Making job applications is hard work. What to apply for? How to word your application? Choosing the right approach. You want to put your best foot forward. But how?
If I tell you you’ve got six seconds to make an impact…. or be forever relegated to the rubbish bin, does that make it even harder?
When I tell clients about the six second rule their eyes glaze over in a kind of blind panic. As if the pressure isn’t great enough already, right.
The answer is all about focus. And wearing the hiring manager’s shoes. But mostly you can find the answer in focus.
What is it that makes you perfect for this job?
That’s what you need to put at the top of your application and include near the top of your CV.
Then focus the rest of your CV on that too. Tell the hiring manager exactly why you’re the one. What you’ve achieved so far that makes you perfect. Give them plenty of reasons to pick you.
When clients come to me looking for help moving their career from blah to can’t-wait-to-leap-out-of-bed-in-the-morning, I immediately tell them about my 18 years in the career industry. Then I elaborate and talk about my time as a recruiter and headhunter. Key client projects I’ve hired for. The successes I’ve helped my private clients achieve as a Career Coach.
I never mention the time I spent finding my career feet. Or that part-time bar job I had when I needed to earn extra money in my early twenties. I talk about the key things I’ve done that make me their perfect Career Coach. No more. No less.
There are some CV dos and don’ts. But they are all completely overshadowed by the six second rule. I have never dismissed a candidate because their CV was too long. Or poorly laid out. Or was in the wrong font.
But I have binned plenty who haven’t caught my attention within that first six seconds.