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Monday, June 12, 2006
Not for External Use
A resume is a marketing document. Its sole purpose is to get the interview for the job seeker. Sometimes, a resume might seem to win an interview when in reality, the resume had nothing or very little to do with securing that all-important meeting. The most common occurrence of this “false effectiveness” is when the resume is used for internal postings of positions.

“I don’t understand. It worked well to get interviews when I was applying at positions posted within the company, but it’s not working at all for external positions I’m sending it to.” That is such a common statement that we hear from clients who first come to us for assistance with their resumes. The problem is they are comparing apples to oranges. Internal positions are not the same as external positions for many reasons. Because of these reasons, they should not be approached with the same mind set.

First of all, internal positions are being sourced internally from the existing employee pool. Results have proven that better hires are made from within the company than from without. Why does this happen? It’s simple. The candidates already have a track record of performance with the company that can be verified. There is less risk involved in hiring a candidate from inside the company than from without.

The process of internal hiring is also different. Hiring managers aren’t making a judgment on the level of the candidate solely by the persuasive powers of the resume. Sometimes, the hiring manager knows the candidate personally or knows the supervisor of the candidate; therefore, an internal hire is more reliant on reputation or record with the company. A hiring manager who is looking at an internal candidate also has the ability to pull that candidate’s personnel records to see performance evaluations.

A hiring manager sourcing internal candidates also has the benefit of a frame of reference. If a candidate notes special involvement in a project on the resume, the hiring manager already has a frame of reference about that project –how large it was, how important to the business it was, and how difficult it was. External hiring managers don’t have that frame of reference. The frame of reference is a key reason that resumes for internal positions seem to work better than for external positions. The reader is coming to the resume with different knowledge and a different perspective than someone would who is outside the company.

The frame of reference and perspective of the hiring manager hiring internal candidates can make a resume seem very effective. After all, from the candidate’s point of view, all he/she did was submit the resume for the position just as he would for a position at another company. What the candidate doesn’t see, however, is the extra information the hiring manager is able to pull from internal resources to qualify that candidate as viable. It is that extra information or frame of reference that makes an internal resume seem more effective.

A resume that is “good enough” to secure internal interviews may very well be too weak to compete on the open market. Most job seekers don’t realize this and are perplexed when the resume that worked fairly well internally does not produce results externally. It is vital in a resume to provide enough detail and information to the reader to be able to create a frame of reference for the scope of job responsibilities and accomplishments. Sometimes, job seekers who write their own resumes find accomplishing this level of detail challenging while keeping the resume to an acceptable length and avoiding lapsing into loquaciousness. It can be done and it is in this area that professional writers excel.

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 /


We specialize in working with professionals in the high tech, engineering, and manufacturing industries to organize, direct, and accomplish their career goals. Our knowledge of technology and our expertise in these rapidly changing industries set us apart from all other career services firms and provides outstanding value to our clients. See how we can help your Career by reading our Blog.
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