Bowling Shoes: Review Your Resume & Cover Letter as a Hiring Manager

You can learn a great deal when you walk in another man's shoes. In today's job
market, you can learn even more if you could walk in the shoes of a hiring
manager or someone in HR.

I recently hired 2 new sales people for I read close to 100 resumes and cover letters and I was quite surprised by many of them. Not a pleasant surprise either.

I plan to publish additional papers on my suggested planning process for a job search, but this topic needed to be put in play.

After you have completed your resume and have a set of working cover letters, go back and read them again. Except this time, read them as if you were the hiring manager or recruiter. Notice those spelling errors, sentence's that sound funny, and how many adjectives are you packing into a sentence. If Instant Messaging is the new and abbreviated style of communicating, then the resume/cover letter has become the new medium for stuffing 10 pounds of ***** into a 5 pound bag.

Recruiters and hiring managers complain they receive too many resumes and can't read them all. This is true and fair. So lets help these hiring managers read our resume. The easiest way we all can help each other is to limit your resume submissions only to positions you are clearly qualified for. Throwing your resume out to 1000 companies for any and every position is not a strategy. Consider reading the complete job posting and ask yourself, if you were the hiring manager, would you give yourself the interview. If the answer is maybe to definitely, you should submit. If the answer is no, then help everyone and yourself by not applying.
The next question to ask yourself is what would the reader remember about me after reading my resume and cover letter.

Consider answering this question by working backwards. What are the 3 points you want the reader to remember. Was it that you exceeded quota 7 out of the last 10 years. Was it your career progression year after year. If your 3 keys are lost in your resume and cover letter, lets go back and fix this. If you have ever taken a class in public speaking, you were told to
  • Tell them what you are going to tell them
  • Tell them
  • Tell them what you told them
Test this process before you publish your new resume. Ask your business associates and colleagues past and present to help you define your 3 keys. Revise your text based introduction and make sure they can easily recall these keys. You will see in increase in interviews and you should be better equipped to sell your value to potential employers. Lets help each other and submit our resumes to be considered for opportunities we are suited for. This will help everyone. Lets review our resumes and cover letters and ensure we have a well written, mistake free document, and lastly, make sure your 3 keys are clear for everyone to find.

Wearing somebodies bowling shoes doesn't stink. In fact, it could help you get the job you are looking for.

Views: 345

Comment by Gillies Kleboe on April 5, 2011 at 11:39am
I'd like to add that unless I can see the most relevant information on the top half of the first page then I already feel this person is wasting my time. The resume/CV should be treated like any piece of sale literature - put your best stuff first to grab the attention of your buyer. Great post Steven.


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