So, you need a job? Man, do resumes suck

Since the economy is slowing down, I’m hearing of lots of you who are getting laid off and looking for jobs. Here’s my experience on the other side of that — being someone who is trying to hire someone.

Fast Company TV is hiring an administrative assistant. We advertised the job Friday morning on Craig’s List (which is where I got my job at NEC in the depth of the last tech bust back in 2002). So far I’ve received more than 90 resumes for a job that’ll pay $12 to $15 (not much, I know, but for a starter job not too bad — my first job back in 1993 paid $10 an hour and this one should be a good launch to a fun career in journalism or PR or any number of jobs).

It’s very possible that in the next two years YOU will need a job too and will be facing that kind of competition (when I got my job at NEC, it was even worse, they said I beat 500 people for the job that I got). How do you get past the first stage?

First, based on the resumes I’m seeing, realize that 80% are crap and will be rejected out of hand. How do you get put into the crap pile? Here’s some ways.

1. Include only an attachment and don’t write anything in the body of the email.
2. Include a misspelling.
3. Apply for a job which you are clearly unqualified for (it stands out like a sore thumb).
4. Include a Word document that can’t be opened (one person sent one in Microsoft Word 2007 format).
5. Include only a resume and don’t explain why you think you are qualified for the job (believe it or not, a well written letter puts you to the top 20% pretty quickly).
6. Send it from an email address with a goofy name. You should see some of them that I’ve gotten.
7. Apply for a job for which you are clearly overqualified for (I got one resume from a software engineer).
8. Have your friend send in a resume for you (I got one of these, actually).
9. Don’t test your email on a variety of clients (a bunch that I received were poorly formatted, had characters that didn’t display properly, etc).
10. Send it from free version of Hotmail, which puts an advertisement at the end of your email. Looks very professional when all I see is the ad and nothing else.

OK, I assume most people reading this will be in the 20% of those who didn’t screw up in some way and get rejected outright.

So, now how do you get into the final two or three pile which is what will earn you an interview? You need to stand out from the crowd somehow. Here’s some ways to do that.

1. Blog. Only one out of 98 included his/her blog address on the email. Make sure your blog’s content matches the job you are applying for, though. If someone had a blog showing how to be a better administrative assistant you can bet that I’d read every word. Same for a Twitter or Facebook or FriendFeed profile. But don’t send those along if they aren’t professionally-oriented. Do assume that I’ll Google you and search around for what you’ve done online anyway.
2. Include a customized video that demonstrates your skills and personality. No one did that yet.
3. Demonstrate you did some research on us. One person said “hello Scobleizer.” That was one of the few that was customized and demonstrated that there would be a human being on the other side who’d read all these.
4. Make sure you write for a human, but include tags and things for electronic scanners too. Do some searches on Google for “how to write a resume” and you’ll find tons of tips on how to do this. But always assume there’s a human reading these things first.
5. Don’t just apply for the job, apply for the career. I’m looking for people who don’t want to be stuck in a $15-an-hour job forever. I want someone who I can get out of that job as quickly as possible and into something more fun and higher paying. Even if that doesn’t work out, I’m looking for people who have a career in mind, not just a “job.”
6. Demonstrate that you’d be fun to have around. In this case you’re applying for a job at Fast Company with someone who does videos with innovative people around the world and who loves talking tech. No one put in there anything about their skills in using travel services like Tripit. No one put anything in there about their love of technology to be more productive. An administrative assistant who mentioned that they used David Allen’s programs, for instance, would get noticed.
7. Make sure your email is perfect in every way. Have tons of friends look it over for mistakes. I’d even pay a professional editor to do that because of how bad most of these resumes were. Even little mistakes get noticed instantly and usually get you rejected outright (there’s no excuse for sloppiness here).

Anyway, these are just some ideas. I remember at NEC that it was my cover letter that got me noticed (they had highlighted what caught their eyes) and my blog (they had printed out lots of my blogs and wanted to talk to me about why I wrote what I did).

Hope this helps one of you get a job quickly. Do you have any other ideas for how to help job seekers?

Comments

  1. Just one. Be yourself. Don’t try to impress people with your wit if you aren’t witty. Don’t provide links to stuff that isn’t relevant to you and why you should get the job. Do show me that you are passionate, willing to learn and open. Give me a sense of who you are and why I should hire you.

  2. Just one. Be yourself. Don’t try to impress people with your wit if you aren’t witty. Don’t provide links to stuff that isn’t relevant to you and why you should get the job. Do show me that you are passionate, willing to learn and open. Give me a sense of who you are and why I should hire you.

  3. I’d also add – if you’ve worked somewhere before don’t just cut paste the job description – write what your achievements were

    And – check if people not in your company/industry can understand the resume. Don’t put too specific company that most people wouldn’t understand!

    Gautam – An HR consultant based out of India

  4. I’d also add – if you’ve worked somewhere before don’t just cut paste the job description – write what your achievements were

    And – check if people not in your company/industry can understand the resume. Don’t put too specific company that most people wouldn’t understand!

    Gautam – An HR consultant based out of India

  5. One meta-idea: do not send in a generic resume. Tailor the offering to the job and organization that you’re applying for. The point is implicit in your comments above, but it doesn’t hurt to state that explicitly, either.

  6. One meta-idea: do not send in a generic resume. Tailor the offering to the job and organization that you’re applying for. The point is implicit in your comments above, but it doesn’t hurt to state that explicitly, either.

  7. I can’t help but be curious… for this TYPE of job, would you find a VisualCV helpful or would it feel “too much”? I personally think scanning a VisualCV instead of opening a Word doc, etc. would be a faster way to go through lots of resumes like this (granted, not everyone knows about it yet.) These are some excellent points you’ve made here. Interesting that you had to weed through so many misfires, and that Craigslist alone produced so many applicants.

  8. I can’t help but be curious… for this TYPE of job, would you find a VisualCV helpful or would it feel “too much”? I personally think scanning a VisualCV instead of opening a Word doc, etc. would be a faster way to go through lots of resumes like this (granted, not everyone knows about it yet.) These are some excellent points you’ve made here. Interesting that you had to weed through so many misfires, and that Craigslist alone produced so many applicants.

  9. Great post, thanks for the tips. Most of the things are pretty common but still people make mistakes, this would act as a checklist.

    I am sure some resumes however good they are get rejected because of poor cover letter/spelling mistakes/unclear objective.

    I liked that part too which talks about overqualified.

  10. Great post, thanks for the tips. Most of the things are pretty common but still people make mistakes, this would act as a checklist.

    I am sure some resumes however good they are get rejected because of poor cover letter/spelling mistakes/unclear objective.

    I liked that part too which talks about overqualified.

  11. I guess what a person seeking for a job could do in order to get it is to publish his o hers ideas, not only blog them… but build a site (if you can), have more than one blog (its as easy as a couple clicks)
    The more information the company can get about you and your proyects will make you more clear, and it will help them to know how you think and your goals or if you are active.

  12. I guess what a person seeking for a job could do in order to get it is to publish his o hers ideas, not only blog them… but build a site (if you can), have more than one blog (its as easy as a couple clicks)
    The more information the company can get about you and your proyects will make you more clear, and it will help them to know how you think and your goals or if you are active.

  13. Outstanding summary Scoblizer. I’ve been looking for someone for the exact same role, and the quality of responses is not great. I interviewed the top 4, and after the interview, handed each my card and encouraged them to follow up with any additional questions. Not one did, and not one emailed to say thank you. Fail.

  14. Outstanding summary Scoblizer. I’ve been looking for someone for the exact same role, and the quality of responses is not great. I interviewed the top 4, and after the interview, handed each my card and encouraged them to follow up with any additional questions. Not one did, and not one emailed to say thank you. Fail.

  15. I hope you’ve held back a few of your cunning tests, or else you won’t know who to interview. I’m assuming all your applicants actually read this blog, perhaps that’s naive.

  16. I hope you’ve held back a few of your cunning tests, or else you won’t know who to interview. I’m assuming all your applicants actually read this blog, perhaps that’s naive.

