Friday, August 21, 2009

Grabbing The Attention of Hiring Managers - The Testimonial

Switch roles with the hiring manager for one moment. Wading through hundreds of resumes with job experiences all looking the same

  • Company name

  • Job duties: maintained calendar, Answered phones, etc.

  • Objectives not centered on the company -- To find a (insert job title) job that will challenge me and allow me to use my skills effectively.

  • Resumes that are difficult to follow due to all experience with each respective company written in paragraph form and resembling a novel instead of a resume.

In addition: These resumes add to the hiring manager’s concerns and questions of competence and credibility.

How Can You Grab The Attention Of The Hiring Manager?

How can you as a job seeker grab the attention of the hiring manager and ease some of their concerns about your credibility? At this stage, the answer does not lie in references provided with your resume. The answer lies in a unique approach that companies have utilized for years – testimonials.


Testimonials help add credibility by providing evidence that your product (that means you) works. Start thinking of yourself as a business and the work produced as the product. The satisfied “customers” are your managers, co-workers, professors, and classmates. How have you helped improve your “customers” lives? Did you take initiative on a project and help complete it ahead of deadline? Have you been complemented on your contribution on a group project for class? Have found yourself in the situation of training new hires and the person learned the new material faster with you in comparison to being trained by someone else?

Contact previous employers, classmates, and professors. Ask if they would e-mail a statement to you praising you for your accomplishments in areas such as work ethic, reliability, multitasking, document preparation, interpersonal skills, working well under pressure, strong communication skills and customer service. Ask them to keep it specific but vague. Avoid use of industry jargon (unless is it the industry you will be working in).


Here is an example highlighting strong work ethic from a restaurant manager:

“I will never forget the time Jane worked several hours after the restaurant closed to make sure we had everything we needed to open early the next day.” “It was short notice and she had important plans that evening, but she canceled them to make sure we had everything we needed”
--John H. Manger, Steak Restaurant – Chicago, IL

The more people that you can show are satisfied in areas hiring managers find valuable, the less reluctant hiring managers will be to consider giving your product/you a try!!

Thanks for taking time to read this article. Please post your comments below.

No comments: