ATLANTA, GA – As most of my readers know, I look at 50 to 60 ecommerce resumes every day. It’s incredible. Many of the best candidates have the worst resumes, and many of the worst candidates have the best resumes.
Perhaps that’s because the best candidates are hard at work creating value for their companies, while the lesser candidates are busy worrying about their next gig. I’m not picking on the lesser candidates when I say this, but it does stand to reason that a lesser candidate will be less focused on creating value in their current situation.
Don’t you agree?
Anyway, the Internet Retailer Top 500 community is fairly small. By small, I mean that there are no more than 5000 candidates who make up my space. “But Harry,” you say, “Anyone can go to Tracked.com and see that Amazon.com has 24,000 employees, and Amazon is just one company.”
Indeed, Buckwheat. But when I quote the number 5000, I am referring to ecommerce general managers who would normally be expected to do three things in a transactional ecommerce job:
- Drive high-quality traffic;
- Improve an average order value; and
- Build a company’s conversion rate.
Oh, and maybe they’d be required to manage technology integrations. Of these GM’s, I’d say there are 5000, and I’m sure that’s being generous.
So here’s the thing: I have been an ecommerce recruiter for six years now, so it’s natural that over the years I have seen the same candidates come through my inbox several times. Let’s say that the average job tenure in the IR-500 is two years.
That means that I have seen the average ecommerce candidate work through a normal job cycle three times, and there’s nothing wrong with that. These are not job hoppers. These are solid performers who are climbing a career latter with the rungs spaced two years apart.
Some of these candidates I have placed twice. Most of these candidates I have never placed.
What do the winning ecommerce candidates do with the losers don’t? I could write a book on this topic, and maybe someday I will. But basically, it boils down to this: my most effective candidates understand that by nature, I am a marketer and a storyteller. Those things are in my DNA.
What’s your selling story?
The best e-tail candidates help me understand what’s unique about them, and we collaborate very effectively to develop their strategies for specific searches — based on their self-knowledge, and my knowledge of the client. Clearly, this is not a cookie cutter approach. For each search, we are able to come up with a selling story for the candidate that is …
- Verifiably true (references will back it up / numbers will match),
- Critically differentiating (no other candidate can tell a similar story),
- Exciting (ie, fun to tell, because passion persuades), and
- Relevant and timely to the client’s competitive situation.
All of my best candidates were new to me at one time.
Remember that. At one point, all of these etail candidates were strangers to me. But pretty quickly, they had a way to connect with me and make me see their value.
How did they do that?
Lots of ways: Strong references. Great companies on their resume. Marketable job titles (versus highly specialized, obscure ones). Excellent use of key metrics. And more.
But one of the best ways to immediately demonstrate your effectiveness as an ecom general manager is to simply put live URLs in your resume. It’s really that simple.
Show and Sell …
If you have worked with Best Buy as a Director of Online Merchandising, then add the domain BestBuy.com to your resume in every single section where it is relevant. With big sites, you might want to include live links to any micro sites or special subdomains that you have developed for your employer.
Basically, I want to be able to just click through your resume and understand very quickly if the underlying sites that you have worked on look great or look like shit. Really. The proof is in the pudding.
Now then: If your employer’s websites look like shit, then you may have a problem because all of my clients want to hire candidates who can make their sites sell more stuff to more people more often for more money. Got that?
And if your employer’s website looks like shit, then it will be impossible for my clients to imagine how you can create value for them. (Your only option might be to maintain a blog that looks amazing.)
On the other hand, if your websites look great and your references will testify that you were a star in your company, then I will find a way to help you get the job you want.