  17. Just a note on overqualifications: I have, at times, sold encyclopedias; taught dance lessons; been a photographer’s assistant and a commercial photographer; developed shrinkwrapped software; been an artist; a writer; ran a semi-succesful blog; coached at volleyball clinics; and, at the moment, work on corporate internet e-commerce systems. And, if I may say so, I’ve done quite well at all of them. (Well, most of them. Dancing was a bit of a stretch.)

    Point being that people have many interests and avocations and that anyone can get burned out in their existing field and begin to hunger for something new, different, and exciting. Just food for thought.

    You’d also do well to keep in mind that hiring someone with a different or non-traditional background also means that you could be hiring someone who’ll bring unexpected insights and resources to their new job.

  18. Just a note on overqualifications: I have, at times, sold encyclopedias; taught dance lessons; been a photographer’s assistant and a commercial photographer; developed shrinkwrapped software; been an artist; a writer; ran a semi-succesful blog; coached at volleyball clinics; and, at the moment, work on corporate internet e-commerce systems. And, if I may say so, I’ve done quite well at all of them. (Well, most of them. Dancing was a bit of a stretch.)

    Point being that people have many interests and avocations and that anyone can get burned out in their existing field and begin to hunger for something new, different, and exciting. Just food for thought.

    You’d also do well to keep in mind that hiring someone with a different or non-traditional background also means that you could be hiring someone who’ll bring unexpected insights and resources to their new job.

  19. Really good suggestions, Robert. I think the idea about including a customized video is by far the best. I posted an ad for a job on Craigslist a few months ago and received over 60 responses within two days. It took me a while to sort through them all and I conducted a 20-minute phone interview with the final three to decide on one. But had I received videos from a few of them, it would have made the process infinitely easier and probably would have taken half the time to decide.

    Maybe there’s a business in that. Something like YouTube for jobs.

  20. Really good suggestions, Robert. I think the idea about including a customized video is by far the best. I posted an ad for a job on Craigslist a few months ago and received over 60 responses within two days. It took me a while to sort through them all and I conducted a 20-minute phone interview with the final three to decide on one. But had I received videos from a few of them, it would have made the process infinitely easier and probably would have taken half the time to decide.

    Maybe there’s a business in that. Something like YouTube for jobs.

  21. I’d have to agree with every reason of how to get put in the crap pile. As a recruiter, I see these mistakes constantly.

    I’m not sure what I think about sending a customized video. Perhaps it’s okay for certain types of job, but this is an administrative assistant position and I wouldn’t expect it to be the norm.

    Unfortunately, so many times on Craigslist or other sites, I see employers posting very generic descriptions of the company, sometimes in confidence and candidates are forced to work with it. My advice is do whatever you can to work with the information you do have. Make it easy for the company or recruiter to see where your skills are a match and don’t make them think about it too much because it could cost you an interview. Your resume shouldn’t be only about your duties and responsibilities – find room to demonstrate your value and share previous successes.

  22. I’d have to agree with every reason of how to get put in the crap pile. As a recruiter, I see these mistakes constantly.

    I’m not sure what I think about sending a customized video. Perhaps it’s okay for certain types of job, but this is an administrative assistant position and I wouldn’t expect it to be the norm.

    Unfortunately, so many times on Craigslist or other sites, I see employers posting very generic descriptions of the company, sometimes in confidence and candidates are forced to work with it. My advice is do whatever you can to work with the information you do have. Make it easy for the company or recruiter to see where your skills are a match and don’t make them think about it too much because it could cost you an interview. Your resume shouldn’t be only about your duties and responsibilities – find room to demonstrate your value and share previous successes.

  23. For a fairly low paid job which doesn’t generally require a significant amount of experience I’d say binning those with a non-paid for e-mail account (hotmail) a bit tight. Given that in 07 you were sporting “robertscoble@hotmail.com” on your site and as a tech savvy blogger you might also expect to get binned?

    I think your point about using Word 2007 is also slightly odd. I’m pretty sure these people aren’t the types to understand about Word versions, open office and such. Maybe they bought a Vista PC with Office 2007 and used what they had..

    Same applies for testing emails in clients. This assume you understand that sending out to different clients causes problems.

    I’d say your rejections are slightly out of hand and not proportional to the position you’re offering.. Perhaps you should go for the software engineer.

  24. For a fairly low paid job which doesn’t generally require a significant amount of experience I’d say binning those with a non-paid for e-mail account (hotmail) a bit tight. Given that in 07 you were sporting “robertscoble@hotmail.com” on your site and as a tech savvy blogger you might also expect to get binned?

    I think your point about using Word 2007 is also slightly odd. I’m pretty sure these people aren’t the types to understand about Word versions, open office and such. Maybe they bought a Vista PC with Office 2007 and used what they had..

    Same applies for testing emails in clients. This assume you understand that sending out to different clients causes problems.

    I’d say your rejections are slightly out of hand and not proportional to the position you’re offering.. Perhaps you should go for the software engineer.

  25. Thanks very much for this post Scobleizer. I am currently a student in a Digital Arts and Design bachelors program at Full Sail University. I have just completed the first year of school (out of two) and there has been little to no direction given to us as far as how to apply for a job. You can guarantee that I will be passing this blog on to my other classmates and friends who are all interested in careers in this industry. Your post is very well informed and I enjoy the no nonsense attitude you have towards the information. Thanks again!

    - Tom

  26. Thanks very much for this post Scobleizer. I am currently a student in a Digital Arts and Design bachelors program at Full Sail University. I have just completed the first year of school (out of two) and there has been little to no direction given to us as far as how to apply for a job. You can guarantee that I will be passing this blog on to my other classmates and friends who are all interested in careers in this industry. Your post is very well informed and I enjoy the no nonsense attitude you have towards the information. Thanks again!

    - Tom

  27. We have been getting so many creative resumes with multi-media embedded in them.

    But one has to wonder how long those creative types will stay with the firm.

    You cant help but wonder that the more advanced the resume is – the more restless those applicants will be at any one position

  28. We have been getting so many creative resumes with multi-media embedded in them.

    But one has to wonder how long those creative types will stay with the firm.

    You cant help but wonder that the more advanced the resume is – the more restless those applicants will be at any one position

  29. Does the applicant even guess that he may be moved up based on potential? Chances are very few people even think of getting their leg in based on an administrative assistant opening. The applicants may just perceive that as a so so post.

    I used to help polish resumes in my down time as tech writer. You would not believe how often even really smart people fail to communicate and highlight adequate skills. Its the paucity of the information on the CV that stumps a potential hirer.

    Whenever I used to assist in a hire process this is what I used to do. I am a visual person, and I like to get a mental picture of who you are [abilities, what you bring into the table], and what you can do [potential], and how would you fit in [soft skills in HR speak].. I also actually check the math, [correlate gaps and overlaps, and actually wonder whether your small town has a state of the art super computer that you worked on?]

    Only when the written picture adds up and you sell yourself well, a deal is struck.

    And regarding video applications, the technology is in place, but where is the content? Bad sell on any media is still bad sell. And do you need a blogger as an admin asst.? Necessary?

    And something that strikes me is that, you may need to look into the other side.. Why is FC not able to attract, especially at recession time? Was the ad written well? Is craigslist the best place to place an ad? Or is your blog page better :) ?

  30. Does the applicant even guess that he may be moved up based on potential? Chances are very few people even think of getting their leg in based on an administrative assistant opening. The applicants may just perceive that as a so so post.

    I used to help polish resumes in my down time as tech writer. You would not believe how often even really smart people fail to communicate and highlight adequate skills. Its the paucity of the information on the CV that stumps a potential hirer.

    Whenever I used to assist in a hire process this is what I used to do. I am a visual person, and I like to get a mental picture of who you are [abilities, what you bring into the table], and what you can do [potential], and how would you fit in [soft skills in HR speak].. I also actually check the math, [correlate gaps and overlaps, and actually wonder whether your small town has a state of the art super computer that you worked on?]

    Only when the written picture adds up and you sell yourself well, a deal is struck.

