Kiss a Hiring Manager And Pass The 30 Second Test


Job hunting is a simple process made complicated. Maybe we live in an age where there is so much information flowing that it is hard to know who to listen to. Really, there are 9 simple stages to the process:

1: Decide what you want and what you can offer. When deciding what you want, i’ve found a good check list from KPMG Grads in New Zealand that will help with your thought process. You can find it under the “Brand Me” section. You can find the link at the end of the post. Really worth a look.

2: Document what you can offer on a resume/c.v. that is easy to read and makes clear what you do. It needs to stand up to the 30 second test. (more on that later.)

3: Make sure your Resume/CV can be found. Use the application to make it downloadable in all your social places.

4: Get all your profiles, bio’s and on-line places to make sure you can be found and make sure you state clearly the type of work you are looking for. (If you are in a secret job search then make sure what you can do is clear.)

5: Set up alerts for jobs on carear sites and job boards. Change your linked in professional headline to reflect that you are looking and what for (see the post from CornOnTheJob.). Get your resume/cv on all of the job board databases. (You can sign up for jobs by e-mail service at the same time.)

6: Network, network, network and ask everyone who they know and if they might be able to help.

7: Follow every opportunity to the death. If you get a sniff, get active.

8: Always send a cover letter with every application. If you don’t need it won’t bar you, but if you need one and don’t send it, your out!

9: Keep track of all the jobs you have applied for on a spreadsheet with a few bullet points as to why you applied and why you are suitable. there is nothing worse for a recruiter than calling someone who doesn’t know.

None of this is rocket science or complicated. If it was, none of us would be employed. Keep It Stupidly Simple!

Now for the 30 second test, which is free to all readers. Outside of an A.T.S, a recruiter will look at your resume/cv on-screen for about 30 seconds. They scan read for key-words, achievements and compatible experience. If it doesn’t jump out, then they will pass you by.

A few resume/cv tips:

1; Keep it brief and in bullet points.

2; Put skill headers and experience headers in bold

3: Make your resume keyword rich. (To find the best keywords for your resume/cv, find profiles of people in the roles you are seeking. copy and paste their details in to to produce a word cloud.) Thanks to Andy Headworth from sirona consulting for pointing me towards wordle.

4: Cut out objectives and summaries. concentrate on facts, relevant skills and experience.

Now the test:

leave a link to your resume/cv or profile in the comments section. I will look at it for 30 seconds and let you know what stands out and what I remember. This 30 second review will let you know if your resume projects the 30 second message you need it to.

Employ Kyle Update

You might remember I ran a post on a job seeker called Kyle from the UK who was launching a marketing campaign to get employed. You might be interested to know that he has secured 9 interviews to date and has been offered 4 jobs. perhaps you should have another look at what he did!

Use the weekend to get your profiles ready for next week, get the resume links over to me and get social in your search.

Good Luck,


Links Mentioned In This Post:

KPMG Grads NZ: (complete the profile checklist.)

Andy Headworths Sirona Says

Create A Wordle word cloud

A simmilar post from CornOnTheJob that you should read (shows real results!)



About @BillBoorman
“I have always worked in and around recruiting as a Recruiter, Trainer, Operations Director, Consultant and Coach. I have spent more than 27 years in this industry which sadly qualifies me as a veteran. (substitute old!) During this time I have worked in most markets and have been responsible for the full H.R. and Training function for a recruitment business that grew from 6 to 147 branches. I have implemented I.T systems, designed performance management and appraisal systems among most other things. Over the last 5 years I have been working as a consultant and trainer to growing recruiting firms across Europe. The last 18 months saw my introduction to social media and social recruiting. I started with 50 connections on Linked In (mostly friends) and grew from there. signing up for a twitter account in March 2009 changed everything, as I was given access to a fantastic network worldwide. In Feb 2009 I was honoured and surprised to be ranked in the HR Examiner/trakkr index as the 6′th most influential on-line recruiter in the world. Despite this accolade, I still consider myself to be very much a social media amateur (there are lots more in my network that are much wiser and cleverer. I’m now best known as @BillBoorman on twitter, and have been described a twitterholic that never sleeps, omnipresent and even a whirling dervish! (Thanks @fishdogs.) In September 2009 I attended an event in Toronto (Recruitfest 09) that had a major impact on me. This was my first stint as a track leader at an unconference. I was so taken by this open format that I brought it back to the UK and with Geoff Webb, (Radical Recruit), launched #trulondon and other #tru events. We are in the process of taking these events on a global tour stretching from london to china over the next 2 years. I love the buzz these events create, and enjoy them as much on-line as off it.

