Corporate Eye

An Employer Resume?


Resume 1

The other day I heard a story on my local public radio station about the virtues of having a two minute verbal resume.  It’s an interesting idea—especially because it derives from a very realistic observation:  Very often, the interviewer has not read the candidate’s resume, or at least doesn’t remember much about it.  Therefore, the recruiter will often invite the candidate to “tell me about yourself.”

Performance consultant Scott Peek recommends a formula for responding, which I’m summarizing this way:

  1. Restate your name (just in case).
  2. Spend 45 seconds recapping your relevant experience.
  3. Spend 45 seconds highlighting how your experience and abilities fit the company or position.
  4. Use the last 15 seconds to ask a question that will open a conversation with the interviewer.

Seems like a pretty good technique, speaking as one who has floundered through more than one interview.  In a way, the verbal res is sort of an elevator speech for “Brand Me,” but it also has a nice tennis rhythm that delivers the ball back across the net.

What really struck me in thinking about resumes, however, is that candidates have them, but companies don’t.  I suppose this practice reflects the presumed relationship between employer (superior) and employee (inferior) –but that view seems a bit antiquated in the days of “talent acquisition.” So I am going to float the idea of an employer resume.

After all, why not?  The whole idea of the Careers site and the employer brand is to convey a value proposition.  Condensing that proposition into a resume format might be a stellar strategy.

I think job-seekers would be very interested in a link or tab on the website labeled “Our Resume” or “Our CV.”  The page could look just like a typical candidate resume, listing the company’s accomplishments, experience, objectives and vital statistics.  The information would be presented from the viewpoint of what job-seekers want to know about prospective employers—which means including achievements in promoting employee satisfaction, diversity, career development, and so on.  Then visitors could download a PDF copy.

The Employer Resume could also be put in recruitment packages, handed out at job fairs, emailed to prospects, and made available via the corporate weblog, Facebook page, et cetera.  In short:  An all-purpose PR piece that not only summarizes the employer brand but also signals a distinctive approach to candidate relationship management.

I haven’t seen any examples of corporations using this device, and a fairly thorough search came up with nothing. (There are some examples of “company resumes” used by small companies for business-to-business sales, but nothing oriented toward recruiting.) Perhaps there’s a perception that big companies are already well known to the public, or that their story is just too huge to be captured in a summary format.  But most companies are not well-known as employers, and all stories can be presented effectively at a very high level—it just requires a little creative effort.

Love to hear comments!

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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.