Secrets of the Job Hunt


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

HR Manager Tells All!

I just love it when HR people divulge the secrets to getting hired. Check out this interview with Libby Sartain, Chief People @ Yahoo! Thanks to Guy for this 'secrets' post.

Most interesting in the post are these two nuggests of advice:

Question: What makes a cover email and resume 'pop' for you?

Answer: In the cover email, or summary when submitting your applications through an online jobs site like Hot Jobs, we look for your personality to show through. You should be able to come up with a succinct summary of who you are, what you bring to the table, and why we should hire you...but your unique personality should 'pop.'

I suggest that you write an 'elevator pitch' for yourself to have at the ready while you’re looking for a new job. You can summarize in your cover email/online submission: Who are you? What do you stand for? What is your next big personal objective? How would you like to contribute in your next role. Sitting down and writing a fifty to seventy-five word elevator pitch for an imaginary listener is a wonderful experience of self-discovery. To be able to boil down your entire existence into such a short package is one way to discover your essential personal statement to the world. At least, what you’d like your essential personal statement to be. Getting comfortable with the pitch also helps when you are interviewing.

Question: What do you dread seeing in a resume?

Answer: I dread seeing resumes that don’t tell me where you have worked and what you have accomplished there. Many people have taken to writing capabilities statements but most don’t have any meat to show how and where they developed the capabilities they claim they have. Over-inflating your jobs and experience also works against you. And, when you have seen as many resumes as our recruiters have seen, this over inflation is completely obvious.

This sounds strange in the Silicon Valley, but i also like to see some stability. If someone held every job for two years or less, alarm bells go off in my head. I wonder if the candidate has worn out his or her welcome.

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