40 Responses to Kiss a Hiring Manager And Pass The 30 Second Test

  1. I’m submitting this on behalf of Steve Garnsey, a finance and accounting professional in Ocoee, Florida.

    Jeremy Worthington

  2. @BillBoorman says:

    Too busy for me. Here’s what I noted in 30secs in order: Girl scouts (ex employer), Experience: financials/reporting/accounts recievable/database management, not worked since 2009, employed by Disney some time in the past.
    easy to find as key-word rich. hard to read.
    Might make the maybe pile for a further look.

    • Hiring professionals don’t necessarily have to read the whole thing. Just have to capture attention and make it to the “further look” pile. Unfortunately the 2009 issue is due to a casualty of the economy. He’s working on that : )

      Mission accomplished. Thanks for the feedback. : )

  3. Kimba Green says:

    I am taking you up on your offer! Please be kind!

    Thanks for the 30 second pass!

  4. @BillBoorman says:

    It’s a bit wordy for me, and hard to pick out some quality skills. I can see you have a lot but it is lost. break in to bullet points with highlighted headers.
    I remember from my 30 seconds:
    Social Media Strategy
    On line presence
    Program Manager
    Own business at one time (Is this a risk to me?)
    No clear job title in your current job? last job? made it hard to identify with what you did. could be a community manager but i’m not sure. Not sure if you are an IT techie or somthing else.
    Work on the clarity and key-word/skill recognition. The great stuff in there gets lost.
    Be glad to look again!
    As a tip, also add your resume to your blog in a downloadable format. Boxnet.Com will do this.
    I would have tabs: Hire Me! – A statment of what you want . My resume – As it is after changes, Download my resume, About me – personal statment, About this blog – blog intro and objective and Book an interview with with kimba- All your contact details and Call Me – With a skype connection.
    You might want to consider running your resume through wordle and producing a key-word cloud for you that can sit in the margin, adding the big ones to all your tags and bios. Great for SEO. Last thing, how about video?

  5. Kimba Green says:

    Well that is not good. The 30 seconds is not hitting what I would want you to remember. Thank you for the suggestions on my blog. I will start to work on all of it.

    Thanks for your honest opinion. It is very appreciated!

  6. OneJillian says:

    I’m game!

    this is my web site’s resume page. it also has a link for you to download the hard copy via PDF.

    • @BillBoorman says:

      first off, I love the look of the page. it’s one side, clean and well laid out. First impression is that you have made an effort, understand design and are a tidy worker. my question, which you part answered on twitter, is have you configured the PDF of your resume for keyword search or will google just pick it up as an image? There is no visible tagging and this could effect your resume being found passively. put the copy through wordle, as well as the job ads you are applying for and resumes of people doing the type of job you want to do. Use the key-words from the cloud as tags.
      On my 30 second look I noted that you were a media director with some good jobs and steady progression. Concerned about a short job before the last one and not working since July. looked as if you jumped about a bit. Alarm bells! Some reasons for leaving could help alleviate this, at the moment theirs a question mark and if theirs competition, you loose.
      I’d also like to pick out key achievments and skills in each job with highlighted bullet points.

      I like the look of your blog. At the moment it sits half way between a personal blog and a job search blog. I would add:
      About Me – With a more profesional breakdown and a video would be great here. give a feel for you. I think the description you have in the side-bar is GREAT for a personal blog, but is too far out for a job search blog. If your objective now with your blog is to get a job, change it!
      Hire Me – More breakdown of exactly what you are looking for, where and why
      Why Me – Sell your strong points, your experience and harder to find skills.
      Call Me – with a direct skype button. All the other connect buttons are tidy,though I prefer bigger ones which dare me to connect. I use big buttons and get up to 20 connections a day from the blog.
      downloadable resume is great.
      love the look and feel, with a little work, and the addition of picture and video you could go viral.

      • OneJillian says:

        Thank you Bill!

        I was a little scared from the message you sent on twitter but this was a very positive and constructive critique.

        Yes I do need to update my resume as I have learned that even unpaid work counts as work/consulting, so I can fill in that formal employment gap. It was a tough place to be in 2009 with modest experience and a puny network. <–not making that mistake again! The honest truth is that I HAVE been unemployed since July 09 but there must be ways to make it less "scary" for the hiring mgr, right?

