In a video published by Pink Slip Mixers, a well known career coach said that, “A resume is a necessary evil.” Some HR folks will cringe at that statement, despite it’s truth. So, I’d like to take a moment and analyze exactly why that statement is some of the best job seeking advice you could get. After all, too many job seekers spend all their time polishing off a resume to submit in an application process, despite recent statistics. In one study done by Manpower, 40% of jobs actually come from networking. Only 16% come from job boards, and therefore resumes alone.
Now, there are essentially 3 questions every hiring manager needs to have answered before they can make a decision about hiring you or not. They are:
1. Do I like you?
2. What motivates you?
3. Can you do the job?
The first two questions are personality questions. The last one is a commodity question. Think about it, almost everyone else going for that job can push the button too.
FACT: Personality Beats Commodity EVERY Time!
Considering how competitive the job market is, you have to assume there is someone more qualified more educated and more experienced then you.
People make emotional decisions. And HR folks are not any different. Think about the last buying decision you made. Perhaps you were looking for a new breakfast cereal at the market. You look at the colors on the packaging. You notice if it lowers your cholesterol or if it has enough sweetness. You find something you like about it and it makes you feel good. So, you buy it.
The same mental process goes through the mind of your hiring manager.
Personality Question #1: Do I like You?
Can this manager work next to you, as cube-neighbors, for 8 hrs a day, 5 days a week? If there isn’t a spark, a chemistry, either before or during the interview, you can count yourself out.
There really isn’t much else for people to go on. Every other applicant says, “I’m the perfect fit”, they have a resume to back it up. But in the end of the day, the only thing they really have to go on is if they like you or not.
And the best way to get someone to like you is to express YOU. Genuinely. Quickly. Strategically.
Social medium allows this to happen. When you get Googled, (yes, “when”), will what they find answer the question of your personality and brand? or are you allowing Google to determine your online reputation? When they read your LinkedIn profile summary, do they get a sense of who you are.
“Do I Like You” is by far THE most important question you can answer for a hiring manager, and the sooner you do, the better off you’ll be.
Take some time to really figure out what your brand is, and how that relates to the needs of your potential companies. I recommend reading Chris Brogan’s new (and free) e-book on personal branding and following his advice before re-writing your LinkedIn profile.
Personality Question #2: What motivates you?
The proverbial risk mitigation question. A hiring managers biggest risk is hiring the wrong person. And “wrong” means someone who is not what they appear to be on paper. They loose their drive. They are lazy. They cost the company thousands of dollars.
But, if you are motivated, you are the right person. You are consistent over time. You read about your industry on the weekends. You stay up to date with joy and passion. In short, you are reliable, and you have a low hiring risk.
Answer the question of your motivation, and double your chances of getting hired. Seriously. Just ask a hiring manager!
And one of the best ways of communicating that you are motivated and what motivates you is to have a blog.
Yep. Even the most simplest blog, filled with articles about your perspective, your ideas, your reviews. The sooner you can get your blog up and running the better. There are several good courses on how to get a blog. Personally, I really like Laura Roeder’s “Zero to Blogging” program.
If you don’t like to write, then the 2nd best thing you can do is put your Amazon reading list in your LinkedIn profile. This will also demonstrate that you are motivated (…to read industry relevant books).