How to get a job in 11 seconds... or not

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You have eleven seconds to grab their attention, to stand out from the crowd, and to leave an impression; eleven seconds to save yourself from elimination. Are we talking about the latest show on ABC? Nope, it’s the crazy world of recruitment.

Although you may really want that job, there are lots of other applicants who want it just as much. According to theworkbuzz.com on average of 75 resumes are received for each job posting – so how do you stand out?

I won’t bore you with the basics as I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, but here are the dos and don’ts from a headhunter you may not have thought of:

  • DO prove dedication by having a long-term job, finishing post-secondary education, or having extensive volunteer experience.
  • DON’T make your resume more than two pages – be succinct and highlight relevant experience only.
  • DO show progression through work experiences that build on each other.
  • DON’T fabricate any information – be your true self!
  • DO highlight accomplishments supported by data to back it up. For example, grew sales by 72% in the first year.
  • DON’T include interests – save them for talking points in the interview.
  • DO modernize references by either omitting “available upon request” (it’s obvious) or adding a relevant quote from a reference into your resume.
  • DON’T include your home address – one phone number, an email, and your LinkedIn are enough.
  • DO refer to the job description and emphasize things your employer is looking for.
  • DON’T speak in third person – this is your resume.
  • DO use search engine optimized key words

Now that you have an amazing resume, you have to apply for the job! Here are 5 key points to help you through this next stage.

1. The biggest mistake I see made at this stage is not following directions. I suggest read right to the end of the posting as there may be important information and specific requests from the hiring manager.

2. If they say no calls – that means no calls, keep the stalking limited to your ex-boyfriend.

3. If the job posting doesn’t specifically ask for a cover letter, use the body of the email as the place to introduce yourself and explain why you’re interested in the opportunity and are qualified.

4. If you want to follow up wait until a few days after the closing date on the job posting. A handwritten card or message on LinkedIn is appropriate – emailing or calling is not.

5. Always have your research and notes on the jobs applied for handy in case they call. You will leave a sour taste if they call and you can’t remember that you applied to their company or details of the role.

Happy hunting!

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About the author

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Lana Bradshaw Lana Bradshaw is the Managing Director of Holloway Schulz & Partners, the executive search division of the largest staffing company in the world. She has 10 years tenure in the recruitment industry and is Vice Chair of the Children’s Wish Foundation [BC & Yukon Chapter]. She’s published numerous business articles, and has a blog answering employment questions on Dear Lana [lanabradshaw.com]. She’s also a finalist for The Women of Distinction Awards [2014] and the Volunteer of the Year award for outstanding commitments to philanthropy.
@604Headhunter

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