    And regarding video applications, the technology is in place, but where is the content? Bad sell on any media is still bad sell. And do you need a blogger as an admin asst.? Necessary?

    And something that strikes me is that, you may need to look into the other side.. Why is FC not able to attract, especially at recession time? Was the ad written well? Is craigslist the best place to place an ad? Or is your blog page better :) ?

  31. Having had to trawl resumes in a past life, nothing hurts more than 100 resumes that all look and feel the same. You get numb after a while. :) Make your resume visually eye-catching, so the reviewer wants to read it. You want to stand out; your resume is your chance to do so.

    Yes, a good covering letter should make the resume little more than the icing, but a poorly designed resume can greatly undermine a good covering letter.

    Two ways you can improve it are:

    1) Give it a bit of color – B&W numbs after 100 resumes.

    2) Make sure it’s readable, i.e. the key information is easily found by a quick eye scan. Clear headings that draw the eye help. Again, color helps.

  32. Having had to trawl resumes in a past life, nothing hurts more than 100 resumes that all look and feel the same. You get numb after a while. :) Make your resume visually eye-catching, so the reviewer wants to read it. You want to stand out; your resume is your chance to do so.

    Yes, a good covering letter should make the resume little more than the icing, but a poorly designed resume can greatly undermine a good covering letter.

    Two ways you can improve it are:

    1) Give it a bit of color – B&W numbs after 100 resumes.

    2) Make sure it’s readable, i.e. the key information is easily found by a quick eye scan. Clear headings that draw the eye help. Again, color helps.

  33. Robert,

    All good tips. And I don’t think you can emphasize the power of proofreading enough. Little typos may be forgiven, but they still make a rattling noise in the brain of the hiring manager. Whoppers, though, will almost certainly be shared internally, usually with a withering comment. You just cannot recover from that kind of error.

  34. Robert,

    All good tips. And I don’t think you can emphasize the power of proofreading enough. Little typos may be forgiven, but they still make a rattling noise in the brain of the hiring manager. Whoppers, though, will almost certainly be shared internally, usually with a withering comment. You just cannot recover from that kind of error.

  35. But I love my julieanderson@hotmail.com! I know it seems uncool, but in a way it is very cool, because my name is so common. The fact that I actually got “julieanderson” first, before anyone else, should alert you to the fact I’m an early adopter, right @scobleizer?

    Oh well, I would have been a terrible admin. assitant anyway. I’m much better as a C-Level, I think, so let me know if you have any of those jobs available.

  36. But I love my julieanderson@hotmail.com! I know it seems uncool, but in a way it is very cool, because my name is so common. The fact that I actually got “julieanderson” first, before anyone else, should alert you to the fact I’m an early adopter, right @scobleizer?

    Oh well, I would have been a terrible admin. assitant anyway. I’m much better as a C-Level, I think, so let me know if you have any of those jobs available.

  37. Robert, thank you for the advice from a fast-moving, technology-focused, industry-expert such as yourself. I love hearing what other people are looking for (I suppose the sales person in me)…

    I will most certainly keep these, and many of the comments in mind – as I am always looking for tips and tricks…

    As a hiring manager, I often look at only a few resume’s myself. When hiring individuals I always talk with friends and associates in my industry first, to see if they know anyone they would trust. If that fails, then I work with several trusted recruiters I have built long-term relationships with – and the first question I ask them when presented with a candidate is, “What was your impression when you met them?”

  38. Robert, thank you for the advice from a fast-moving, technology-focused, industry-expert such as yourself. I love hearing what other people are looking for (I suppose the sales person in me)…

    I will most certainly keep these, and many of the comments in mind – as I am always looking for tips and tricks…

    As a hiring manager, I often look at only a few resume’s myself. When hiring individuals I always talk with friends and associates in my industry first, to see if they know anyone they would trust. If that fails, then I work with several trusted recruiters I have built long-term relationships with – and the first question I ask them when presented with a candidate is, “What was your impression when you met them?”

  39. $12-$15 in your part of the world – you’re competing with McDonald’s for the scrapings at the bottom of the barrel.
    Yes the position you have offers much better opportunities however people still have to live.
    I suspect a good assistant round your way could get $20+
    Also – some people just plain suck at resumes / applying for jobs – maybe consider putting some of the info above in the job listing – e.g. tell people to include a few words about why they qualify, what they want from the job etc.
    When a job seeker has sent out a hundred resumes with carefully crafted cover letters and not heard a single thing back it gets demoralizing and you start to just send the resume instead figuring the cover letter gets ignored anyway.
    One last thing – please reply to all, maybe even if it’s just a link to this blog post – it’s more than they’ll get from most of their applications.

  40. $12-$15 in your part of the world – you’re competing with McDonald’s for the scrapings at the bottom of the barrel.
    Yes the position you have offers much better opportunities however people still have to live.
    I suspect a good assistant round your way could get $20+
    Also – some people just plain suck at resumes / applying for jobs – maybe consider putting some of the info above in the job listing – e.g. tell people to include a few words about why they qualify, what they want from the job etc.
    When a job seeker has sent out a hundred resumes with carefully crafted cover letters and not heard a single thing back it gets demoralizing and you start to just send the resume instead figuring the cover letter gets ignored anyway.
    One last thing – please reply to all, maybe even if it’s just a link to this blog post – it’s more than they’ll get from most of their applications.

  41. Blog about cutting-edge administrative trends? Customized videos about leet clerical skills? Up on David Allen and other biz fads? Be clownish happy and fun? Meld into the techy Web 2.0 ADD hive? Are you nuts? (rhetorical question, being that I already know the answer). If you are expecting a carbon-copy clone of yourself, stop going to Craigs, and just flag it up to your navel-gazing Tweet, Feed worlds. Hold some sort of corny contest, humiliate people, it will be great fun. You hate resumes anyways.

    Disqualifying for over-qualification is crazy, millions of reasons why — career changer, breaking into a new line of work — you will get better for the same price, plus they will do twice the work in half the time, and put in extra time and then some. Directly qualified will clock in and clock out. Plus, over-qualifieds are the career types, you say you want future career types, but then you reject those very candidates, claiming they are “over-qualified”.

    And most cover letters go unread, gets tiring for the job seeker to custom craft zillions of things that are almost always ignored. Hence, clearly state that cover letters are a requirement. And 99% of companies reject attachments out of hand, plus most have overcomplicated annoying Monster-like 2-3 hour applications.

    From your list of demands, you want more of a Capitol Hill-like professional-level Admin Asst., $12-$15 ain’t gonna get that. Price to the market. And get a true-believer cult-worshiper, as anyone else will go insane and quit.

  42. Blog about cutting-edge administrative trends? Customized videos about leet clerical skills? Up on David Allen and other biz fads? Be clownish happy and fun? Meld into the techy Web 2.0 ADD hive? Are you nuts? (rhetorical question, being that I already know the answer). If you are expecting a carbon-copy clone of yourself, stop going to Craigs, and just flag it up to your navel-gazing Tweet, Feed worlds. Hold some sort of corny contest, humiliate people, it will be great fun. You hate resumes anyways.

    Disqualifying for over-qualification is crazy, millions of reasons why — career changer, breaking into a new line of work — you will get better for the same price, plus they will do twice the work in half the time, and put in extra time and then some. Directly qualified will clock in and clock out. Plus, over-qualifieds are the career types, you say you want future career types, but then you reject those very candidates, claiming they are “over-qualified”.

    And most cover letters go unread, gets tiring for the job seeker to custom craft zillions of things that are almost always ignored. Hence, clearly state that cover letters are a requirement. And 99% of companies reject attachments out of hand, plus most have overcomplicated annoying Monster-like 2-3 hour applications.

    From your list of demands, you want more of a Capitol Hill-like professional-level Admin Asst., $12-$15 ain’t gonna get that. Price to the market. And get a true-believer cult-worshiper, as anyone else will go insane and quit.

