Turn your resume into a pitch for job interview
Resumes are marketing documents -- they need to portray you in the best possible light / iStockphoto
(MoneyWatch) COMMENTARY Can you deliver a clear, articulate, and thorough overview of your skills and value to a prospective employer without rambling on for minutes about the details of your work history? Not many people can. Indeed, over my last five years as a hiring manager, I've encountered many candidates who can't succinctly respond to a simple "tell me about yourself."
I had this problem myself a long time ago, and looked to the interviewer for help to understand how much detail he or she was looking for. If you're in the same boat, you're doing it wrong. And you're missing out on an opportunity to impress the interviewer.
Recently, Forbes explained how to turn your resume into an elevator pitch that you can deliver in just 30 seconds. The article hits the nail on the head: In essence, you want to create the equivalent of a set of bullet points on a PowerPoint slide that zero in on just the things in your CV that are of interest to your hiring manager.
You probably know the statistic that most HR recruiters and hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds scanning your resume. When you actually get face to face with an interviewer, think about answering questions about your background in the same terse way.
According to Forbes: "Start by filling a whole page with what you would want to say to a hiring manager. Cut that down to half a page. Keep cutting until you get to a quarter page. Then pull out three bullet points that give a snapshot of your career."
Bottom line: When an interview says, "Tell me about yourself," it's an opportunity to distill your background down to the most valuable skills for the role. As such, this is an opportunity to put your best foot forward and stand out from the crowd. Think about this ahead of time so you have a practiced and elegant answer.
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