meet any more.

Are you proficient in English?

For better or worse, your resume conveys your language skills. That’s a question many managers will have in their minds: “How’s your written English?”

Your resume will answer that question fast (or quickly, since “quickly” is an adverb and should be used to modify a verb like “answer” versus the adjective “fast” which should be used to modify a noun). I am not a fan of the language I call “taught English” with its fussiness.

I think it takes away from the human voice that will make your resume powerful and allow it to cut through the information overload in the reader’s brain. Still, you have to show the reader in your resume that you can write in the language you intend to do business in.

Do you know what kind of business I’m in (or we’re in)?

Petra customizes her resume before she sends it out. The Summary we saw above comes from Petra’s Not-for-Profit Marketing resume. She has four or five different versions that emphasize different aspects of her background.

You have to customize your resume to make it clear that you understand the organization you’re reaching out to. Don’t send a resume that says “I am an Administrative Professional in the legal industry” to a soft-drink bottling company! You’re telling them you’re in the legal industry but that’s not their industry. That’s not a good strategy.

Make sure that in your resume there is a connection to the organization you’re approaching, and to the job you are interested in—whether that job is posted anywhere, or not.

Does your career history make sense?

Your career history has to make sense on the page. That’s why I don’t like ‘functional’-type resumes. Mother Nature is in charge. Any hiring manager with any interest in you is going to wonder “What is this person’s story?” A story is chronological. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. Give us the story in your resume!

If there are gaps, fill them in “Sabbatical” or “Private Projects” or “Independent Consulting.” If you helped your brother build his new house, that’s a consulting project.

Do you have the educational background I’m looking for?

Some managers care more about educational credentials than other ones do, but either way, you’ve got to tell your educational story in your resume. Most people include their school credentials at the end of the resume, at the bottom of page two.

Are the stories or accomplishments you highlight in your resume significant to me?

Tell stories in your resume, the way Petra did. You can tell Dragon-Slaying Stories in the Summary at the top of your resume or down in the body of it in your descriptions of each job you’ve held.

Are you smart?

Let’s be honest—the quality of your thinking is going to come through in your resume the same way your personality and your sense of direction are going to come through. Take the time to think about the words on your resume. They represent you, just like a song you would sing in a concert or any other expression of who you are.

You have no one to impress, but why not let your resume sing your song as faithfully as possible?

The world is changing. Your resume doesn’t have to be stiff and formal any more. I don’t want you to write a jaunty, bro-type resume either (I have seen a few of those!) but simply a thoughtful, human story about where you’ve been and where you’re going.

Are you running your career?

The reader can tell whether or not you believe you’re in charge of your career—just by reading your resume! You can have gaps and skips and changes in altitude in your history—lots of brilliant and creative people do. You only have to feel like the master and commander of the ship, not a galley slave tossed about by the high waves, powerless.

You have to convey in your resume that you’re on an amazing roller coaster ride and learning new things every day. Get that across in your resume. You are not a leaf blown about by the wind. You’re an eagle!

Source: Forbes

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This Year’s Best Employers Have Focused on Fairness

Gender and income equality are a top priority for this year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Like to work for a company that gives every employee a bonus of $100,000? Or one that takes all employees and their guests for a weeklong trip to a Mexican resort, complete with performances by LL Cool J and Sublime? Or one that caps its top executive salary at 19 times that of the average annual wage—when CEOs at the largest U.S. firms average more than 300 times the pay of their workers?

Welcome to the 19th annual installment of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. As you read through this list, you’ll find companies with remarkable perks. But eye-popping perks are only the tip of the iceberg. What really makes a workplace a great place to work are the people practices that forge trust across the enterprise. That’s the kind of thing that doesn’t show up on company benefits lists. We select the firms on our list primarily based on the results of what employees tell us anonymously about their workplace culture.

This year we were struck by the prevalence of egalitarian practices at all 100 companies. Take Hilcorp, the Houston-based oil and gas company that doled out $100,000 bonus checks after it met some daunting five-year financial goals. In December the company’s president, Greg Lalicker, defended spreading the wealth as crucial to the company’s success: “In order to create better alignment across all employees, our bonus structure treats everyone equally. We have a culture that we are all in this together.”

The big bonus checks at Hilcorp stand out because of the dollar amount, but the inclusive attitude expressed is what we see at many, if not most, companies on this list. Nationwide, the $36 billion mutual insurance and financial services giant, raised the minimum wage of its call-center workers to $15 an hour from $10.50. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff made good on his commitment to gender equity by reviewing the salaries of every Salesforce CRM -0.10% employee and earmarking $3 million to shore up the paychecks of underpaid women. And according to the National Center for Employee Ownership, employees of six of the 100 Best Companies own all or a majority of the shares of their firms: Burns & McDonnell, PCL Construction, Publix Super Markets, Robert W. Baird, W.L. Gore, and TDIndustries.