  43. Thanks for an informative post. Was wondering about the free Hotmail bit. Most people tend to have accounts with free email service providers, so it’s possible there could be an ad at the bottom. I’m mostly ok with that as long as there is content in the email body as well :)

    However, I’m NOT ok with people sending me resumes from their current company email id. Shows they could be goofing off there, and could also land them in hot water with their employer as emails are scanned by the IT chaps.

    Another irritant for me is people sending resumes to multiple job ids at different companies, which are all over the To: and CC: fields, addressed to “The Hiring Manager”, and looking for a “suitable” opportunity, which says a lot !

    Candidates MUST take prior permission from those they’re putting down as references in the resume. I’ve met several who just gave a sheepish grin when I asked about contacting their references after the interview.

    Last but not least, show up for the interview !! I’ve faced numerous such instances, and maybe jobs are aplenty out there, so that’s ok. The problem is with candidates not showing up AND not having courtesy of informing me or even the agency that referred them, which damages their own reputation in the long run.

  44. Thanks for an informative post. Was wondering about the free Hotmail bit. Most people tend to have accounts with free email service providers, so it’s possible there could be an ad at the bottom. I’m mostly ok with that as long as there is content in the email body as well :)

    However, I’m NOT ok with people sending me resumes from their current company email id. Shows they could be goofing off there, and could also land them in hot water with their employer as emails are scanned by the IT chaps.

    Another irritant for me is people sending resumes to multiple job ids at different companies, which are all over the To: and CC: fields, addressed to “The Hiring Manager”, and looking for a “suitable” opportunity, which says a lot !

    Candidates MUST take prior permission from those they’re putting down as references in the resume. I’ve met several who just gave a sheepish grin when I asked about contacting their references after the interview.

    Last but not least, show up for the interview !! I’ve faced numerous such instances, and maybe jobs are aplenty out there, so that’s ok. The problem is with candidates not showing up AND not having courtesy of informing me or even the agency that referred them, which damages their own reputation in the long run.

  45. As someone who is a true-believer cult-worshiper of social media, internet and all that is marketing and media, yet works for her family business in another industry . . .I am definitely hearing the overqualified cry a bit too often. Based on this latest comment, I intend to better assert my position as a better bet than a directly qualified candidate, but not everyone is as smart and full of foresight as Christopher Coulter.

    I am taking my double Ivy, MBA, marketing and hospitality, but not enough socnet experienced resume and giving it another shot this week. Wish me luck . . .Cecilia

  46. As someone who is a true-believer cult-worshiper of social media, internet and all that is marketing and media, yet works for her family business in another industry . . .I am definitely hearing the overqualified cry a bit too often. Based on this latest comment, I intend to better assert my position as a better bet than a directly qualified candidate, but not everyone is as smart and full of foresight as Christopher Coulter.

    I am taking my double Ivy, MBA, marketing and hospitality, but not enough socnet experienced resume and giving it another shot this week. Wish me luck . . .Cecilia

  47. Hey Robert, you should come to Dubai and try to hire some people. You’d see how really bad it is here in terms of resumes and other things you mention.

  48. Hey Robert, you should come to Dubai and try to hire some people. You’d see how really bad it is here in terms of resumes and other things you mention.

  49. Hi Robert,

    By your own admission, you’re unqualified for your own job. Can you spot the typo?

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/ofc/864699400.html

    By the way, $12-15 is pretty low for SF. I’m paying $16 for a PT personal assistant here in San Jose. Most good assistants in SF will want at least $20. $30 is probably more reasonable to get someone reliable. Even paying $16 here in San Jose, I’ve experienced a lot of flakiness on the assistants’ parts.

    90 resumes sounds about on par. 80% of them crap sounds about on par. Neither number is indicative of the economy. I have posted many similar postings for entry-level jobs in the 2005-2007 timeframe and we typically got just over 100 resumes for each.

    -Erica

  50. Hi Robert,

    By your own admission, you’re unqualified for your own job. Can you spot the typo?

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/ofc/864699400.html

    By the way, $12-15 is pretty low for SF. I’m paying $16 for a PT personal assistant here in San Jose. Most good assistants in SF will want at least $20. $30 is probably more reasonable to get someone reliable. Even paying $16 here in San Jose, I’ve experienced a lot of flakiness on the assistants’ parts.

    90 resumes sounds about on par. 80% of them crap sounds about on par. Neither number is indicative of the economy. I have posted many similar postings for entry-level jobs in the 2005-2007 timeframe and we typically got just over 100 resumes for each.

    -Erica

  51. Don’t knock the highly overqualified candidate out of hand. He may be particularly interested in your company or particularly hungry. Either way, it should show in the cover letter or other materials. This goes with “5. Don’t just apply for the job, apply for the career.”

    He may also be looking to downsize a little due to changing life circumstances, in which case he’s very likely to not want to change companies once he hires on. In this case, he’ll be more than happy to be paid what the job is worth while giving you the benefits of his deep experience at no extra charge.

  52. Don’t knock the highly overqualified candidate out of hand. He may be particularly interested in your company or particularly hungry. Either way, it should show in the cover letter or other materials. This goes with “5. Don’t just apply for the job, apply for the career.”

    He may also be looking to downsize a little due to changing life circumstances, in which case he’s very likely to not want to change companies once he hires on. In this case, he’ll be more than happy to be paid what the job is worth while giving you the benefits of his deep experience at no extra charge.

  53. I don’t agree on all points, but I don’t need to since it’s your hire;-) If it were my hire, I’d be inclined to move item #5 to #1.

    The two questions I have for you is whether you point the 80% of the “crap” resumes back to this post so they can learn. And have you rewritten the ad based on the current results?

  54. I don’t agree on all points, but I don’t need to since it’s your hire;-) If it were my hire, I’d be inclined to move item #5 to #1.

    The two questions I have for you is whether you point the 80% of the “crap” resumes back to this post so they can learn. And have you rewritten the ad based on the current results?

  55. Oooh, I so understand you:) The “10 ways not to get into the pile” are very good summary – I am mostly hitting 3, 5 and 7. People don’t seem to read the descriptions at all – complete waste of time for them and for us. Hopefully more will read your post.

    Toddy

  56. Oooh, I so understand you:) The “10 ways not to get into the pile” are very good summary – I am mostly hitting 3, 5 and 7. People don’t seem to read the descriptions at all – complete waste of time for them and for us. Hopefully more will read your post.

    Toddy

  57. I am not currently a hiring manager, but have been one in the past. And in reality, in my current position, I end up doing all the resume filtering anyway.

    I see two problems with most resumes: 1) focusing on what the hiring company can do for the candidate rather than vice versa; and, 2) talking about responsibilities rather than achievements.

    I often tell people that companies are interested in three things: 1) will the candidate help us bring in more revenue? 2) will the candidate help us reduce expenses? and/or, 3) will the candidate help us improve efficiencies?

    If I’m hiring for an administrative assistant position, I will receive a lot of resumes which tell me that the candidates were responsible for preparing correspondence, coordinating travel arrangements, filing documents, answering phones, etc. I won’t receive many resumes (if any) that tell me how a candidate saved the company a tangible amount of money, improved efficiencies, or was instrumental in a revenue-producing project.

  58. I am not currently a hiring manager, but have been one in the past. And in reality, in my current position, I end up doing all the resume filtering anyway.

    I see two problems with most resumes: 1) focusing on what the hiring company can do for the candidate rather than vice versa; and, 2) talking about responsibilities rather than achievements.

    I often tell people that companies are interested in three things: 1) will the candidate help us bring in more revenue? 2) will the candidate help us reduce expenses? and/or, 3) will the candidate help us improve efficiencies?

    If I’m hiring for an administrative assistant position, I will receive a lot of resumes which tell me that the candidates were responsible for preparing correspondence, coordinating travel arrangements, filing documents, answering phones, etc. I won’t receive many resumes (if any) that tell me how a candidate saved the company a tangible amount of money, improved efficiencies, or was instrumental in a revenue-producing project.

  59. Regarding overqualification. I’m not against getting an overqualified person into a new career, but they better explain that they are looking to change careers up front and take on the objection head on. If they do that then I would certainly consider someone like that. After all, my producer used to be a software developer too (20 years of experience) and he’s worked out pretty damn well.

