Let’s Cut Your Job Search Time in Half (Part Two)

in half

The fundamental concept that all Forward Motion programs emphasize is the importance of finding employment that is a good fit.

I encourage clients to ONLY apply for jobs that they believe are a good fit. That way, they have done their “due-diligence” and increased the odds that they will land a job with the potential to be a good match.

In Part One of this post yesterday, we asked you to consider eight questions from both the applicant side and the recruiter side of a job opportunity. Our goal: to help determine: 1) if you are really qualified for the job before you apply, and; 2) how the recruiter would perceive you as applicant after you applied. In other words: is there is a mutually-beneficial match?

In most cases, as frustrating as it may be to hear, there is not a match.

So today in Part Two, we focus on how to establish credibility with an employer – and prove you are the right person for that job – even before you apply.

Are You Who You Say You Are?

Hiring professionals often complain about the poor quality of résumés that they receive. In addition, Career Builder reports that 58% of résumés contain lies and mis-truths. For HR pros and recruiters who feel nothing can be worse than to be embarrassed by a bad hire, this is personal… so we can rest assured that every candidate is going to get thoroughly checked out by every employer!

Hiring professionals are keen people-readers. When we are excited about something it comes across—both in our writing (cover letter and résumé), as well as our demeanor and verbiage. Genuine excitement is detectible; it isn’t something that can be faked. Or sold.

Just One Example: “Passion”

For instance, there’s an overuse of the word “passion” (just my opinion) in the branding of many job seekers. In a line on a resume, the “passion” selling goes something like this:

“I have a passion for project management.”

Yes, that may sound good to a candidate. But here’s what a hiring professional thinks:


So they start to dig in… their job, at this point, is to determine if you are who you say you are. So they ask:

  • Is that the message I’ll find when I check you out online?
  • Is that what you talk about on LinkedIn?
  • Is that the kind of books you are reading?
  • Do you go to the PMI chapter meetings (PMI=Project Management Institute)
  • Do you continue your education by learning new project management software?

“No? Well … as a hiring professional, I thought you said it was your passion. Hmm … I’m not seeing it so that raises questions for me. I’d better take a closer look…”

  • Are you following project management groups and companies on LinkedIn?
  • Have you contributed to project management chat rooms?
  • Do you have contacts and mentors who are project managers?
  • Do you follow the big guns in the project management world on Twitter?
  • Are there recommendations in your LinkedIn profile by people in the project management world?

Social Proof Now Mandatory

Do you get the idea? If you say you are a “passionate project manager” then you must provide social proof – and establish credibility – before you apply.

The same goes for every other claim on your resume: social proof is required to back up your claim.

With the high number of false, forged, counterfeit, and phony résumés that hiring professionals receive every day, your online persona is going to result in one of two things:

  1. Cause you to be eliminated from the candidate pool
  2. Support your candidacy – and prove there is a match

If the hiring professional finds mixed messages, you will be eliminated. So everything the hiring professional finds about you online must support your candidacy. The recruiter must see a match!

How Does This Help My Job Search?

So after reading Part One and Part Two of this post, you may be asking:

“How exactly does this cut my job search in half?”

And here is the answer…

If job seekers would take the time to carefully scrutinize job postings before they apply, apply to those jobs where they could do the job while fitting in to the existing culture, and establish credibility though social proof they would:

  • Reduce the number of applications that have to be prepared and processed
  • Minimize the number of rejections (and the anxiety that goes along with rejection)
  • Greatly increase the likelihood of being invited to job interviews
  • Reduce the applications cluttering up the hiring funnel, thereby increasing response time from employers
  • Avoid alienating and exasperating the hiring communities
  • Through feedback and experience, learn what does and does not work at a faster rate
  • Get hired quicker

That is how you avoid the resume black hole. That is how you get hired quicker.

That is how you cut your job search time in half.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Forward Motion Careers!


Forward Motion


Marcia LareauAbout the Author: Dr. Marcia LaReau has served in the business world for over ten years, including Fortune 100 companies. As a Curriculum Designer and Learning Technologist, she lead training initiatives for projects spanning 44,000 employees on four continents. As an HR Director, her use of unique, effective communication skills focused on learning processes to increase effectiveness and employee efficiency thereby reducing training budgets and maximizing training ROI.  



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