Words to the Wise

November 29, 2018

Professional: “Now, What? Perfecting the ‘Elevator’ Pitch” – November 29, 2018

No doubt the dramatically shrinking attention span is real. In fact, most estimates suggest that even experienced hiring managers can spend as little as six-to-eight seconds on any given resume before reading further or discarding it out of hand. So, it’s hardly an understatement to say the first words on a resume are critical for capturing and keeping interest.

Batter up!

Problem is the vast majority of resumes miss the strike zone with overwrought clichés and passively worded personal objectives.  Conversely, we’ve found that infusing the introduction with job-specific keywords are the brass tacks that pin submissions to the top of the virtual stack.

“Ninety percent of the game is half mental.” –Yogi Berra

The reason is that a finely tuned, well-delivered header—combined with a professionally written, highly targeted positioning statement—is an incredibly powerful thing. Not only does it give the reader a compelling description of what you’ve done and what you are currently doing; more importantly, it conveys a sense of what you will do if given the opportunity to do so.

That’s the promise of an elevator pitch that crosses the plate.

Essentially, it’s about using the first words of the resume to establish your qualifications as a means to increase your hire-ability. Laying out your own ground rules as it were. Here’s the rundown:

  1. Discuss how you’ve directed, coordinated, or managed circumstances to generate positive outcomes in the past—that’s the content decision-makers want to see.
  2. Detail what you’re doing in your current position and why it matters—with the stats back it up in the present—that’s playing hardball with numbers and puts your skillset into context.
  3. And finally, be unmistakably clear in the kind of work you’re looking for in the future—leave nothing to interpretation and call it precisely as you see it—that’s the way to make firm contact.

Quite the tall order. Nevertheless, it’s something that’s much easier once you cut it down to size. At Resume Professors, we know that most people have a pretty good idea of what they want to say—just not how to say it.

Fortunately, that kind of thing is right in our wheelhouse.

The wind-up? Well, the truth is the odds are always tough. As it’s been said before, baseball is one of the few endeavors in life where you can fail seven-out-of-ten-times and still like your chances at just 30%. Ironically, that figure isn’t far off from what most stats in the industry suggest are your best chances of just reaching base on the merits of an online resume submission. 

Both are games of inches. And unfortunately, with hundreds of applicants vying for only a handful of good jobs out of dozens posted every day, your probabilities don’t exactly get better with age.

More distressingly, in today’s job market, even for those who are 100% qualified, it can take 90 or more days to complete the cycle from initial submission to job offer. The competition says you can’t. But we say you can.

In real-life, it’s all about stepping up to the plate.

Let us groove your pitch.

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