So who is the 4th audience, why are they important to job seekers, how do they influence hiring, What’s different about them, what do they look for, and where do they look?
Important 4th Audience Considerations:
- Who are they? The 4th audience is your hiring manager’s boss, peers, and team. Often, you haven’t interviewed with them, and haven’t met many of them. Yet, they are being asked to choose who gets the job. Dysfunctional? Perhaps, but it’s a very common business practice for jobs at all levels.
- Why should you care about the 4th audience? The 4th audience has a great deal of influence over which of the top 3 candidates gets the offer. If you find that you are often considered as a finalist but failing to get the offer, you may not be appealing well to the 4th audience – who may be blocking you from getting offers.
- How does the 4th audience influence the hiring process? Managers and senior staff have probably been in the role of the 4th audience working when they are asked to look over a few resumes and give their opinion. These are typically the finalists and the hiring manager is looking for buy-in. The hiring manager also want to cover their own butt in case the new employee is a disaster.
- What’s different about the 4th audience? The candidate often hasn’t met the 4th audience – with some opportunities you may not have met or spoken to any of the boss, peers or team members who will offer opinions of your candidacy. If you haven’t met them or talked to them it’s even more difficult to guess what’s important to them, what are their major problems, or their goals.
- What do they look for? While each member of the 4th audience may have their own agenda, there should be some common threads. The 4th audience looks primarily for fit. Since each of the finalists should have the necessary background, skills, experiences, and accomplishments to perform the job, the remaining question is which finalist will work best with the team. Much of the fit question revolves around communication skills – who can communicate most productively with the team?
- Where do they look? If the average resume reader spends 15 seconds reviewing your resume, it’s a good bet that the 4th audience spends less time. The 4th audience will likely review the top half of your first page and the first bullet point of each job you’ve held in the past 10 years. You’re not likely to get more attention than that – but that’s ok. You won’t need more of their time if you can guess where they will look. Make sure you use language to communicate to the 4th audience in these parts of your resume’s real estate.
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