References: New passive candidate leads

If you think your references are stellar, there’s a good chance recruiters and hiring managers will too. So good in fact, they may actually be a better fit for open positions then you.

WARNING: Providing references too early in the job search process – even when you are asked – could be akin to shooting yourself in the foot.

A funny, and insightful, read is an article written by Matthew Charney entitled “21 Definitions: A Candidate’s Guide to Recruiter–Speak.” Perhaps some of the humor can be attributed to the fact that Charney works for the Disney Company … or perhaps Disney's brand is being exuded by Charney!

After you finish reading the article, reality will set in as you recognize the all–to–familiar words rolling around in your head. You have no doubt heard many of them if you have been involved in any kind of career transition within the last few years.

Now though, with this guide, you know what they [recruiters, HR, hiring managers, decision–makers] are really saying. Take back the power! Two really can play this game.

On behalf of job search candidates everywhere … thank you, Matthew!

One Size Fits All

It seems like everyone has a different opinion about what kind of resume they want to see. CFO.com’s “Third Rails for Resume Writing, six traps that recruiters warn will make them toss a finance executive’s resume” certainly drives that point home!

Short or long, objective or summary, chronological or functional. Since it is virtually impossible to be all things to all people, how can you know what the recruiter or hiring manger wants to see in the resume he or she is reading?

Here are two critical strategies to creating a resume that will appeal to a broader audience.

First, the top half of the first page is the most critical part of your resume. If a resume sells value quickly, then it really doesn’t matter whether a recruiter wants a short resume or prefers to have all the facts because you have met both of their personal preferences. The reader who wants short and sweet has already made up his mind, and the reader who wants all the data has two or three pages to convince himself he should talk with you.

Second, don’t confuse experience with performance. It’s not what you did but rather, how you did it and the measurable (key point) impact of doing it.

Happy New Year! And warmest wishes to each of my readers for a very prosperous, happy, and healthy 2008!