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6 Seconds to Impress

Do you remember the game show “Name that Tune?” The object was to guess the song in as few as notes as possible. Today, employers and hiring managers are hoping they can “name your tune” in mere seconds. They do not have time to wade through pages of résumé jargon that does not specifically express your value to them. Shane Christopher writes for GIJobs.com, “If you can’t distinguish yourself with the headline and items that reviewers spot in the first eight seconds, chances are you won’t get seen.”

Did you know? “Your audience takes an average 6 seconds to decide if you’re qualified or not, according to studies by TheLadders. The qualified decision isn’t based on fact; it’s based on first impression because your audience doesn’t have enough time to decide based on anything more than your personal brand.” Phil Rosenberg, President of http://www.reCareered.com

We have all heard that job seekers need to be able to promote themselves with a 30-60 second “elevator pitch” but can you “name your career brand” in a 6 second “escalator pitch”? Here’s how:

  1. Create a Headline for yourself – aim for impact and clarity
  2. Be clear of purpose – know what job you want and why you are the perfect candidate
  3. Be better – it’s not enough to be qualified, your 6 second brand statement needs to show why you are a superior candidate to the 100s of other applicants
  4. Be concise – employers are busy… Get to the point, you only have 6 seconds.
  5. Be specific – employers are not interested in a jack-of-all-trades; they want someone who can solve a specific problem. What problem do you solve?
  6. Be results-oriented – Use an active voice and mention the number of people, dollar amount, or action completed.
  7. Be positive – avoid potentially negative words like “retired”