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!)



@ChrisBrogan Job Search Webinar & @Hirekyle Bonus

I’m giving over todays post to 2 people who I think are doing great things in the social job search. The first is someone you probably all know, Chris Brogan.
Chris is the real deal when it comes to social media. His book “Trust Agents” (Co-written with Julien Smith), is a must read.
I blogged about Chris on Christmas day, after he had sent me 2 messages Christmas Eve. I was impressed that he had taken the time out to reply, and I was even more taken back that he commented on my blog 3 times on Christmas day. A rare level of engagement indeed!
Chris is hosting a webinar specifically for job seekers on Thursday 30’th Sept, 7.00 – 8.15 EDT or 11.00 PM – 12.15 PM. called Enhance Your job Search With Social Presence.

To register for this webinar, and I recommend you do, click on Chris’s picture below and go to the registration page. Book it now before you get over subscribed.
The webinar is sponsored by newly launched Human Business Works.e

Click on Chris to get the Webinar

The second person I’m highlighting is much less famous than Chris, but no less worthy  to share the post.  He has  started a campaign to get hired via social media that I think we can all learn something from.
Kyle Clark is a recent graduate from the UK, who has started a “Hire Me” campaign is going viral by the minute. It’s a mix of audacity and creativity. great for social media.

His approach has been to set up a micro-site to highlight his skills, outlined by his @Hirekyle twitter handle.
The site is well designed, as good as you would see from any design house. Take the time to take a look, it takes job seeker branding to a new level. Kyle has had his site up for a few days now, and on the site alone he has achieved 131 tweets and 147 shares. I’m sure Chris would be more than approving of this social campaign to find not just a job, but the right job!

The headings on Kyle’s site are:

* KYLE’S CV (You can view it or download a hard copy.)

Under the Challenge page, Kyle describes the challenge as:

To get as many people as possible to bid for my services as an employee over the next 2 months.

I decided to MAKE the EMPLOYKYLE campaign to find the perfect job. Or perhaps for the perfect job to find me! With over 70 graduates going for each graduate job, it’s pretty hard to get noticed! This is my subtle way of saying notice ME and demonstrating that I will go the extra mile to stand out. The idea of this campaign is that employers look at my CV, have a think about the value I could add to their company, and then make me AN offer. Unlike ebay, I won’t simply go to the highest bidder, I’ll go to the best bidder. So go on, make me an OFFER.

Being a social campaign, you can follow EmployKyle on twitter, Friend him on Facebook or even e-mail him direct. There are multiple points of contact, all Kyle needs now is to add You Tube and Linked In to complete the set.

The website is profesionally produced by lemonfreshdesign in Norwich. I have no idea of the cost, but it looks to be a very good investment. Theres a clock counting down the days to the end of the campaign, and some funky widgets to drill down in to the C.V. for more detail.

Given the effort that has gone in to Hire Kyle campaign, and it’s viral social nature, I wanted to share it with you. Think big, be social,and you might just land the big job.


Links In This Post

The Webinar

My Blog Post: Merry christmas Chris Brogan

Trust Agents At Amazon (Buy It)


Linked In Invite Research And Other Tips

Get daves attention?

I’ve been reading some well intended posts recently from Linked In experts Neil Schaeffer and Tim Tyrell-Smith on how important it is that you tailor your Linked In connection invites. This is something I have advocated in the past, believing the theory to be correct. It certainly sounds like it should be. You should read their post as it prompted me to write-up this post on some research I completed recently on this very subject.

. The actual results of the test and follow-up were far from what I expected, showing something to the contrary of what I believed and is the expert advice given in these and similar posts. (including some of my own!)

I sent out 50 invites to connect to people I was not connected with anywhere else. I got 31 acceptances in total. Bear in mind that some of the 50 may not yet be opened. It’s not uncommon for some people to either follow you for a while and accept or archive later or those that have profiles they rarely visit, choosing to either ignore or turn-off e-mail alerts.

The results of the 50 invites were:

The Standard Linked In Invite: 23 out of 25 accepted.

The Tailored Linked In Invite: (This introduced me and stated my objective in networking.): 7 out of 25 acceptances.

I took this further by sending out a further 20 invites, 10 using the standard Linked In Invite and another 10 using tailored invites. These were sent as introductions via connections.

I received 6 acceptances. 5 for the standard invite and 1 from the tailored invite. Of the 20 invites, 14 were forwarded to the second level connections.

To complete the experiment, I sent out a further 20 invites to members I shared a group with. At this stage, all of the invites were the standard Linked In Invite.

Of the 20 I sent out, I got 19 acceptances. By far in a way the most succesful.

