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Less Than Five Minutes Spent on a Single Resume

Evren Esen director of Survey Programs at SHRM -TotalPicture Radio interviewEvren Esen

A new Society of Human Resource Management survey, released at the recent SHRM Talent Management Conference in Nashville, Tenn, provides insight into how HR looks at resumes and cover letters and how organizations conduct interviews.

The press release headline, "Less Than Five Minutes Spent on a Single Resume, SHRM Survey Says," should be no surprise to anyone. Given the cut-backs in many in-house corporate HR and recruiting teams, and the influx of resumes responding to any job opening, having a set of human eyes gaze at your resume - even for 30 seconds - is close to a miricle.  At large companies, ATS (applicant tracking systems) are very efficient at weeding out most resume summissions before they hit a recruiter's desk.

Welcome to a Career Strategy podcast on TotalPicture Radio, this is Peter Clayton reporting. Joining me today from Alexandria, Va is Evren Esen director of Survey Programs at SHRM. She oversees the development and production of surveys and polls on HR and business topics through SHRM's Research area which releases data from approximately 30 research findings each year. This podcast is about resumes, cover letters and interviews, and the latest approach companies are taking in their hiring practices. If you are a current job candidate, pay attention!

Questions Peter Clayton asks Evren Esen in this podcast:

  • Evren, the headline on the press release regarding the survey "Less Than Five Minutes Spent on a Single Resume, SHRM Survey Says" - Not really a surprise, right? Considering the volume of resumes recruiters have to deal with.
  • Almost all respondents to the survey (93 percent) said inaccuracies in resumes either sometimes or always negatively impacted their decision to extend a job interview. Can you expand on this?
  • Is there a different approach job seekers should take when submitting resumes -- depending on the size of the organization they're applying to?
  • What is the preferred format for a resume?
  • Are there any other things regarding content or formatting that can provide a positive edge?
  • How many years of job history should a job candidate include on a resume?
  • Do typos or grammatical errors on resumes matter?
  • Is this true for both large and small companies?
  • You know Evren, many people today have struggled to stay meaningfully employed. How should those with large gaps in their resume handle this?
  • What about cover letters? Are those still expected? Will you be automatically eliminated if you don't include a cover letter?
  • As you know, many candidates complain about the resume black hole -- you submit your resume on the company's website and never hear back from them. So is there an alternative method that acceptable for submitting a resume?
  • What interview formats are used by most companies?
  • If a candidate has been fired or laid off, how should they handle this?
  • After an interview, what's the best way to send a thank you note?
  • Again, does company size matter?
  • How, and when show a job candidate follow-up after an interview?
  • What advice did HR leaders responding to your survey give job candidates regarding interviews?
  • In conducting and analyzing the data from the survey, what surprised you?
  • Other than what we've discussed, is there anything you would recommend a job candidate do?
Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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