How to Create a Great First Impression
One reality we have come to recognize is that most people evaluate you, and react to you in a certain way, because of
their impression of you; not necessarily the reality of who you really are or what you can do. The first impression is especially important and you only have one opportunity to make a first impression- for an audience, during a job interview, in a meeting or coaching session with your boss.
Many new grads are looking for jobs right now, and others are looking to change careers or jobs. Even seasoned
professionals are often not experts on writing resumes and interviewing. Since the resume is often your first contact with a prospective employer, it is important that it represents you well; that it creates a good first impression.
There are lots of resources available on how to write a resume. But there are some not so obvious "secrets" that
increase your chances of being selected for an interview. First, employers spend very little time reading interviews. They either "scan" manually or use electronic scanners to select a small select few to be interviewed.
How long do you think employers spend on reading an interview? A recent study indicated that employers report that
they spend an average of four to five minutes on each interview. Some might think that's not a very long time. But using "eye tracking - a technologically advanced assessment of eye movement that records and analyzes where and how long a person focuses when digesting information-shows they actuallyspend only about 6 seconds actually reading a resume.
What are the reviewers looking for? There a few critical elements.
The recruiters spent 80% of this limited time on six key pieces of information:
-Previous position start and end dates
-Current position start and end dates
Beyond those six items the recruiters in the study scanned for keywords to match the position they were seeking to fill.
It is still a great idea to write a simple 1-2 page resume with bolded titles, lots of white space, and easy to read bullets. Customize each submitted resume to include keywords mentioned in the job. For each job/title concentrate on proven abilities and accomplishments over job responsibilities.
In the next blog, I will discussother proven ways to make a good first impression.