        I will definitely act on the suggestions of direct call-to-action buttons and pages. Also – thank you for the tip on my "Nutshell" sidebar text.

        I'm really happy that it is a solid framework. I can convert it to a personal blog after I am back doing the work I love. cheers!

  7. Claudia says:

    I’d love to get your 30 second look feedback! Thank you.

    • @BillBoorman says:

      Had a look at your resume. Firstly, I don’t know TwitRes but I am going to get to know it. if it works, it is a great tool and one I will blog about in the future. I don’t think however it displays your resume in the best light (It’s not built as a platform that.) it looks a bit untidy and the tabs are confusing if i’m looking just at your resume. Have a look at a dedicated wordpress blog. it’s free and looks lots better!
      Summary did nothing for me, i just ignored it and too wordy. I’d like full dates on your last job rather than 2009. Suspected you had been out of work for a while.
      Theres too much info in each job all presented the same way. Use bullet-points and bold headings to make the important experience/skills/achievments stand out. Make it easy for me to pick out what i need. Your clearly a genius. Less is more info wise. cut out all you can (starting with the summary) and make info easy to find.

      • Claudia says:

        Thank you very much Bill!
        I did a quick fix based on your suggestions and this is the result
        – I still used TwitRes but uploaded a pdf instead of a word file, which preserved the format better
        – I cut down a few phrases in the summary to make it shorter.
        I had used bullet points for the jobs descriptions, so I’m not sure how to follow the last [art of your advice… I may need to sit down with this resume for a longer time…
        Thank you again!

  8. Bri says:

    I uploaded my resume as a pdf. I’m still working on a WordPress version.

    Thank you!

  9. Bri says:

    I uploaded my resume as a pdf. I’m still working on a WordPress version.

    Thank you!

    • @BillBoorman says:

      Your resume confused me. If i’m confused, you are probably rejected. Not sure if you are working or not working. Is Marketing consultant/publicist the job you want or the job you do? If the latter, make this clear. You list Qualifications, but that probably should be headed experience. I was most interested in what you did in Panamma City. 2 reasons: the experience was interesting and i’ve been there. (The interviewer may have done to!). Don’t hide this away.Put your education and career education highlights top. i like that you’ve been studying and working.
      Youve listed profesional experience 2000 – 2010 and study during the same period. Make it clear if this is part time while studying and typically how much time was spent gaining the experiences.
      good stuff in here. put it under education at the top.Youve been a childrens merchandise specialist for 10 years. This needs to feature highly as the main experience.
      How long was the internship in washington? any achievments there? Tell me about them.
      The Brimeetsbooks bit confusee me. is this a hobby/interest or is it revenue generating? Either way i’m going to start considering if this fits in with me. Make it clear how this works with links, skills and experiences.
      Sorry if this seems harsh, but cut out the confusing areas and be clear on what you want/do.

      • Bri says:

        This is excellent advice. If I’m working on a publishing application, the reviewing stuff is relevant. Other than, it’s not. I use it only as an example of the marketing/copywriting I can do. But an online resume can do that as well. Thanks so much!

  10. Dave Panzera says:


    Thanks for offering the 30 second test. I’d love to hear your opinion of my cv:


    • @BillBoorman says:

      Glad to see you using boxnet to make your resume downloadable. Your a big hitter with a big resume. The summary bored me and served no purpose. (didnt look.)), get rid of that.
      I’d like to see what it is you are looking for. if I was a senior guy in a hiring company i would see your resume as a threat. I need to be reassured. you are not a threat. a simple statment about what your looking for will do this.
      Good layout and descriptions but bold the keywords. i only want 3 – 4 to jump out and you are on the must see list.
      I’d like to see when and why you left in 2010. making dates ambiguous makes me think the worst. A reason for leaving would also make this clear.
      Theres a blank page in the middle of the download. get rid of this as i thought the resume was finished.
      A bit of tinkering as outlined, great resume!

