Friday, January 21, 2011

For Anyone Griping about Recruiters

This is the pile of applications I received for a recent job post.   No wait - this was only the "No" pile:

You might think I am evil, because I will size up a résumé in ten seconds or less.  You may think I am short-sighted, or insensitive or generally stupid.  But I am telling you, it is an HR survival skill.  In this pile, I was amazed by those that:

  1. Did not come close to fulfilling the minimum requirements.
  2. Did not follow the application instructions.
  3. Did not include a cover letter.
People in the first two groups have wasted my time.  Those in the third are ok, but they missed an opportunity to grab me.  I don't have the magic bullet for getting the perfect job.  Or even a good job.  But please, please.  Take the time to read the posting and customize your response.  Blasting out copies isn't going to work anymore.

I read an article the other day in MSN Careers called "Job Advice that Was True 20 Years Ago -- but Not Today".  My favorite part was that we have gone from the lovely (expensive) printed parchment paper to all digital:

"Résumés used to be printed on heavy card stock that stood out from standard bulk copy paper. Today, in most industries, an overly formal résumé presentation appears outdated. Be sure to have copies of your résumé on hand when you go for an interview, just in case the interviewer forgets his or hers. And make sure it looks good printed on paper. But most applications are online these days, so make sure the formatting looks good on your computer screen. Before hitting  the "send" button, check hyperlinks, turn off the spell checker so that proper nouns don't have red squiggles underlining them, and pick a font that's easy to read."

True, true and true.


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