Sorting through job applications/resumes

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We had somone apply for a mechanics job that put an "Exotic Dancer" for a reference. We were just pissed because he didn't indicate if it was her real name or stage name, and to top it off he didn't leave her number!

I'm sure I met one of your applicants today, at my Physical Therapist's office. My first clue was when she was unable to give directions to the office even after consorting with co-workers. She told me to arrive 15 minutes early, which seemed fair enough, but she didn't tell me that the door was locked during lunch and that there was no point whatsoever in being there 15 minutes early.

For my second appointment today, she was on fine form. Each patient that came in during my 45 minute wait, brought a referral from their physician. Strangely enough, each one got a different answer when asked if she needed it. One client was there for a two-fifteen appointment but the receptionist had her written down for eleven thirty. The client was just left sitting there, for almost an hour before being seen. It was realized that an error had been made in the office.

In such a tough economy, one wonders how a person like this keeps a job but I suppose about 50% of the clientele would notice her two most outstanding assets.

Hijack over. Back to your regular programming now.

I was going to politely tease Silver Penguin about "consorting" vs. "consulting", but after reading the person in question had "two most outstanding assets", I am convinced "consorting" is correct.



Howdy, Pony. How you doin'? Hey, I'd like to share my experience and advice with j'all....

I used to do recruiting and interviewing at a top Bay Area business school for a Big Four public accounting firm. It began with upper-division business students meeting with us recruiters in an informal mixer, followed by more structured interviews leading to short lists and finally offers.

If during the mixer the student asked me a question, then looked around the room distracted while I answered--sorry, don't bother giving me your resume. As a consulting company, we need people with good "soft" skills, like listening and eye contact.

Don't speak up in a group, sorry; can't be heard in a crowded room, not outgoing, etc., no longer considered.

And that's just the soft skills. The fact they were in a top business school was their ticket to get in the door to talk to me.

Now I looked at their resume. If your resume had typos, end of discussion. Next in line... If you want to work for a world-class organization, get serious and proof your resume.

But here's the bottom line: you need to identify the duties, skills, experience, and traits required for the job you're filling. Shortlist the resumes to get at the people with those backgrounds you want to bring in for an interview. The resume just gets them to the interview. Reject candidates based on the resume for the following reasons: not the right education, experience, history, or poor appearance of the document itself. Also, evidence of living in the dark with too many cats--i.e., a little nuts.

Before the interview, write down the questions you want to ask to get at the information you need. You can have different people interview for different skills, or all ask the same questions, or do a group interview. Don't squander the interview chatting because you're nervous or uncomfortable. Focus on getting the information out of the candidate you need to make a decision. If they go on with an answer or off topic, interrupt them and bring them back on course.

In short, be as brutal as you need within law and professionalism to get to the right person. It is their responsibility to knock your socks off, and if they don't, that's because they are not professional or care enough. Particularly in this economy.


I'm a little late to this thread but have to chime in on principle. Absolutely, you need to be extra critical and if every applicant gets weeded out, find new ones. No excuse for mistakes on a resume or cover letter. Common sense would tell you that the applicant should consider these of the utmost importance and if attention to detail aren't given here, you can be your bottom dollar it won't be there on the job. The other thing to consider is that the applicant has every opportunity in the world to have these items reviewed by others. I'm even a big fan of high pressure questions that show how people respond under pressure and I also like to give candidates homework assignments. If you don't do your due diligence, it ends up being a shame on you, not them situation if it doesn't work out... and sadly in this day and age, if you don't, it often won't.

I have found from experience that long wordy resumes usually lead to well qualified applicants that get nothing done as they are too busy with non-important details. A well written one page resume usually turns out to be the best hire for me. Short efficient and to the point.