“I can’t seem to break through to the next level. I know I’m ready, but I can’t seem to make the leap.”If these quotes resonate with you, or you find yourself struggling with the dreaded “ghosting” tactics used by some recruiters and hiring managers…this article is for you.
In this article I’m going to share some tips that will help you address these issues before you even walk into the interview.
You will learn how to get the salary you deserve and stop getting ghosted by recruiters (especially at companies like Google, Amazon, & Facebook)
CAPTURE THE READER’S ATTENTION & PIQUE THEIR CURIOSITY BY INSERTING UNUSUAL VISUAL ELEMENTS INTO YOUR RESUME.
Seeing something is not the same as noticing something. To engage your reader, you must have their full attention AND their interest. People are inherently curious and will spend extra time inspecting anything different than the rest.
Many of my clients worry that if their resume looks “different” they will be passed over or not be taken seriously. What actually happens is quite the opposite.
Decades of studies on memory, attention, and recall repeatedly prove that attentional saturationand similar subconscious psychological phenomenon prevent 99% of people from remembering frequently encountered items, such as a recruiter who sees dozens of resumes every day.
- Graphical elements, color, font variations, and shading are all tools you can use in your resume that help distinguish you. Few people employ this tactic due to a primal fear of being “different” than the rest.
CAUTION: When using this trick, chose a graphic that is: 1) Relevant to your value proposition (i.e. a tasteful globe for international CFO) and 2) Simple in design and appropriate for your industry.
Marketing & sales resumes have more creative license than finance or law. For the more conservative industries I recommend the use of call-out boxes with solid fill and complimentary font combinations.
DEDICATE THE TOP 1/3 OF YOUR RESUME TO ACCOMPLISHMENTS ONLY
Once you have the reader’s attention, use that priceless window of focused attention to showcase your top 3 or 4 accomplishments, whether quantifiable or not. For example:
✓ Spiked invention submissions 50% by developing and launching monthly patent law training sessions, securing 4 patents in 6 months.
✓ Transformed department morale by instituting team-building initiatives, slashing high attrition rate and aligning teams for increased productivity.
Using the space previously occupied by an objective statement (which went out of style years ago) or a profile summary to get straight to the point instantly answers the question “what can this candidate do for me?” and hints to the reader that if they keep reading, they will find even more engaging detail.
LEADERS NEVER BLEND AND VALUE IS SUBJECTIVE
These two facts should be in the forefront of your mind when you create your resume. A leader is chosen for his/her abilities that got noticed and got results. If your resume doesn’t have results listed, the first impression is already made when you walk through the door. Every CFO is a “financial expert” (or at least that’s what they will all say), and every licensed attorney has “deep knowledge of the law” (again…so they will all say).
If your first impression (which is precisely what your resume is) is similar to everyone else’s, then you will not be viewed as more valuable than the others from the start. First impression bias is difficult to overcome….so make that first impression one that highlights only the best of your accomplishments and you would really need to mess up in the interview to change that perception of value.
Never forget that value is subjective and based on extremely limited information the OTHER party has about you. In a competition, you are not given the benefit of the doubt….you have to PROVE that you are worth more than every other candidate that could do the job adequately (and let’s be honest, there are plenty of people who can do an “acceptable” job). You have to prove that you will deliver the BEST results, solve a problem the company has, or fill a gap in services that increases their wealth and/or bolsters their reputation.
If you stand out as a little different (as all leaders are), and give solid evidence of your success in your resume, your perceived value increases and by extension, your starting salary offer stands a good chance of aligning with your expectations.
An added benefit to writing your resume in this manner is that you gain a slight advantage in the interview process. Interviews are tedious for both sides, but an engaging career narrative replete with details gives the interviewer a base for their questions. This is ideal because you won’t be caught off guard, you will behave more naturally and will have interesting stories to tell that may not have come up with the standard interview questions. This results in the halo effect, but that’s an article for another time.