    Erica, I didn’t write the ad, our HR guy did. I should have looked it over, though, and I’ll fix that typo in the morning. Pretty funny, actually.

    Agreed on the salary range. We’re probably too low but we can always go up, not down. Your info really helps too.

    Coulter: I have more than 100 resumes right now. Some of which are just fine for the job. I was giving some examples of how to stand out of the crowd. If you don’t like the advice, that’s cool. It resonated with lots of other people, though.

    Everyone else, there’s tons of other comments on FriendFeed about this article: http://scobleizer.com/2008/10/05/need-a-job-resume/

  60. Regarding overqualification. I’m not against getting an overqualified person into a new career, but they better explain that they are looking to change careers up front and take on the objection head on. If they do that then I would certainly consider someone like that. After all, my producer used to be a software developer too (20 years of experience) and he’s worked out pretty damn well.

    Erica, I didn’t write the ad, our HR guy did. I should have looked it over, though, and I’ll fix that typo in the morning. Pretty funny, actually.

    Agreed on the salary range. We’re probably too low but we can always go up, not down. Your info really helps too.

    Coulter: I have more than 100 resumes right now. Some of which are just fine for the job. I was giving some examples of how to stand out of the crowd. If you don’t like the advice, that’s cool. It resonated with lots of other people, though.

    Everyone else, there’s tons of other comments on FriendFeed about this article: http://scobleizer.com/2008/10/05/need-a-job-resume/

  61. Good advice for the resume writers but Scoble, it seems you are making a very common mistake by recruiters.
    You are looking for “someone like me”.
    That is very natural as people like people similar to them, but does that position need another Scoble?

  62. Good advice for the resume writers but Scoble, it seems you are making a very common mistake by recruiters.
    You are looking for “someone like me”.
    That is very natural as people like people similar to them, but does that position need another Scoble?

  63. Not really sure how someone can be overqualified. Surely you want the best person for the job? You mention that you want someone to be thinking of a career, so that would suggest you’re already thinking of ways to promote this person if they impress?

    The only real negative I can think of for hiring an ‘over qualified’ person is that they may get bored with the role and leave, which then places the emphasis on the employer to make the most of that persons talent doesn’t it?

  64. Not really sure how someone can be overqualified. Surely you want the best person for the job? You mention that you want someone to be thinking of a career, so that would suggest you’re already thinking of ways to promote this person if they impress?

    The only real negative I can think of for hiring an ‘over qualified’ person is that they may get bored with the role and leave, which then places the emphasis on the employer to make the most of that persons talent doesn’t it?

  65. As someone that is looking for a job this is some good advice. I’ve actually had my resume revised several times while looking for my next career job, each time getting it better and better. And thusly getting more interviews.

  66. As someone that is looking for a job this is some good advice. I’ve actually had my resume revised several times while looking for my next career job, each time getting it better and better. And thusly getting more interviews.

  67. Rather than repeat everything Christopher Coulter mentioned in his comment (every single point he made was dead accurate) here’s my $0.02.

    You used a reply-to gmail address in your CL ad. Then complained that someone used Hotmail. Good one, rockstar.

    Someone called you “scobleizer” – they didn’t google you, know of you, or read your blog. They addressed you by the freaking name used in your gmail address, scobleizer@gmail.com. You’re not famous among admin. assistants. Speaking of “scobleizer” – you said that people sent you email address with “goofy names”. You’re telling me someone found a goofier fucking name than “Scobleizer”? Right.

    You made absolutely no reference to the format you wanted resumes in, then complained someone sent it in MS Word 2007. But, you want them to be proficient in Microsoft Office. If they had sent it in txt, pdf, word and opendoc, you’d have complained of too many formats. Since you failed to include mind-reader in your list of requirements, perhaps YOU should do some research of your own on how to write a good “we’re hiring” ad.

    Someone who has a blog “showing how to be a better administrative assistant” is already an administrative assistant, for a high level exec. And that person is being paid way, way, way more than $12-15 an hour.

    You made absolutely no reference in your poor excuse for a hiring ad of the possibility of advancement in the company. When people read that, they avoid mentioning that they’d like to use it as a jumping point, because they assume the company is looking for someone who will be in that position long term.

    I’ll repeat. Next time, take the time to learn how to write a good hiring ad. Then you won’t have to bitch about it, though I’m quite sure the bitching was more important to you than finding a qualified person.

  68. Rather than repeat everything Christopher Coulter mentioned in his comment (every single point he made was dead accurate) here’s my $0.02.

    You used a reply-to gmail address in your CL ad. Then complained that someone used Hotmail. Good one, rockstar.

    Someone called you “scobleizer” – they didn’t google you, know of you, or read your blog. They addressed you by the freaking name used in your gmail address, scobleizer@gmail.com. You’re not famous among admin. assistants. Speaking of “scobleizer” – you said that people sent you email address with “goofy names”. You’re telling me someone found a goofier fucking name than “Scobleizer”? Right.

    You made absolutely no reference to the format you wanted resumes in, then complained someone sent it in MS Word 2007. But, you want them to be proficient in Microsoft Office. If they had sent it in txt, pdf, word and opendoc, you’d have complained of too many formats. Since you failed to include mind-reader in your list of requirements, perhaps YOU should do some research of your own on how to write a good “we’re hiring” ad.

    Someone who has a blog “showing how to be a better administrative assistant” is already an administrative assistant, for a high level exec. And that person is being paid way, way, way more than $12-15 an hour.

    You made absolutely no reference in your poor excuse for a hiring ad of the possibility of advancement in the company. When people read that, they avoid mentioning that they’d like to use it as a jumping point, because they assume the company is looking for someone who will be in that position long term.

    I’ll repeat. Next time, take the time to learn how to write a good hiring ad. Then you won’t have to bitch about it, though I’m quite sure the bitching was more important to you than finding a qualified person.

  69. A blog?

    I don’t think I’d apply to anyone who thought a blog was necessary to “stand out from the crowd”. The web is full of rubbish blogs. Most people have better things to do with their time, as most people’s lives are not an “interesting read” for other people. Really, get some perspective. On my first visit to your blog, I’m crossing it off the list of blogs to visit–100% rubbish. The rest of what you wrote is generic common sense mixed in with a fair amount of rubbbish–no need to blog about it.

  70. A blog?

    I don’t think I’d apply to anyone who thought a blog was necessary to “stand out from the crowd”. The web is full of rubbish blogs. Most people have better things to do with their time, as most people’s lives are not an “interesting read” for other people. Really, get some perspective. On my first visit to your blog, I’m crossing it off the list of blogs to visit–100% rubbish. The rest of what you wrote is generic common sense mixed in with a fair amount of rubbbish–no need to blog about it.

  71. I began using a web resume (built it using Typepad) more than 18 months ago after leaving a 12 year Traditional Media (radio) career, thinking it was a great way to stand out and display all sorts of relative content, but instead found it was too advanced for 90% of the companies I applied to. Many times, I could tell the link to my resume was never clicked on. They probably just printed out the word doc version I attached as a back-up and threw it on the stack. But with a web resume, I can display digital content, links, blog blidgets, pictures, video … anything and everything. I thought that would count for something … but I was wrong most of the time.

    Mzinga’s VP of New Media was hiring a few months back, and he did exactly what I’d do if I was hiring: he posted the position on his blog, Twitter and a few other social networks, and asked for people to contact him through one or more of those same channels. Of course he was looking for people with Social Media chops. But I thought at last, someone ‘gets it’, that the old resume should be dead. I didn’t get the position, but it was refreshing to have the freedom to send a Linkedin Inmail, Facebook message, DM on Twitter – I think I even did a short Qik video – all pointing to my web resume, blogs and other pertinent info. This is 2008, right?

