An “Opportunity” to Discuss: Resumes; Recruiting; ….and DATING?!
Recently I was invited to be a guest speaker for a college undergrad senior class. The topic was recruiting. The class was engaged and asked a lot of great questions – very fun. I had two interesting take-aways…
- This “opportunity” re-affirmed my direction on experiential-learning, or action-learning. I was hoping to help the class better understand the intricacies and nuances of the recruiting process. My challenge was to deliver this talk in a meaningful, non-boring, impactful way….this was a night class, so I wasn’t sure what kind of attention span to expect! First of all, like most people, the students thought recruiting to be merely a name-gathering exercise. It is so much more! So how was I going to convey this big topic in the time allotted?! I used my favorite “recruitment process” analogy as a basis for the exercise (see: http://www.upwordsinc.com/executivesearch-process.php) …how the steps of “the dating process” closely match up with the recruitment process. Since these young adults are in the throes of dating, it seemed like a pretty good angle. I had the students volunteer for various roles in our little analogy drama (the lone guy got to be “the guy”). We also had a Scribe, “the female”, and “the friend”. I had the students physically act out the dating process, stopping at each point to identify the interaction (i.e. finding out if the guy is right for your friend, the blind date, the engagement, etc.). Then….we correlated the recruitment process to the dating process. They had to think…and they had to participate! I am very hopeful and confident they learned something. They got it! …and so did I!! I saw their reactions to a non-lecture-information-dumping approach – it was great. I saw the wheels turning (they had to actually respond and interact!). Once again, this approach to learning has proved to be the way to go. They learned, I learned.
- The Resume. I made the class an offer. After I passed out my card, I told them if they contacted me/sent me their resumes, I would call them with a verbal opinion/ my perspective. A couple of students have already taken me up on my offer. Their resumes were surprisingly good actually…but….I think as a whole, people miss the point of a resume. What was missing in their resumes was the same thing I see missing in most resumes. It is not a listing of information – well, let me re-phrase, it is not just a listing of information. A resume needs to speak to who you are. It represents “you” when you are not present to represent yourself. So many resumes are VANILLA, (especially for college grads since they have a minimal amount of experience). Most candidates seem to think the employer is looking for a detailed account of their “responsibilities”. Not true. The employer is looking for a detailed account of their “accomplishments”. Seriously, if another person had the same job history as you, and it was about listing responsibilities, technically, the resumes would look the same, right? The job of your resume is to highlight YOU…what YOU are capable of, what YOU have done/accomplished…not just what you were hired to do.
It was great to combine areas of my expertise & passion into this single event: connecting with the class; delivering a message in a way that they “got it”; educating/clarifying the topic of recruiting; and helping these soon-to-be-grads better represent themselves on paper. I’m anxiously awaiting the test scores :)