Should the Resume of Your Ideal Candidate Be the New Job Posting?
Published: Jul 11, 2018 By Roger Lear
I’ve recently been speaking at colleges and career expositions about why so many job seekers apply to jobs but never hear back from employers. I break down why this happens and what serious job seekers can do to fix this and get interviews. As an employer, you already know why you, or your applicant tracking system, turn so many applicants away. The primary reasons are typically “job seekers are not qualified for the position,” or “I don’t even think they read the job description before applying,” or even “I can’t even tell what they do because their resume is horrible.”
Maybe the job seeker is saying the same about your job posting.
If you ever helped anyone write a resume, the first thing you notice is how many of these resumes are not clear and concise. They are full of words like “hard-working” and “team player” and many times leave out (or hide) the skill keywords needed to make it evident to you that they are a good candidate for the job you have open. A good resume in 2018 should tell you in less than six seconds that this person is worth exploring further. These resumes typically have the correct title, clearly defined skills, correlating work history and required schooling.
Instead of writing a long-winded job description, maybe write a fictitious resume of the ultimate candidate and use that for the job posting! This may give the job seeker an excellent idea what you are looking for because it will have the same attributes you demand to see when looking at their submitted resumes. Job seekers will actually have a real person to compare themselves with a job title, specific skills, education requirements and clear competencies.
Recently, LinkedIn asked 450 people to view the same job description and rank what is important to them that makes them apply for the job. This “heat map” proved to be very interesting. As a matter of fact, the most crucial thing job seekers deemed most important is the thing that 90 percent of job postings don’t offer — compensation! Ironically, it is the same thing that is missing on a job seekers resume.
Compensation is followed by qualifications (core competencies on a resume) followed by job details (what does someone in this job do all day.) Here is the breakdown:
I also found it interesting that success criteria were highly sought out in job descriptions by job seekers. Just like compensation, very few of your job postings will ever talk about how a successful candidate will be measured. However, when you read a job seekers resume, you are looking for measured accomplishments. If you don’t see any, you usually move on to the next person.
The next time you have to post a job, post a resume of your ultimate candidate. Create a good title and then instead of a job description, change the opening sentence to introduce your fictitious resume. “If you would have worked here for the last three years, this is what your resume would look like with these specific accomplishments and skill sets. If this gets you excited, please apply today!”
If anyone is willing to try this, please drop me a line and let me know how it worked!