Monday, July 21, 2014

How to Reach the Hiring Manager

​​Do you need more than one resume?​ ​Do you need to tailor your resume to the job you are applying for? 

Help the Hiring Manager
As a hiring manager, a custom resume is always a help to see how someone specifically fits the job role. The easiest way to get a hiring manager to cut to the chase is to make the resume tailor-fit to the role.

Why does a Hiring Manger Need Help From ME? 
Hiring managers are overwhelmed and have a lack of time to read between the lines. They may have a stack of other resumes that have been customized with specific details clearly delineated so they can match them to the job, and if your resume requires them to guess about your skills at all, you get tossed. 

There can be a disconnect between the job role and the resume's "soul." Your resume needs to emphasize your strength in that job specifically, not in the general career. They can tell if you really want it. Prove your interest in the job through your intent toward how you build your resume. Otherwise, you get tossed.

What if the Hiring Manager Isn't Reading Resumes First?
Often, an intermediary, such as a HR representative, is used to "filter" out the "obvious" resumes that aren't fits before they go to the hiring manager. The intermediaries are your biggest critics and the single biggest chance you will get tossed (by a human. See Applicant Tracking System, below).

When your resume goes through a human intermediary, this creates additional levels of communication breakdown. This means someone perfectly qualified gets tossed in the trash

Applicant Tracking System (ATS)
These are programs that "read" your resume automatically and dissect them. There is so much to say here, it would need its own blog. This is a constantly changing effort between applicants and employers, so the effort put into this challenge is ongoing.

Top Reasons You Get Tossed Into the Circular File
  • The intermediary may not understand the position or qualifications well enough to know how items on your generic resume are really relevant to the position.
  • The intermediary may not understand what "equivalent experience" means to the hiring manager. Find a way to make equivalent experience match up with the job description. 
  • The intermediary may be going down the job description top to bottom and if your qualifications are like "Where's Waldo?", they may give up looking. Make it easy to find the relevant parts. Ideally you can even reorder your resume to make it even easier.
  • Applicant Tracking Systems. (See above).

Think About it From Their Point of View
They are trying to winnow down a huge stack to a manageable number, and they may be sorting through a huge stack of resumes. Make it easy to get in the "yes" or even the "maybe" pile. Has that candidate seemed to care enough about your opening? Do they care about working here? Get someone else to pretend they are the hiring manager. Get someone else to pretend they are you, and you role play as the company representative. 

Final Thoughts
You want this job. You want this salary. Hiring managers want to hire someone that solves their pain. They are trying to make the best decision for their team, and are ready to spend a lot of money for it. You have one chance to get their attention to get them to BUY.  Get really serious about this. Then go back and edit your resume to make it custom. 

Your Career is More Than Your Next Job - It's Your Mission. Want Help?
For those of you that are attending Casual Connect in San Francisco, you can come get the answers to the above questions and get advice to navigate your own career. 

On 1pm, July 24, 2014, at Casual Connect in San Francisco, CA, Mary-Margaret Walker shares the best practices in resume writing and formatting at an exclusive workshop on July 24th. This workshop focuses on helping you build your resume, express your accomplishments and maximize your confidence.

Most people who can articulate a path to their goals frequently find they do not need to leave their current job in order to meet their goals. If you are already seeking your next role, let us make your resume land in the YES stack.

Specific Topics Covered: 
  Resume Mechanics (What’s an ATS?)
 • Keywords
 • Formatting
 • Content Layout
 • How to speak about accomplishments
 • What about LinkedIn?
 • Typos, grammar, and editing.

Attendance requires a ticket, and is limited. Sign up here now!


Billy Joe Cain is an Executive Recruiter in the video game industry and has worked for Electronic Arts and started three game studios in Austin, TX. Since 1992, he has created games such as Wing Commander: Prophecy and SpongeBob SquarePants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman.

Please connect with him on LinkedIn and mention you read his blog!

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