Six Seconds to Fame
Your resume gets six seconds to fame. Employers and Recruiters have a pattern for accepting or eliminating resumes from the “best” pile. We tell you we spend at least five minutes on a new resume that hits our inbox. Five minutes to decide if we move ahead and pick up the phone or whip out an email to you to set up a first interview.
That’s not the truth
New statistics on surveys tell me the real figure is six seconds and I agree. And in a niche market like Insurance – it can be less. The process goes like this.
Do we read your cover letter? No. Do we read your objective, career profile or list of “areas of expertise” or “skills” or “accomplishments? That ‘s not what we look at first. This is how it works.
First: Eyes scanning down to #1 – Education
In the Insurance Industry – this is clear-cut – have an Insurance license and you are in.
No license or designations means you are out.
Next: Eyes scanning up to #2 and #3:
Last job worked and dates of that position. Move to down to second last job and dates worked.
Then: Back up to #4 – Career Objective/Profile:
It’s decision time – no, yes, maybe and good candidate but not for this job. And that’s about it.
Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? You must be licensed to work in Insurance in Canada. Blame the Financial Services Act
Stay with me for a couple of minutes while I explain the other roadblocks you put up for yourself when you’re looking for a new job.
Here’s the biggest one:
Surveys say Job-seekers spend 50 seconds or less reading a job ad before firing off a resume. I agree because 99.9% of the resumes we receive from the Indeed job board have no qualifications at all. None. So unless the ad says candidates with less experience considered, and you meet the educational requirements, you are just wasting your time.
Lets talk about what you can do for yourself
Make the four “Bigs” of Education, Objective/Profile, Jobs #1 and 2 with accurate dates easy for a Recruiter or Hiring Manager to find in less than four seconds and be impressed with. Show some continuity in the job you are applying for between what you want to do, can do and have done.
And remember that all information you provide needs to highlight the qualifications outlined in the job you are applying for. You might think it’s obvious to make the connection between what you do now and what you want to do, especially if it’s the next logical step wouldn’t you?
A good Recruiter can come to that conclusion for you – but an employer or even an HR person won’t take the time to make any assumptions for you. You actually need to spell it out. Over and over I hear from Clients – “but they don’t say on their resumes they want to do …….., so how do you know that for sure?”
Some other quick but important points to remember to narrow your odds are:
- send your resume as a Word attachment please, not a pdf. Some pdf.’s are read-only documents, some pdf’s don’t scan – and many of the bigger companies use word-search resume systems which pick up your resume based on a key word search. Most of these systems can’t read or search a pdf document at all and that means instant rejection.
- use key-words in your resume that the Recruiter or Hiring Manager has used in their job profile.is your LinkedIn profile as energy charged as your description of your skill base on your resume? A minimal profile will negatively impact your chances in senior positions.
- so simple but often forgotten – please use your spell-check. One mistake can make the difference.
It’s frustrating and I know you get all kinds of advice about resumes and maybe paid a professional resume writer to set yours up. I hear it all the time. My answer is how many people did your “expert” place in jobs in the past month, year? Recruiters spend our time overcoming client objections to get our candidates in the door. It’s what we do and we are good at it. We want you to get that job and it sure helps if you make the uphill climb less steep for us!
Make your next Six Seconds to Fame work for you – make your resume the key that successfully unlocks the interview door and the step-up to getting job you want!