To understand this better, I mailed all of the people I had invited for feedback regardless of if they had accepted or declined my invite.

Of the 90 e-mails I sent asking for feedback, I got 32 responses, interestingly, 19 from those who had not responded.

Feedback included:

The tailored invite with a stated objective was seen as too direct in an invite. It was felt that there should have been more engagement prior to the invite. With so much spam flying around on linked In, for everything from internet brides to S.E.O., a longer message with any more than the standard RECOGNISABLE invite, then it got dumped without acceptance.

People were comfortable to accept or investigate the standard invite because they knew what it was.

Most people who received the invite chose to either:

  • Ignore, Archive or Delete immediately for the reasons outlined above.
  • Of those receiving the standard invite, most reported that they viewed my profile first before accepting, hence the reason for making sure that your profile is a real advert for you. Having looked at my profile they accepted the invite.
  • Of those that didn’t respond, most had chosen to “follow” me and wait and see. They stated that they may review this status to a full acceptance in the future.
  • Of those who accepted my invite who shared a group, most did so on receipt. They felt that if we shared a group, we must have something in common, and as the group had accepted me already I was “pre-vetted.” This emphasises the importance of belonging to groups.

Of those who replied and were willing to take a call to discuss in detail, (20), I got the following feedback:

In order: they would be most likely to invite people to connect if:

  1. They already communicated on another social channel, particularly twitter.
  2. They read a post they liked in a group or noticed someone on the new “most influential” list.
  3. People who are suggested via linked In on “People You May Know” lists. (The more connections you have and the more groups you belong to, the higher the likelihood of appearing on these lists.) Displaying relevent information from the top line of your profile is key here. You have 140 characters and this shows below your name in the “people you might know.” tab.
  4. People that come up on key-word searches. That means getting your key-words right and separating them with commas.
  5. People who answered their questions.
  6. Via e-mails received with a Linked In connect button.
  7. Via “connect with” buttons or invites on blogs and other places.

When looking at profiles to decide if to connect the top influencers in the decision were:

  1. A professional photo or one they recognised from your avatar in another channel. Be consistent with your picture. No picture, no connection.
  2. Your professional top line matching their area of interest.
  3. A recent update in the last 7 days. professional not personal content.
  4. Contact details for follow-up. (put this at the top of your profile.)
  5. A well written summary and objective.
  6. If you have an embedded blog most included this in things they look at on your profile.
  7. Whilst nearly everyone responded that they were impressed to see slide share presentations on the profile (professional image), most did not look at them unless they found the title really interesting and relevent.
  8. Most importantly, no one looked at recommendations at all, and gave them little credence. People with lots of recommendations, (more than 10), were seen as fake.
  9. The whole twitter feed on a profile was seen as irritating or irrelevant. Don’t do it!
  10. Interestingly, most reported that they go back to profiles in more detail once relationships were established, then they go back to profiles and look at the downloads (, blog entries and slide share presentations.) In particular they go back to the profile from group posts, group comments or mails from update notifications.
  11. Most will look for contact details on Linked In first before Google. Make sure yours are prominent.
  12. Most fed back that they found relevent links on updates to be the most likely reason to engage with someone.

Other interesting feedback included:

  • The least popular thing about recruiters using Linked In is random  job approaches without any prior engagement or jobs with no real relevance.
  • Hiring managers in the sample were unlikely to connect with connection requests post interview but would accept them pre-interview, would be more likely to engage and respond to e-mails via Linked In than a standard e-mail. They also admitted peeking on-line for comments post interview on Linked or Facebook. (Always be positive!).
  • Some of the Hiring managers compare the Linked In profile with the resume received. If they differ, you are unlikely to get the job.
  • Most said they couldn’t care less what you have pictures of Facebook, and while they wouldn’t friend you, they would accept a Cow from you or fight you in Mafia wars! (Worth checking for this. I never would have thought of it!)
  • Most are comfortable engaging with you on twitter and are impressed by this, though not about the job or interview in detail, other than “good to have met you. Very interested!” Always check the Linked In profile for twitter profiles and follow. This is the most likely route to engagement!
  • Most stated that they had been made uncomfortable during the interview if the applicant refered to personal detail about them found on-line. (like where they had been on holiday!) Research is impressive, but profesional detail only.

Where I am 100% in agreement with Tim, and he brings this up in the comments section of his blog is that once you’ve connected, you need to get social. collecting names, like collecting stamps won’t get you employed. As always, my best advice is be social in your job search!

Thanks to everyone that replied to my questions, it has been enlightening, and is quite different to a lot of the advice that is flying around. It has taken me about 100 hours to complete but has been well worth while.

