Last year, Vivian Land wrote a fascinating article in Business Insider that captured the essence of some stunning research I had been hearing about. The research reveals how internal recruiters who are doing initial screening of candidates for their companies treat the resumes that come before them. The results are chilling and should impact the way every candidate treats their job search.
"Although we may never know why we didn't get chosen for a job interview, a recent study is shedding some light on recruiters' decision-making behavior. According to TheLadders research, recruiters spend an average of "six seconds before they make the initial 'fit or no fit' decision" on candidates.
- Prepare the very best resume that you can.
- Next, prepare narrative versions of four great stories. I call them, "War Stories" or "Home Run Stories."
- Pick the achievements in your career that you are most proud of and write each of them up as a one or two page narrative.
- Use this structure: What was the problem to be solved? How did you and your team uniquely solve the problem? What were the results?
- Prepare to weave these narratives into every conversation you can have with people in your network who may be in a position to put you in front of a hiring manager.
- Do a deep dive into your network - LinkedIn, FaceBook, Alumni Directories, etc.
- For each job you would like to apply for, find a person in your network or someone who is one degree removed from someone in your network and ask for a 30-minute phone call or an opportunity to buy them coffee or a beer.
- Your goal is to share your stories and ask them to become the inside champion for your candidacy within the target company.
- Ask them if they see you as a good candidate for this position. If they do, ask if they would be willing to make a personal introduction to a decision maker involved in the hiring process.
- Once you have shared your resume and narrative stories with the decision maker, ask him or her when it would be appropriate to post your resume into the "system." They will know how things work with their company's hiring process.