How to Pass the R.I.T.S. Job Screening Test

April 19, 2015

Employers require that you meet the following four requirements for you to pass the initial job screening and before they are going to hire you.


1. R.elevant


You have about 6 seconds in your resume to communicate that you:



  • Had the desired job title in a favored category for a respected company, or
  • Accomplished something impressive that directly relates to the hiring company’s primary need, or
  • Positioned yourself to precisely fit their spec.

I believe that you have a little longer to establish your relevance in an elevator pitch…probably 15-30 seconds.


If you can’t do any of these and you’re not related to the owner or CEO, it’s best to move on to another opportunity!


2. I.nteresting


You and your background catch their attention as being interesting and memorable.


Let’s be honest: Most résumés and elevator pitches are rather bland: Generic positioning…typical responsibilities…multiple skills…bullet-pointed familiar successes…aimed to not turn away a reviewer as much as to attract one.


In five to twenty words, you need to communicate something that they will remember about you that is appealing and differentiating. Here’s a great example from Russ Lange, a new MENG member, whom I just “met” via phone. The first sentence of his LinkedIn profile is: A marketing consultant with an engineer’s mind.


3. T.imely


You are both up-to-date and provide the exact skill set they need immediately.


To be considered, you must demonstrate that you are current and can lead today’s intoxicating concept with the foresight and flexibility to find and implement the next hot theory, whether technology or strategy.


Never forget, while they desire long-term thinking, they need quick actions that will improve business results.


4. S.pecial


You are unique…deliver something specific, distinctive, extraordinary, and productive.


Do you have an undeniable attraction? You:



  • Did something so successful that they want to meet the person with this accomplishment to see if s/he could bring the same result to help their company.
  • Generated productive disruption leading to successful change.
  • Have lead successful turnarounds they relate to.
  • Are the best known marketer in the same segment as the hiring company.

I want to thank a Hubspot tweet for providing the catalyst for this acronym when they quoted Mark Schaefer from SMMW15: “How to Cut Through the Clutter? Make your content:



  • Relevant
  • Interesting
  • Timely
  • Entertaining”

Getting past the initial job screening and into the “seriously consider” group of job candidates is very similar to cutting through the clutter, don’t you agree?

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