  72. I began using a web resume (built it using Typepad) more than 18 months ago after leaving a 12 year Traditional Media (radio) career, thinking it was a great way to stand out and display all sorts of relative content, but instead found it was too advanced for 90% of the companies I applied to. Many times, I could tell the link to my resume was never clicked on. They probably just printed out the word doc version I attached as a back-up and threw it on the stack. But with a web resume, I can display digital content, links, blog blidgets, pictures, video … anything and everything. I thought that would count for something … but I was wrong most of the time.

    Mzinga’s VP of New Media was hiring a few months back, and he did exactly what I’d do if I was hiring: he posted the position on his blog, Twitter and a few other social networks, and asked for people to contact him through one or more of those same channels. Of course he was looking for people with Social Media chops. But I thought at last, someone ‘gets it’, that the old resume should be dead. I didn’t get the position, but it was refreshing to have the freedom to send a Linkedin Inmail, Facebook message, DM on Twitter – I think I even did a short Qik video – all pointing to my web resume, blogs and other pertinent info. This is 2008, right?

  73. @James

    “I think your point about using Word 2007 is also slightly odd. I’m pretty sure these people aren’t the types to understand about Word versions, open office and such. Maybe they bought a Vista PC with Office 2007 and used what they had..”

    I agree. Not only that, it’s not the applicant that looks out of touch here but Robert since there is a plug in for Office that allows Office 2003 to open Office 2007 documents. Pretty much any user with a modicum of skill knows that. Sure a user can save documents in 2003 format but I would think a business would also have this patch installed.

    …just saying, Robert, shouldn’t you know this? The document can, in fact, be opened in Office

  74. @James

    “I think your point about using Word 2007 is also slightly odd. I’m pretty sure these people aren’t the types to understand about Word versions, open office and such. Maybe they bought a Vista PC with Office 2007 and used what they had..”

    I agree. Not only that, it’s not the applicant that looks out of touch here but Robert since there is a plug in for Office that allows Office 2003 to open Office 2007 documents. Pretty much any user with a modicum of skill knows that. Sure a user can save documents in 2003 format but I would think a business would also have this patch installed.

    …just saying, Robert, shouldn’t you know this? The document can, in fact, be opened in Office

  75. I’ve been doing screening for my company, and I’ve seen many of these mistakes too.

    One tip that you didn’t mention–and that I’ve seen a surprising number of times, considering how obvious it seems to me–is that if applicants are unsure of whom their letter should address, they should not NOT begin their cover letter with “Dear Sirs:”

    Get with it, people; it’s 2008, not 1958. It’s quite likely a woman will read your cover letter and/or be the person in charge of hiring you. You don’t want their first impression of you to be that you make outdated, sexist assumptions.

    Use names, whenever possible; if you must address it blindly, use “Dear Sir or Madam:”

  76. I’ve been doing screening for my company, and I’ve seen many of these mistakes too.

    One tip that you didn’t mention–and that I’ve seen a surprising number of times, considering how obvious it seems to me–is that if applicants are unsure of whom their letter should address, they should not NOT begin their cover letter with “Dear Sirs:”

    Get with it, people; it’s 2008, not 1958. It’s quite likely a woman will read your cover letter and/or be the person in charge of hiring you. You don’t want their first impression of you to be that you make outdated, sexist assumptions.

    Use names, whenever possible; if you must address it blindly, use “Dear Sir or Madam:”

  77. Tip number seven should be tip number one. The importance of a flawless first impression cannot be overemphasized. Use a professional editing service to polish your résumé and cover letter to guarantee yourself a spot in that “20% pile”. Recall the feeling you get when you spot spelling and semantical errors in something as simple as signage — this is not the feeling you want potential employers to have about you.
    The tip about blogs is more relevant than ever now, yet blogging remains an asset untapped by many job seekers. Become a discerning blogger and demonstrate your knowledge in your chosen field of endeavour to any and all who would bother to search out your comments.

  78. Tip number seven should be tip number one. The importance of a flawless first impression cannot be overemphasized. Use a professional editing service to polish your résumé and cover letter to guarantee yourself a spot in that “20% pile”. Recall the feeling you get when you spot spelling and semantical errors in something as simple as signage — this is not the feeling you want potential employers to have about you.
    The tip about blogs is more relevant than ever now, yet blogging remains an asset untapped by many job seekers. Become a discerning blogger and demonstrate your knowledge in your chosen field of endeavour to any and all who would bother to search out your comments.

  79. I really hate resumes sent which don’t show any of the Required characteristics listed for the job! If you have none of the criteria listed as required items, don’t bother!

    It’s okay to send if you don’t have some of the things in the “desired” or “nice-to-have” or “preferred” list.

    And, why don’t people customize their resumes for each job they apply for?!? I’m not suggesting being dishonest, but each of your past jobs likely has some aspects that more particularly play to the job you’re applying for, so why not highlight those things to make it clearer as to why you’re applying and how you think you’re right?

  80. I really hate resumes sent which don’t show any of the Required characteristics listed for the job! If you have none of the criteria listed as required items, don’t bother!

    It’s okay to send if you don’t have some of the things in the “desired” or “nice-to-have” or “preferred” list.

    And, why don’t people customize their resumes for each job they apply for?!? I’m not suggesting being dishonest, but each of your past jobs likely has some aspects that more particularly play to the job you’re applying for, so why not highlight those things to make it clearer as to why you’re applying and how you think you’re right?

  81. Another note on “over-qualification” and “unqualified”: within the last few years I’ve noticed a strong tendency for job listings to have incredibly stringent requirements that basically amount to “unless you’ve already spent at least five years working for us doing this job we want to hire you for, don’t bother.” I look at the listings that the company I work for now puts up, and can immediately see that even the person who previously had that job wouldn’t be qualified to be his own replacement.

    Of course if you know the person you’d actually be working for and can bypass HR, or if the company is too small to have an HR department, great! However, I’ve been working for the same company for so long that by now pretty much everyone I knew at other companies now works with me. That leaves me in a position where I don’t have a chance at getting a job that reflects my experience, because the HR drone reading the resume will see that I have (to pick a random example) five years of CM experience using Perforce when they require five years of CM experience using Subversion and am therefore “unqualified.”

    I realize that in this situation you’re supposed to just lie and fake it, but I have a problem with being honest when I’m not supposed to be, so I get to chose between submitting resumes to jobs that I’m unqualified for (but in reality could do perfectly well) or for jobs that I’m entry-level jobs that I’m over-qualified for.

  82. Another note on “over-qualification” and “unqualified”: within the last few years I’ve noticed a strong tendency for job listings to have incredibly stringent requirements that basically amount to “unless you’ve already spent at least five years working for us doing this job we want to hire you for, don’t bother.” I look at the listings that the company I work for now puts up, and can immediately see that even the person who previously had that job wouldn’t be qualified to be his own replacement.

    Of course if you know the person you’d actually be working for and can bypass HR, or if the company is too small to have an HR department, great! However, I’ve been working for the same company for so long that by now pretty much everyone I knew at other companies now works with me. That leaves me in a position where I don’t have a chance at getting a job that reflects my experience, because the HR drone reading the resume will see that I have (to pick a random example) five years of CM experience using Perforce when they require five years of CM experience using Subversion and am therefore “unqualified.”

    I realize that in this situation you’re supposed to just lie and fake it, but I have a problem with being honest when I’m not supposed to be, so I get to chose between submitting resumes to jobs that I’m unqualified for (but in reality could do perfectly well) or for jobs that I’m entry-level jobs that I’m over-qualified for.

  83. Good advice…
    Except you’re recruiting an admin assistant, not a rocket scientist.
    Things I think are incorrect with your basic premise:
    1) You expect too much
    - According to your resume qualifications, you want someone always happy, peppy, willing to work.
    - You want someone to be qualified, but not over-qualified and be incredibly tech-savvy… as a assistant.

    2) You pay too little
    - With what you are paying, you are competing with near-minimum wage for your area.
    - Many HIGH SCHOOL graduates make as much as you are offering… fresh out of HIGH SCHOOL.

    3) Video of themselves?
    - Seriously? You expect someone to submit a video resume for an entry-level $15/hr job? As a glorified secretary no less?