As we compared the results from this year’s Great Place to Work Trust Index employee survey with those of our 1998 list, we saw that measures related to fairness showed the biggest improvements: The number of employees who said yes when asked if they felt they were “paid fairly for the work they do” jumped 13%; there was a 17% increase, likewise, in employees who believe they are “treated as a full member here regardless of my position”; and a 26% bump in those feeling that they have an equal “opportunity to get special recognition.”

Perhaps the 100 Best Companies have something to add to the national debate about fairness and economic equity that has become such a hot topic on the presidential campaign trail. After all, corporate America’s leadership has been ahead of much of the rest of society before on such issues as recycling and diversity. Many corporations also offered domestic-partner benefits years before courts and legislatures took action.

In fact, many leaders at the 100 Best Companies see promoting fairness as part of a social mission. Salesforce executive vice president Cindy Robbins explained its gender equity initiative in these terms: “At Salesforce we believe that businesses can be great platforms for change. Making the world a better place for everyone and being financially successful are not mutually exclusive endeavors.”

Or consider John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods WFM 1.52% , who capped his own salary at 19 times that of the average company worker. He insists that many companies today embrace a more egalitarian attitude toward workers as part of an expansive vision of business aims. These companies, Mackey says, “are keenly aware that they have a higher purpose that goes beyond making money, and they take proactive measures to respect all their stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, communities, suppliers, and the environment.”

Looking beyond Mackey, we were curious whether other CEOs of the 100 Best Companies were more restrained than their peers in terms of compensation. So we asked Equilar, a firm that specializes in executive compensation research, to run the numbers. It compared CEO pay at the 37 publicly traded companies on this year’s list with CEO pay among the S&P 500. Equilar found that the median CEO pay at publicly traded 100 Best Companies was about 19% less than at the S&P 500 ($8.3 million vs. $10.3 million).

Obviously, reducing CEO pay by 19% will not solve income inequality. But you may find it worthwhile to look at all the ways these exemplary companies create more equitable workplace cultures within an increasingly unequal society. Maybe some of the practices you read about here can be part of the solution.

Source: Fortune

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4 Things You Need to Talk About With Candidates During the Interview


The reality is we’re in a war for top talent. After years of employers having control over the job market, candidates now know they are in control. In order to hire your next great employee, you’re going to have to adapt your candidate experience.

One thing that often goes overlooked in the candidate experience is the communication between hiring managers and candidates during the interview. What kinds of things should you be communicating in an interview in order to interest the best candidates?

Hiring managers are used to quizzing candidates about their employment history, skills, and background. But today’s top candidates want to be a part of a deeper conversation, one that centers on the company, the work environment, and more.

Here are a few vital communications to include in your next interview:

1. A Realistic Employer Brand

Today’s candidates are concerned with employer brands. According to CareerBuilder, approximately 91 percent of candidates make decisions on whether to accept a position based on the organization’s employer brand.

If your hiring managers aren’t aware of the employer brand or can’t articulate it clearly, this could lose you candidates. It’s critical to realistically communicate your organization’s employer brand in an interview – otherwise, you could find that new hire exits a lot sooner than the company had hoped. Train hiring managers to paint a picture in the interview of the company’s mission and vision, including how the prospective employee’s team relates to both.

2. Insight Into the Working Conditions

Many job postings refer to the company culture very vaguely, promising little more than “a great work environment.” These ads often stop short of providing an explanation of what that environment might actually be like. As a result, many candidates come to an interview with one idea about the culture, only to be confronted with a completely different picture once they begin a new job.

RoadIf the company is fast-paced, it behooves a hiring manager to mention this in the interview instead of describing a laid-back environment. An accurate portrayal of the company culture ahead of time can set a new hire up for success and ensure that the people joining the organization are truly the right people.

3. Advancement Opportunities

Today’s candidates are concerned with opportunities in the workplace for career advancement, more pay, professional development, and so on.

According to Deloitte, millennials – the fastest-growing segment of the talent market – are extremely concerned with opportunities for advancement and learning. Sixty-three percent of them feel their leadership skills are simply not being developed, which drives them to search for new employment opportunities.

In the interview, it is a hiring manager’s job to attract top candidates by setting expectations regarding potential advancement opportunities that may exist.

4. How the Employee Will Benefit From Working for the Organization

Too many hiring managers still approach the interview as a way to evaluate the candidate, rather than as an opportunity to sell the position.

Many of the best candidates know they’re in demand. They want to know what’s in it for them if they join your organization. In the interview, be prepared to discuss the things that set your organization apart, like advancement opportunities, team events, company culture, perks and benefits, and more. This information can help sell the candidate on working for your team instead of a competitor’s.

As the war for top talent heats up, it will become increasingly important that hiring managers learn how to position themselves in the marketplace to attract and hire the best candidates. This must involve detailed communications during the interview process.

Remember: It’s not just about what the candidate can do for you – it’s also about what you can do for the candidate.

Source: Recruiter

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