You Only Have 3 Seconds To Get The Job Offer? Yikes!

“I know in three seconds who will get the job.” That’s what a friend once told me. He explained when candidates are waiting in Reception, all he has to do is walk through, take a quick glance at them, and he knows who will get the job offer or, at least, who will not. Three seconds is very good. Of course, as a recruiter, I pride myself on being able to know if a person has what it takes to get an interview after spending five seconds on their cover letter and maybe eight on their resume. The funny thing is, most job seekers don’t believe any of this. That’s why they prepare rambling cover letters and resumes awash with self-praise. Of course, they are wrong. But let’s forget about job seekers for a moment. How about funding seekers? Entrepreneurs looking for backers. In this month’s issue of Inc. magazine, David Tish of TechStars is quoted as saying, “It’s pretty clear in 20 seconds whether the person [the funding seeker] has it in them or not. You don’t need to know that much.” “You don’t need to know that much.” Remember that line, job seekers. And take a minute (it won’t take more than that!) to read, “6 Things Job Recruiters Pay Attention to, as Determined By Science.” Let me save you the time: your name; current title/company; previous title/company; current position start and end dates; previous position start and end dates; and education. If you have been reading my articles you know I am contrarian. I look at your location, hopefully a section listing selected accomplishments, years of employment and education. If all checks out, I look at skills and experience. Regardless, you get the message: No one cares about an “Objective” or “Professional Summary.” But here’s the rub: Resumes are changing. Before you know it everyone will have a multimedia resume like those on Purzue. Why? Let’s get back to Mr. Tisch. One entrepreneur who pitched to him did not do well. But then Tisch received a video from him with animal masks and flames which was a “ridiculously over-wrought (but effective) team video.” It made the case the team members “have a personality.” It clinched the deal. Having a video, albeit probably not an “over-wrought” one, may clinch the deal for you too! Just remember: You only have a few seconds to grab the employer’s attention and get the job offer. Don’t waste it on nonsense.

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