Dear Job Seeker: I Don’t Care If You’re Passionate

Close-up Of Bored Businessman Rubbing His EyesYes, I know my HR department (whom I don’t control and to whom I pay insufficient attention) has asked for a dedicated, energetic, goal-oriented leader with a passion for quality. And I know your outplacement consultant has suggested you mirror the language of the job ad. But the truth is, I really just want to know that you have the technical qualifications and experience to work here before I interview you. I’d like to have a sense of whether you actually delivered value to your previous employers, and didn’t just scurry around performing “duties”.

Of course, I also need to know that you actually want to work for my company, and whether you’ll fit well with my team. I’ll judge that for myself when and if I decide I should interview you. Then I’ll confirm my judgement by getting my team to talk to you, and by talking to your references. I’ll look for confirmation that you’ll be an asset to the company, and won’t let me down.

So, please do us both a favour – ditch the fluffy verbiage in your resumé. Give me the clear sense up front  that you’re the right candidate, and don’t hide your best arguments inside your cover letter, which I won’t read (and always seems to get lost between HR and my desk anyhow).

As I write this tonight, there are IT 4,000 vacancies in Ottawa. Let’s work together to make it only 3,999 tomorrow.

Your Would-Be Future Manager

Letter discovered by Jennifer Bulman, who regularly gives a workshop called “The Hard, the Soft, and the Fluffy: How to Describe Skills in Your Resumé”.

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Will Your Resume Open Doors?

Fingers crossed“I’ve sent my resumé out dozens of times, and nobody answers.” “I gave them my resumé and that’s the last I ever heard….”

You’ve spent hours on your resumé, incorporated multiple suggestions from friends, made multiple changes to please job agencies and your secret mantra has become “Oh, please!” – but employers’ doors remain stubbornly shut.

Failure to get your foot in the door and land an interview – even when you’re qualified for an advertised opportunity – can happen for many reasons; but it often boils down to not telling a convincing story from the very start of your resumé.

Two Burning Questions

Most employers hate the time and risk involved in the hiring process. The cost to companies of recruiting and onboarding a new hire can be as high as one year’s salary. When an employer picks up your resumé to give it the ten-second glance, they are looking for quick answers to two burning questions: Continue reading

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She Changed One Word…

Change One WordA former colleague was facing a dilemma. Embedded with an old-style, large organization as a contract editor, she was hoping her next contract would be with a leaner, livelier company. But her phone wasn’t ringing with offers.

Recruiters Should Have Been All Over Her
Before we met, I looked at her LinkedIn profile. A recent report from Bullhorn shows that LinkedIn is now used by over 90% of recruiters in Canada and the US, and many use it as their preferred source. So the message she was communicating on LinkedIn was important.

Her profile was clear, nicely written, and the breadth and depth of her work experience coupled with bilingualism made my “spidey sense” tingle – recruiters should have been all over her. But they weren’t, and I had a strong suspicion why not. Continue reading

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