  11. JenB says:

    Thanks for your offer to help us jobseekers! Any gut feedback is much appreciated:

    • @BillBoorman says:

      I’ve looked at your linked In profile and your resume, which I downloaded via Boxnet.
      I’m concerned that when I search for wealth management assistant US, your still not on page 10! the problem: Your missing keywords. say wealth management assistant throughout your profile. Thats how you get found and ultimately hired.
      I’m going to be reviewing linked In profiles over the next week, butas you sent it, i’ve done it.
      important: Update your contact tab to include all your contacts, and in edit, drag it to the top of the screen.
      Get rid of “in transition” in your profesional headline. Be Specific. Replace with Searching for Wealth Management Assistant Role or simmilar. This will shoe every time you come up in a search and will jump out to recruiters.
      Do your updates in Linked In not tweetdeck. that way you can add links to show the post and easier to share. create a wordpress resume and add this to update often, as well as placing in groups.
      Get rid of the #in update. Every time you retweet with the hashtag, your update changes. lots of bloggers use this for exposure.
      Seperate your key-words in summary. Put in Financial planning. portfollio analysis. etc. seperate words/phrases rank higher in searches and raises your ranking. (This applies to all bios!)
      Add a slideshare presentation of your background. you can add a video here to if your brave enough. both will stand out and showcase you.
      On your resume: put Jobs/Skills/Achievments at the top, ditch your personal statment. wastes space and pushes down what i’m really looking for.
      put your achievments in the jobs in bullet points and bold.
      most important: set up a wordpress blog for your resume.

      • JenB says:

        Thank you for your feedback, Bill. However, I am NOT an assistant. If you got “assistant” out of my resume, then I am in big, big trouble.

      • @BillBoorman says:

        I read assistant though thats not what you are. I can see that now. make this really stand out to avoid a snap read misstake like I made

    • @BillBoorman says:

      Glad it is in download. First impression, too messy. i’m afraid you would be rejected. look at font, spacing and white space to create somthing clean.
      Too much chat in experiences/breakdown. Stick to bullet point facts not discussion. cut out phrases like “I prefer ….”
      Put skills used, gained, key-achievments under each of the jobs. make the headings bold and clear.
      Education at the top, followed by honours, followed by relevent work history in order.
      Ditch references on request, means nothing.
      Put in plenty of contact details including social-media ones.
      Tidy this up and let me have another look at it.

      • Brett says:

        Thanks for the tips, I appreciate it.

        I started with a template instead of from scratch this time around. What do you think?: (PDF)

      • Brett says:

        I decided to do it with red accents as well, in case the magenta/pink comes off the wrong way:

      • @BillBoorman says:

        Number 2 is good and you are making the changes. couple of other pointers:
        You need a heading of: resume to outline what the document is.
        Put some achievments under each post, not just duties. Show what you can do for me.
        It’s fine to go to 2 pages if you need to.
        Increase the type face on your contact details. Make it jump out.
        Give each line the keyword in bold so that I can reference it easily.
        Give reasons for leaving on each post, and if they are contract posts state this. At the moment you look like a job hopper.

      • Brett says:

        Bill… I can’t believe I managed to forget my e-mail on the resume. I knew something was missing!

        Sorry to inundate you with revised versions!

  12. Karen Bice says:

    Bill, I really like this posting, as well as the comments. I’m going to print all of this out to help me with the work I still need to do on my resume, as well as work on some of the other things you mentioned. Great posting!

  13. Matt Taylor says:

    I have been looking for a while now, with no hits. Any input much appreciated. Thanks

    • @BillBoorman says:

      Mostly I like your resume. the top line on achievments is strong and short enough to not overdo space.
      My big question is why are you leaving Taylor developments? if this is your business, I need an explanation as it leaves questions. Add a reason for leaving to all jobs.
      Highlight a key-word heading in each line so that it is easy for me to pick out what I need.

  14. Pingback: Tweets that mention Kiss a Hiring Manager And Pass The 30 Second Test « Social Job Search --

  15. 30 second Resume Review. My resume can be found at:

    • @BillBoorman says:

      I’ve looked at your profile. First question, wheres your resume? if I ask for a resume in the ad i might consider you ill prepared if you send me a Linked In profile. Have both!
      On your profile, are you looking for contract work or full time? This needs to be clear.
      Whats happening with Finance Diva if you take full time work?
      The more questions I have, the more likely I am to not consider you.
      Add your resume using, I want both.

  16. Chanelle says:

    Hey Bill,
    Thanks for the offer on #tweetdiner! Here is the link to my resume. Be as honest as you want to be.

    • @BillBoorman says:

      The look of your resume is really unapealing and I probably wouldn’t read this. change the typeface and think design/look.
      Your resume is unbalanced in content. I’m more interested in your experience. put this at the top with a lot more description. This should be greater than the skills etc.
      Avoid cliches like “excellent organisational skills. show me an axample of where you have done this.
      Will have another look when you’ve changed it around.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: