I’ve been thinking about the people who apply for jobs and wonder, sometimes, what they were thinking.  I’m actually shocked at the number of people who run off at the mouth and don’t consider what they’re going to say.  I’m also shocked about the resumes and lack of thought that goes into them.  Seriously, consider your market – what do they want to know about you.  Here are some bad examples to learn from, from hiring people I’ve been talking to:

  • Someone calls up and says something like “Oh, finally, I get to talk to someone.  You know how it is, you send out 8,000 resumes and no one gets back to you.”  No I don’t, and now you’re probably off my list.
  • Someone puts their gradeschool to high school education on their resume.  I don’t need to know that much.  In fact, it actually says that you don’t have enough to tell me on the resume, so you need to pad it.  And it wastes our time.
  • Someone calls up and says they are attending law school and refers to themselves as a law student.  However, the college they are attending does not have a law school.  Maybe pre-law.  But they are not a law student, yet.  Stretching the truth in an interview puts you at the bottom of the list.
  • Someone calls up and volunteers out of the gate, “You know I believe that if you go work somewhere and it doesn’t work out, you just need to cut your losses right away and move on.”  I didn’t ask, and now I’m going to assume that it must be more than what you say because its bugging you more than it was bugging me.
  • Someone applying for the job that lives really far away, but doesn’t mention it in the cover letter.  Look, if I lived that far away, I would hate the commute.  What motivates you to the contrary – tell me in the cover letter.

If I appear blunt, I apologize.  These are all good people.  The hiring people with whom I spoke have a job.  Their job is to pick the most diligent and closest fit to our organization.  If you haven’t done the research or have skeletons in the closet, you need to deal with it before you get to them.  If you resume leaves questions in my mind, predict them and diffuse them in a cover letter.  Its a lot easier to craft it in writing than it is over the phone off of the cuff.

Unfortunately, the people I was talking with can’t tell you why you didn’t get the job because they could say the wrong thing and get sued.  However, look on the internet and the comments above, and learn from other’s mistakes.