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Think like a hiring manager

Part 1. Putting yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager can help you decide what information to include in your resume, and what to leave out.

You are a hiring manager

Consider this situation:

  • You're responsible for hiring a new staff member
  • 200 applications fill your inbox to bursting point
  • 50 paper resume's wait expectantly on your desk
  • Time constraints mean you can interview only 5 candidates for the role

Who do you interview?


It's often not the most qualified, experienced or capable candidates who get called. A poor resume can make a fantastic candidate look average, while a well planned, well structured resume can make an average candidate look very promising, at least on paper.

Here are 3 ways you can increase the chances of receiving that phone call:

  • Identify the specific qualities being sought by the employer
  • Invest time to analyse your personal career history to identify which of your skills and achievements are relevant to the role
  • Present these in a compelling way to match the position's requirements. Make it plainly obvious that the hiring manager needs to speak to you!

Your resume has 20 seconds

Your resume has 20 seconds or less to communicate why you deserve an interview. Your resume needs to arrest the reader's attention with a blend of active language, concise statements of your capability and signal that you are sincerely interested in the role.

Does your resume pass the 20 second test? Can a person with some understanding of your target role immediately see how and why you are suited to that role?

Think like a hiring manager

Your resume is competing with many, if not hundreds of other resumes for the attention of an overworked, underappreciated hiring manager. The hiring manager is responsible for hiring the talent that will ultimately determine the organisation's future success; an important job!

Each hiring manager will be looking for slightly different things when they read your resume, but three categories succinctly sum up these different approaches:

  • Will you add value to my business?
  • Will you destroy value in my business?
  • Will I personally regret hiring you?

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