I have to rant ... just a little tonight... I swear some days it just feel slike HR is waht's standing in the way of the American recovery. Let me tell you why HR just doessne't get it.
I received this email yesterday addressed to, "Dear Recruiter".
Let me ask you something... when was the last time an HR manager said to you at an interview: "Thanks for sending me your generic resume. And your generic email instructing me to read it. Aren't they the ones usually insisting you research the company and spell their name correctly?
Boy I sure felt special – honored even to have received it- Because you're the hottest candidate I've ever seen.
Isn’t it HR who always complains about people who send resumes with generic cover letters that say; dear sir Madame... or something to that effect? It's un professional. Don’t they also say they prefer candidates who understand their business and can speak to their needs? It’s a rhetorical question. Of course they do! AND all the books on writing résumés and cover letters including my own, Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters, say the same thing. Customize your letter and resume to suit the opportunity. Research the company before you send the letter. Do your home work and show initiative by addressing your letter – email – fax to the person who’s responsible for hiring people into the role you’re looking to fill.
Well in my SPAM basket tonight is yet another RESPAM-ume [that’s a resume sent to me with a generic “hey buddy look at me message”.
But this one is different. It’s from an HR Director. And not a junior at that. No less than an “Accomplished Senior Human Resources Professional with over 12 years of experience".
Ok I admit her subject line got me to open it because it was so provocative: "Results Driven HR Professional" This, I thought - I have to read. So I clicked on it with great hope only to be disappointed again with her note to me, “I have attached my resume for your review. You are receiving this resume because your firm specializes in the industries and functions I selected while using resume distribution service. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you if an appropriate opportunity presents itself.” BLAH BLAH BLAH [emphasis mine]
So I think --- ok how bad can this be?
Their must be some merit to it, I was wrong, sooooo wrong. But all is not lost. I wasted 15 minutes of my time so you can benefit from their mistakes.
Let me tell you the top 3 things this candidate did wrong so you don’t do it too.
- Their resume was titled, “current resume.doc". This is absolutely wrong. At a minimum your resume should have your name on it like John Smith when you save the document. Or better yet John Smith results driven HR Manager. It's recipient needs to be able find it later, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that you should make it easy for a harried recruiter or hiring manager. Do you know how long it would take to open and sift through ALL the other word documents titled “current resume doc?”. Do you think anyone is seriously going to bother!
- Ok sowhat else? Well there wasn’t one shred of proof in the resume, anywhere, that this person was indeed “results driven” as her subject line had promised. Not one accomplishment in 3 pages, no savings of money or decreasing costs. No streamlining of processes. No revamping of procedures. Exactly the things this HR manager would likely be looking for in the resume of a new hire. The closest I came was this line:, “Displayed great enthusiasm, creativity, and initiative”. To which I must ask – so what? Ok, so now I’m really confused. I’m just a simple headhunter but I have to wonder if this “Results Driven HR Professional” would even bother to read their own resume if it came across their desk? I think not and
- I conclude that because I opened up the properties box in the word document [it’s under the “file” prompt] to find out when the document was written. 11 months ago. So they’ve been looking for 11 months. Must be spamming now because they’re desperate. But it would be a whole lot easier less costly and better for the environment [less dead trees] if this HR Professional where to articulate their value proposition, research the market demand for their skills and target employers instead.
DON”T let this happen to you.
I concluded this candidate obviously isn’t “results driven” nor are they a hot property I would want to promote to any of my clients.
But the part that just kills me?This that this is the norm with HR people.
America is facing a crisis of confidence with its workforce.
The social bonds between employer and employee where severed in the last recession and are irreparable on a national scale. HR isn’t an island of trust anymore and it needs to be because culture is the last bastion of competitive advantage in America, just HR is responsible for guarding and extending culture.
Tonight, this candidate scars me to death. Because I know they’ll get a job. They’ll land somewhere --- eventually AND then they’ll be put in charge of hiring the company’s best and brightest – and yet another company will go belly up with everyone wondering why, is it any wonder applicants try to circumvent the “system” when clueless people are in charge? It just stuns me. Perhaps I should be thankful. No I – I hope HR wakes up and become a FULL PARTNER in building America’s businesses, because right now they’re still getting in the way --- and don't even realize it.
Here's Why you should use LinkedIn to Research your Interviewer
Know who you’re negotiating with. Ever drive a great deal on a car only to find the salesman couldn’t approve the deal? Did the 'Sales Manager" suddenly appear only to cause you to start the negotiations over? Frustrating isn't it! Suddenly you're sitting in the drivers seat and one wrong move and you crash. Knowing where a company is in the hiring process gives you power to negotiate.
You can leverage the situation you figure out:What’s their time frame for a hiring decision? How long has the position been open? What kind of deal you get with their competitor is if they have made any offers that were refused.
Lastly, do your homework to understand what’s in the deal for the interviewer. Can they afford to walk away?
Like Donald Trump said:
"The Worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you’re dead.The best thing you can do is deal from strength, and leverage is the biggest strength you can have. Leverage is having something the other guy wants. Or better yet, needs. Or best of all, simply can’t do without."
—DONALD J. TRUMP, TRUMP: THE ART OF THE DEAL