Heck I wrote an article for Ezine Articles a couple of years ago titled, Want a Job? – Get Past HR, The Gatekeeper, and I think it’s still pretty relevant today.
But I want to give you some more thoughts toward actually getting into their – HR’s – heads.
There’s this really interesting article from Fins.com – I love Fins.com.
The human resources department is known for being touchy-feely, but in the age of big data, it’s becoming a bit more cold and analytical. From figuring out what schools to recruit from to what employees should be offered flexible work arrangements, data analytics are helping HR professionals make more informed decisions.
The success of Oscar nominated film Moneyball isn’t hurting either, said James Raybould, director of insights at LinkedIn. The movie, based on the Michael Lewis book, tells the true story of Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane. Using statistical analysis, Beane was able to recruit undervalued baseball players and lead his underfunded baseball club to the playoffs.
Here’s the thing…
You can either spend your time and energy trying to figure out what the HR people want and getting into their heads or you can try and find that key decision. Or the gatekeeper to that key decision maker.
But if you get stymied, then your only option is to figure out how HR people think, what their values are – what they value. Because in doing so, you potentially give yourself a leg up – sort of speak.
One place you could go for information would a HR forum. This was one HR rep’s answer to the question of what HR Pro’s look for in resumes:
A1. When I review resumes, I always have specific criteria or qualifications in mind. The design of the resume can really work to highlight or hide that information. A simple design with the information clearly laid out makes my job easier. If I have to hunt all over the resume to find information, it is frustrating and there is the likelihood relevant information is missed. Content should be clear, focussed and relevant to the position applied for (eg. don’t go into great detail about accounting qualifications/accomplishments if the position is for reception).
A2. I prefer emailed resumes in PDF format (Hyo’s comment – really good idea here – you can download trial version of adobe for free and it allows you to format a file to PDF. Give it a go). All formating is retained and there are no compatibility issues. Many employers keep applications in electronic format.
3. A brief thank you email after the interview does help to highlight the candidate if the interview went well. If the interview didn’t go well it may be an opportunity for the employer to reconsider. I follow up with candidates after an interview, I prefer they do not call me – and I don’t like to leave candidates ‘hanging’ so I contact as soon as a decision is made. I will tell a candidate at the end of the interview when to expect a call. The candidate should determine prior to the end of the interview when s/he will hear from the interview team.
hope this information is helpful, Christl
This is all about looking at yourself from the other side. Oh by the way, Phil Baker is a seasoned HR Pro who’s created a great cover letter software, OneClick Cover Letter Creator, that is worth looking at.
Lastly, a couple years old, but a really good article from online.wsj.com:
By JIM RENDON
“We’re squeezed too.” There was a time when human resources departments handled every staffing need at a company, from hiring and firing to administering benefits and determining salaries. But HR’s role has begun to change significantly as departments have shrunk at companies across the board. According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, the profession’s largest association, the head count at the average HR department fell from 13 in 2007 to nine in 2008. “HR departments are under pressure like never before,” says Steve Miranda, the society’s global HR and integration officer.
There you go – some insight into the folks that guard the first level (sometimes the second level as well).