Subscribe to this blog for more detail on this research and some interviews with some of the respondents on what they really want to see from Social Job Seekers.

Keep it social in your job search and be lucky!


Links Mentioned In This Post:

Best Practice In Writing Linked In Invitations By Tim Tyrell-Smith & Neal Schaffer

Get Hired By Word Of Mouse

You might have heard the rumbling around the growing use of “referral” as the favoured source of hire. For a hiring company this has a lot of benefits.
for a start there are no fees involved. (Although some companies will pay a bounty to the referer as a reward.)
Given that an employee has been willing to stake their reputation on the recommendation, there is less risk than unknown candidates.
Given that the both the candidate and the company are known to the referer, the cultural fit is most likely right.
Getting a job through the referral of a friend gives greater commitment through peer pressure.
Given these points, it’s easy to see why hiring companies are so keen to make this route to hire a top priority, and are developing new ways to utilise social media channels like Face Book, linked in and twitter. Getting hired will increasingly be about who you know and are connected with, rather than what you know or where your C.V/resume is on show.

How can you get yourself marketed by word of mouse?

1: Make sure all your profiles and bio’s are up to date and present you in the best light. In particular, remember to complete the professional pages on Facebook and that you have an open, accessable profile.

2: Sign up for the free “Branch Out” application on Facebook.

3: Identify the companies you want to work for and run searches on Linked In, Branch Out and Twitter Search to see who you are connected to in those companies. With Branch out you can also see all the secondary and third level connections with the company.

(Branch Out have just announced $6Mn in funding from Microsoft Bizspark, so i’m expecting a rapid growth in users.)

4: Ask those you know for a referral to your target companies. If you don’t have any close connections, consider targeting them through a facebook ad. These are very cheap, targeted and you pay only per click.

5: Give your connections something they can share within their connections and employers. This should include your LinkedIn profile, (with a C.V/resume added using the application,) and a clear statement of the type of work you are looking for. You should also consider a blog that will showcase you and a clear, concise statement of what you are looking for in a job. Make sure you are easy to contact by having your contact details on all your profiles, bios and places. (A hire me button really stands out, is easy to create and link.)

6: As I listed in my last post, a video on You Tube is an easy thing for your connections and friends to share. I’ve attached another video that was shared with me by one of my connections, that showcases the skills, experience and personality of Graeme Anthony. (It’s a UK one too!) You can record a short video that is tailored to the company you want to join, what you can offer them and why you want to join them. Taking the time to research the company, your connections and finding out about them will really stand out.

Word of mouse will get you hired. Your friends and connections want to help you, but you need to give them material to share!

Be social in your search,


Links listed In This Post

Investment In Branch Out

Create Your Own “Hire Me” Button Application

Social Media Job Search Model

I’ve been asked to post on how to develop social media networks in the job search. My starting point is to forget about having separate strategies for each social media channel in isolation.
I consider all social media to be one channel, with each place serving a different purpose.

This is my model for what you can use each channel for, and the tone to take in each place.

1; Linked In – This is where you find targets through search, joining and posting in groups and asking questions. Home base and reference point at the start of the search.

2: Twitter – where the conversation starts. Organise your targets through tweetdeck and start replying, commenting, questioning, retweeting and engaging. Gets you on the radar.

3: Facebook – Fan the company and comment or question. Ask for help.

4: Invite to Friend on Facebook for closer conversation, instant messaging, commenting and looking for opportunity. (don’t be disappointed if this is declined.)

5: You Tube – For showing. Great material for sharing in all the channels and promotes your capability.

6: WordPress for telling and sharing. If you are ready to blog in order to showcase your skills and opinions.

This is my model of the stages of building social presence through the channels, to link you with the right targets in your job search.

Good luck in making your job search social.


Starting with Social Job Search

Where to start

Welcome to the first post on Social Job Search.  This blog is aimed at helping Job Seekers to navigate their way through using social media to help in you’re job search, as well as offering good old-fashioned job seeking advice. You can sign up to receive the daily post direct to you’re in box.

Where do you start?

Before you begin your campaign, and you should treat your job search as a campaign with a clear plan, you need to answer these 5 questions:

1: What do you want to do next?

2: What salary can you afford to take and live on?

3: Beyond getting a job, what are you really looking for in your next move?

4: What companies do you want to work for and in what locations?

5: Who are you already connected to in your network that could help you?

All sounds simple, but untill you can answer all of these questions, you’re not ready to start. Tomorrow I’m taking a closer look at Linked In. Let me know in the comments any specific posts you would like to see.

Be social in your search!