    4) Test email clients?
    - Again, it’s an entry-level position. As an admin assistant. If the job responsibilities include vast tech-savvy computer knowledge, then I can admit allowing this for resumes. But since they probably don’t, why should someone test emails on different clients?

    5) Blog?
    - Entry. Level. Position. Not everyone blogs. Not everyone has facebook (or wants to share it with employers, ie, not professional, it’s personal). If you were hiring say a lead chemical engineer, yes, you could expect some blogs on the goings-on in academia or chemistry or research. Or maybe a facebook page on various projects. But you’re not: you’re HIRING AN ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT.

    Here’s my advise to resume reviewers:
    1) Keep your resume expectations in-line with the job you are hiring for. When you automatically ditch the “overqualified” section, you’re losing out on a valuable resource. Not only are these people usually motivated to move up, they can often bring new, fresh ideas to your company or design philosophy. They also tend to be more responsible and more productive.
    2) Offer a competitive wage, or slightly below. Tailor this to the applicant. There’s nothing worse when I was seeking a job than being told “everyone gets paid xyz amount, regardless of qualifications, and that’s what you get as well”.
    3) Interviews don’t hurt. Neither do reference calls. Yes, some resumes should be ditched when you first see them (60% or so). Usually I put 20% in a “maybe” pile, and 20% in an “interview” pile. Those in the “maybe” piles I usually give a mini-phone interview, call references, or give the resume a second look. It sounds like you’re unwilling to put forth that effort.

    You seem to want the “perfect” applicant to send you a resume… via CRAIG’S LIST. Someone that lives to be willingly overworked, underpaid, and do it all with a smile on their face. Someone that is “overqualifingly” tech-savvy.

    Personally, I think you’ve set your own bar too high. I expect your turn-over rate for this job to be about 2 months… if you ever decide to hire anyone in the first place.

  84. Good advice…
    Except you’re recruiting an admin assistant, not a rocket scientist.
    Things I think are incorrect with your basic premise:
    1) You expect too much
    - According to your resume qualifications, you want someone always happy, peppy, willing to work.
    - You want someone to be qualified, but not over-qualified and be incredibly tech-savvy… as a assistant.

    2) You pay too little
    - With what you are paying, you are competing with near-minimum wage for your area.
    - Many HIGH SCHOOL graduates make as much as you are offering… fresh out of HIGH SCHOOL.

    3) Video of themselves?
    - Seriously? You expect someone to submit a video resume for an entry-level $15/hr job? As a glorified secretary no less?

    4) Test email clients?
    - Again, it’s an entry-level position. As an admin assistant. If the job responsibilities include vast tech-savvy computer knowledge, then I can admit allowing this for resumes. But since they probably don’t, why should someone test emails on different clients?

    5) Blog?
    - Entry. Level. Position. Not everyone blogs. Not everyone has facebook (or wants to share it with employers, ie, not professional, it’s personal). If you were hiring say a lead chemical engineer, yes, you could expect some blogs on the goings-on in academia or chemistry or research. Or maybe a facebook page on various projects. But you’re not: you’re HIRING AN ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT.

    Here’s my advise to resume reviewers:
    1) Keep your resume expectations in-line with the job you are hiring for. When you automatically ditch the “overqualified” section, you’re losing out on a valuable resource. Not only are these people usually motivated to move up, they can often bring new, fresh ideas to your company or design philosophy. They also tend to be more responsible and more productive.
    2) Offer a competitive wage, or slightly below. Tailor this to the applicant. There’s nothing worse when I was seeking a job than being told “everyone gets paid xyz amount, regardless of qualifications, and that’s what you get as well”.
    3) Interviews don’t hurt. Neither do reference calls. Yes, some resumes should be ditched when you first see them (60% or so). Usually I put 20% in a “maybe” pile, and 20% in an “interview” pile. Those in the “maybe” piles I usually give a mini-phone interview, call references, or give the resume a second look. It sounds like you’re unwilling to put forth that effort.

    You seem to want the “perfect” applicant to send you a resume… via CRAIG’S LIST. Someone that lives to be willingly overworked, underpaid, and do it all with a smile on their face. Someone that is “overqualifingly” tech-savvy.

    Personally, I think you’ve set your own bar too high. I expect your turn-over rate for this job to be about 2 months… if you ever decide to hire anyone in the first place.

  85. You automatically ignore people who are “overqualified”? Sounds to me like you’re afraid of someone new who can do your job better than you can. Hopefully your superiors will catch on to your game and send you packing. That “overqualified” person you ignored can have your job. They obviously deserve it more than you.

  86. You automatically ignore people who are “overqualified”? Sounds to me like you’re afraid of someone new who can do your job better than you can. Hopefully your superiors will catch on to your game and send you packing. That “overqualified” person you ignored can have your job. They obviously deserve it more than you.

  87. “I highly doubt that any of these applicants reads my blog. Oh, except for one”

    Was that me Rob? haha!!!

    I LOVED your mention of career seeker versus job seekers.
    If you think about it, it really doesn’t even matter what someone studied or did before…what matters is where they want to go and where do they see themselves in 5 years, It’s amazing for me how I ask my friends and a lot of them haven’t even thought about it.

    gaby

  88. “I highly doubt that any of these applicants reads my blog. Oh, except for one”

    Was that me Rob? haha!!!

    I LOVED your mention of career seeker versus job seekers.
    If you think about it, it really doesn’t even matter what someone studied or did before…what matters is where they want to go and where do they see themselves in 5 years, It’s amazing for me how I ask my friends and a lot of them haven’t even thought about it.

    gaby

  89. Hire an editor??? Come on now. When job hunting I send 10-15 resumes out in a day. Hire an editor for each cover letter?? Nah. I’ll take my chances. Thanks.

  90. Hire an editor??? Come on now. When job hunting I send 10-15 resumes out in a day. Hire an editor for each cover letter?? Nah. I’ll take my chances. Thanks.

  91. HR drones writing job descriptions that God himself couldn’t qualify for…happens all the time, trick is to research and circumvent the byzantine bureaucratic HR groups. HR is not there to really hire, they are there to protect the company, gatekeepers rather than active seekers, and most are dumb as rocks in reference to the actual job, plus they treat people as subhuman (thankfully not quite as bad as temp agencies), direct hiring manager or nothing. HR is not there for you, will not help your career path, is not some independent group you go to with troubles. Plus you have to read between the HR lines, a company may have a work-life-balance program, but don’t be so naive as to sign up for it, most of the time it’s just for show.

    And HR knows not software or any equivalents. Example…I had Vegas (+VASST scripts), AP, Avid family, Edius, Autodesk, (and later on FCP) experience, and they wanted some generic consumer something NLE, which I had no experience with, and didn’t lie. But anyone who couldn’t see that someone with Avid training, was more than capable of handling some generic consumerish Windows Movie Makerish NLE, shouldn’t even be interviewing me. Took it as a sign the company didn’t know what they were doing, and tried to pitch myself as a SME, but no, they were stuck on that one application. So they got some college-kid smuck who managed to screw up the project royally, reap what sow.

    Then you get big companies that, have interview “procedures”, Star or Six Sigma-like methodical spew. You have to copycat Simon-like memorize yourself through them. The idea is to branch out hiring to people who aren’t used to hiring, sometimes it works, but most of the times it’s so robotic as to be dehumanizing.

    For every bad resume, there be an entire industry of screw-ups. The more you point fingers, the more they come back at you.

  92. HR drones writing job descriptions that God himself couldn’t qualify for…happens all the time, trick is to research and circumvent the byzantine bureaucratic HR groups. HR is not there to really hire, they are there to protect the company, gatekeepers rather than active seekers, and most are dumb as rocks in reference to the actual job, plus they treat people as subhuman (thankfully not quite as bad as temp agencies), direct hiring manager or nothing. HR is not there for you, will not help your career path, is not some independent group you go to with troubles. Plus you have to read between the HR lines, a company may have a work-life-balance program, but don’t be so naive as to sign up for it, most of the time it’s just for show.

