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Is Your Resume a Cliffhanger?


By Robert P. Poindexter

The ‘Cliffhanger.’  That gut wrenching event brought to you by evil television producers as a way to entice you to stay tuned in to whatever mindless drivel you’ve been tricked into watching in the first place.

Did your new favorite contestant on ‘The Biggest Loser’ lose enough to stay above the ‘red-line’? Will the bad guy on this week’s episode of  ‘Survivor’ finally get his comeuppance? Will the weatherman really give us the forecast after this next break?

Guess what Mr. commercial producer? We have remote controls now. And even those of us who don’t have TiVo still have mute buttons that protect us from sitting through the latest 10-minute long wonder drug commercial whose side effects seem far worse than the ailment they were designed to treat. I think I’d rather have a few sleepless nights than take something that may increase my thoughts of suicide, cause kidney failure or give me a bloated feeling with occasional heart palpitations.

But thanks just the same. Of course the length of your message does explain the fifty-dollar-per-pill purchase price.

I will admit, however, that every once in a while, a commercial will catch my attention to the point that I turn back on the sound, but only when I see something that piques my interest.

The insurance commercial with the woodchucks is always entertaining. Then there’s the one that features a guy whose name is ‘Mayhem.’ I don’t use either one of these carriers, and no matter how entertaining the ads are, I doubt I ever will. But I do appreciate their entertaining sponsorship of my local broadcast.

The good news for these purveyors of insurance and pharmaceuticals, I’m not the only one watching their commercials. Other people are as well–other people who have a need they are attempting to fill. So, even though I may not engage them, they know someone will, or they wouldn’t be spending so much time and money producing those ads.

As a person involved in a job search, you don’t have the luxury of this type of advertisement. Your career documents must be laser focused in order to appeal to a very specific audience. Your sales pitch must be able to get the hiring manager’s attention, or you risk having your resume fast forwarded through, or worse, muted.

Receiving the resume is the cliffhanger for the hiring manager. Be sure you’re giving them a good reason to ‘stay tuned.’

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