Buying signals hidden in computer code

Sell Yourself With the Lost Art of Long Copy

 

Before television, long copy was everywhere. Magazines and newspapers ran full page ads with paragraphs of text that told stories without using a single picture, and direct response marketers mastered the technique of persuading people to purchase products using nothing more than a mailed letter.


What is long copy?

Long copy is any advertisement that relies on a lot of text to sell a product or service. It is the opposite of short copy, which uses images, shorter headlines and less text.


Advances in technology have convinced many people that we no longer have the imagination or attention span for this kind of approach, but is that really true?

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5 insider secrets to beating Taleo

Another very interesting article on applicant tracking systems, otherwise known as Taleo (and other terrible sounding software apps). Highlights include what an HR rep actually sees when you submit a resume through Taleo, and 5 tips on making sure your application isn’t rejected by the software.

Job seekers can increase their resumes’ chances of getting through an applicant tracking system by heeding the following do’s and dont’s:

1. Never send your resume as a PDF: Because applicant tracking systems lack a standard way to structure PDF documents, they’re easily misread, says Ciampi.

2. Don’t include tables or graphics: Applicant tracking systems can’t read graphics, and they misread tables. Instead of reading tables left to right, as a person would, applicant tracking systems read them up and down, says Ciampi.

3. Feel free to submit a longer resume: The length of your resume doesn’t matter to an applicant tracking system, says Ciampi. It will scan your resume regardless of whether it’s two pages or four. Submitting a longer (say three or four page) resume that allows you to pack in more relevant experience and keywords and phrases could increase your chances of ranking higher in the system.

4. Call your work experience, “Work Experience”: Sometimes job seekers refer to their work experience on their resume as their “Professional Experience” or “Career Achievements” (or some other variation on that theme). “People get very creative on their resume because they think it will help them stand out, but in fact it hurts them,” says Ciampi. “Often the computer will completely skip over your work experience because you didn’t label it as such.”

5. Don’t start your work experience with dates: To ensure applicant tracking systems read and import your work experience properly, always start it with your employer’s name, followed by your title, followed by the dates you held that title. (Each can run on its own line). Applicant tracking systems look for company names first, says Ciampi. Never start your work experience with the dates you held certain positions.

The whole article is worth reading, and can be found here.

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Refreshing job search advice

I came across 683 Way to Fail to Get a Job Offer, written by Mark Manson, and thought it was a refreshing change from the usual drab magazine job search advice that’s become ubiquitous in the past couple of years. The article details the selection and hiring process after the author posted a job ad for his company.

The best applications did the following:

  • They attached or linked to copies of their previous work for me to look at even though I didn’t ask for it.
  • They custom designed their application materials to match the design of my website and even used the same font on their resume.
  • They built entire WordPress sites to act as their application, with separate pages for their cover letter, resume, favorite books and so on.
  • They included lists of errors they had already found within my articles and suggested corrections.
  • They came up with design and illustration ideas to accompany my current articles without me asking.

If you’re creative, proactive, and a problem solver, then prove it. Send something I would want but didn’t ask for. Suggest improvements I never thought of. Write something that surprises me.

Read the full article here.

 

 

 

Send fewer resumes, get more interviews

Conventional job search wisdom tells us that we need to apply for as many jobs as possible in order to increase our chances of getting an interview. The job market is flooded with people looking for work, companies can afford to choose only the most highly qualified candidates, and job seekers need to pump out as many applications as possible to stay afloat in the murky waters of competition.

What if I had evidence that this conventional job wisdom was wrong? What if I told you that it’s possible to send out fewer resumes, and get more interviews? It may sound like a paradox, but fortunately I have some data from my own job search to back this up. This blog post will discuss the golden ratio of job applications (it exists, trust me…), and suggests an optimized job search methodology that will get you hired faster.

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