Monday, October 28, 2013

Four Seconds

You have approximately 4 seconds to impress a recruiter when using an automated application system. The kind where your resume is uploaded then auto-populates certain parts of the application.

First, know that it never auto-fills properly. DO NOT TRUST that it does.

Second, fill in any blanks with as much information as you can.

The 4 seconds that a recruiter glances at your application, searching for nuggets of information to show them you are an ideal candidate go by very, very fast.

I just got done looking at 20 candidates who applied via our online application system. 17 of them sucked. And by sucked, I mean they were practically blank. That tells me their resume did not upload properly nor auto-filled properly. It also tells me the applicant didn't double check the final content.

So 17 people got stopped in their tracks. Who knows, there may have been quite qualified people in that group, I just didn't see any of their information to tell me so.

I myself applied via this same online system about 2 years ago. It was the first time I had applied for a job in 13 years! It was brutal. The system hated my resume (which was in InDesign). I had to reformat it in Word. Then it hated the icons I used for my Twitter, Blog and LinkedIn profiles. I had to delete those. It took about 5 attempts to get it to upload my information correctly.

Then I spent another 30 minutes crafting/fixing/adding to what was there. If this was my only means of getting an interview, I wanted it to read stellar. Then I clicked submit.

Make that 4 seconds worth it.


Tammy said...

I see resumes like this daily and I feel the same way, they suck. I wish applicants would pay more attention to what is uploaded after the fact.

I've been following you for a little while, like your writing.

Cecilia Gorman said...

Thanks for your comment Tammy. So many good people are getting ruled out from the start.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog by a happy accident. After reading this entry, must say, I am hooked!

My chosen profession is recruiting and I cannot lament how many candidate I auto reject because of this problem!

Great read!