How do you influence a hiring manager to at least consider you for a telephone screening interview? Give him what he’s looking for. What is that and how do I accomplish it? The job description gives you all you need to know.
Focus on the top 5 to 8 items on the position description. They are the key items that are the priority skills or experiences the hiring manager needs. In order for your resume to stand out from everyone else, your skills and experiences should match those 5 to 8 items. On your resume, back up your experiences and skills with specific measurable results that parallels the requirements on the position description.
Next, match the language used in the position description. Some companies use a computer to screen incoming resumes. The computer compares the words on the resume with the words on the position description. Make sure your resume reflects the most commonly used words for your function, education and skills. It sounds simple. Hiring managers give you the answers to constructing your resume through the position description.
While hiring managers are looking for someone who can do the job, they also want someone who has both hard and soft skills. Hard skills tend to be function-specific and technical. Hard skills are objectively measured, easy to demonstrate, and easily proven like: Programing a computer, designing a flow chart, making as sales presentation or auditing the books. Soft skills are a set of behaviors that are difficult to measure, subjective, and hard to prove, like: Creative problem solving, collaboration, persuasion, an effective team member.
So, when you’re creating a resume or preparing for an interview, ask yourself, “How do I demonstrate or verify my skills?” The best way is to provide concrete examples when describing a previous role, skills or experience. Also, don’t use words that diminish or minimize your contribution. Words like “maintain” tell the hiring manager that you don’t improve performance or add to results, you just keep the status quo. If you’re a hiring manager would you want someone to keep things static, or someone who will grow and accelerate your results?
Use words that sell and tie them to a result, like. “accelerated revenue by xx%, decreased costs by $xx, improved productively through xxx, or increased days cash on hand by xx.” These words tell a story about your contribution. Some words are neutral like created, delivered, analyzed, developed or organized. Anyone can use these neutral words, but you need to tie them to some form of positive outcome.
Hiring managers can be influenced, but they need to see the connection between what you have done in the past to what the organization needs currently or in the near future. They need to see solutions that you have achieved to their issues, or provide them with opportunities to improve their performance or productivity.
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