    And HR knows not software or any equivalents. Example…I had Vegas (+VASST scripts), AP, Avid family, Edius, Autodesk, (and later on FCP) experience, and they wanted some generic consumer something NLE, which I had no experience with, and didn’t lie. But anyone who couldn’t see that someone with Avid training, was more than capable of handling some generic consumerish Windows Movie Makerish NLE, shouldn’t even be interviewing me. Took it as a sign the company didn’t know what they were doing, and tried to pitch myself as a SME, but no, they were stuck on that one application. So they got some college-kid smuck who managed to screw up the project royally, reap what sow.

    Then you get big companies that, have interview “procedures”, Star or Six Sigma-like methodical spew. You have to copycat Simon-like memorize yourself through them. The idea is to branch out hiring to people who aren’t used to hiring, sometimes it works, but most of the times it’s so robotic as to be dehumanizing.

    For every bad resume, there be an entire industry of screw-ups. The more you point fingers, the more they come back at you.

  93. For me, I always get stuck on what to say in the e-mail to explain why I’m qualified for the job. Or even why I want the job. Have you seen the movie “The Devil Wears Prada?” Anne Hathaway’s character responds to the question “Why are you here?” with “I think I’d do a good job as your assistant.” You can feel the fail. But really what do you say?

    Robert, what do you mean by: “Make sure you write for a human, but include tags and things for electronic scanners too?” Tag what? Tag how? Electronic scanners are scanning what?

  94. For me, I always get stuck on what to say in the e-mail to explain why I’m qualified for the job. Or even why I want the job. Have you seen the movie “The Devil Wears Prada?” Anne Hathaway’s character responds to the question “Why are you here?” with “I think I’d do a good job as your assistant.” You can feel the fail. But really what do you say?

    Robert, what do you mean by: “Make sure you write for a human, but include tags and things for electronic scanners too?” Tag what? Tag how? Electronic scanners are scanning what?

  95. I’d look to monster.com or careerbuilder.com to find good templates for resumes. DO NOT use a word template or any templates u find one some random website, they will not provide you with the correct format and this will get your resume thrown in the crap pile immediately.

    Make sure it is tailored to the job you’re applying for. Make sure you have good use of action verbs (Managed, Evaluated, the list goes on for hundreds of words).

  96. I’d look to monster.com or careerbuilder.com to find good templates for resumes. DO NOT use a word template or any templates u find one some random website, they will not provide you with the correct format and this will get your resume thrown in the crap pile immediately.

    Make sure it is tailored to the job you’re applying for. Make sure you have good use of action verbs (Managed, Evaluated, the list goes on for hundreds of words).

  97. Wow, this article is pretty lame. As others have noted, you expect the equivalent of a temporary worker to have a Blog?

    And if they send a resume in the latest Word 2007 format you toss them out?? Are you insane? You penalize them for using the current version of MS office, the most widely used office application in the world?

    You should take a hard look at yourself, and see if the world could hire someone like you. I suspect not.

  98. Wow, this article is pretty lame. As others have noted, you expect the equivalent of a temporary worker to have a Blog?

    And if they send a resume in the latest Word 2007 format you toss them out?? Are you insane? You penalize them for using the current version of MS office, the most widely used office application in the world?

    You should take a hard look at yourself, and see if the world could hire someone like you. I suspect not.

  99. Blog will help one stand out? In what lame way? The only thing a Blog can help do is possibly offend potential employers.

    If you’re petty and lame enough to search Blogs, chances are you will find something in the Blog to offend you and rule out the candidate.

    Pretty lame, all in all.

    As a professional myself, I do not use blogs, facebook, myspace, etc, because it is not professional. I use Linked In begrudgingly, because a lot of my peers do also.

    If you use a Blog as a criteria, you’re truly looking down the wrong road.

  100. Blog will help one stand out? In what lame way? The only thing a Blog can help do is possibly offend potential employers.

    If you’re petty and lame enough to search Blogs, chances are you will find something in the Blog to offend you and rule out the candidate.

    Pretty lame, all in all.

    As a professional myself, I do not use blogs, facebook, myspace, etc, because it is not professional. I use Linked In begrudgingly, because a lot of my peers do also.

    If you use a Blog as a criteria, you’re truly looking down the wrong road.

  101. I think it is probably not very correct to assume that the s/w engineer who applied for the job was overqualified. What if all he/she wanted to do was change careers? Happens…

  102. I think it is probably not very correct to assume that the s/w engineer who applied for the job was overqualified. What if all he/she wanted to do was change careers? Happens…

  103. HI Robert,

    Loved the article, and have bookmarked it for future refernce, however I would have to agree with the folks here r.e. pay rate. I would guess that one of the reasons why the quality of the resumes is so low is that the pay rate was laughably insubstantial for the Bay Area. When I last temped in SF doing administrative work, my going rate per hour was $20.00. As a TEMP. In 2001. Even here in Reno, NV I received $15.00 per hour working as a temp in an admin. asst (I’ve changed careers, since then). I would suggest comparing pay rates to what others in your field and your area provide, posting a higher pay rate along with he post, and see if the quality of the resumes improve somewhat.

  104. HI Robert,

    Loved the article, and have bookmarked it for future refernce, however I would have to agree with the folks here r.e. pay rate. I would guess that one of the reasons why the quality of the resumes is so low is that the pay rate was laughably insubstantial for the Bay Area. When I last temped in SF doing administrative work, my going rate per hour was $20.00. As a TEMP. In 2001. Even here in Reno, NV I received $15.00 per hour working as a temp in an admin. asst (I’ve changed careers, since then). I would suggest comparing pay rates to what others in your field and your area provide, posting a higher pay rate along with he post, and see if the quality of the resumes improve somewhat.

  105. Many people in tech had better learn how to farm. Your resume had better include “Soil-Food-Web Specialist” the way this economy is going.

    We don’t need another web gadget, we need farmers.

    Randy, LawnstoGardens.com

  106. Many people in tech had better learn how to farm. Your resume had better include “Soil-Food-Web Specialist” the way this economy is going.

    We don’t need another web gadget, we need farmers.

    Randy, LawnstoGardens.com

  107. Robert – Totally agree with your frustration here. In fact, as Jeff Crites mentions in his comment above, I did a post on a related topic several months back (Hiring in a 2.0 World). It obviously struck a nerve as it garnered coverage in US News and World Report and in the Boston Sunday Globe’s Business/Career section. Our friend in common, Shel Israel, also wrote a follow up post. Here is the link: http://redcouch.typepad.com/weblog/2008/03/mzingas-hiring.html

    Best,
    Aaron | @astrout

  108. Robert – Totally agree with your frustration here. In fact, as Jeff Crites mentions in his comment above, I did a post on a related topic several months back (Hiring in a 2.0 World). It obviously struck a nerve as it garnered coverage in US News and World Report and in the Boston Sunday Globe’s Business/Career section. Our friend in common, Shel Israel, also wrote a follow up post. Here is the link: http://redcouch.typepad.com/weblog/2008/03/mzingas-hiring.html

    Best,
    Aaron | @astrout

  109. [...] seems to be driven by how amazingly poorly written most resumes and cover letters actually are. Robert Scoble is the latest to weigh in with some quality advice and I’m going to throw my own out as well (since we’re hiring [...]

  110. Bob,

    I appreciate the regard you give to reducing genericy in applicants, but let’s look at it from another perspective: In this day and age, who can survive on what you’re paying? Granted, you acknowledged that and I didn’t catch the locale of your job opportunity, but under many circumstances in this job market, a prospect at that wage will be working more than one job and most likely won’t have a whole lot of time to sleep, let alone blog — assuming they can even afford a PC, internet access, etc.

    As far as passion about the job – the potential applicant may be passionate about what they do, but don’t have the ability to devote passion because they have to pay their bills, feed their kids, etc. Perhaps they’ve been laid off and quite honestly, will bail at the first sign of trouble, because loyalty is non-existent from corporate attitudes where money and shareholder appeasement is rule #1. And let’s face it, when heads roll, admin staff get pink slips almost always at the onset of downsizing, rightsizing, whatever you want to call it.

    The dominating factor in this job market, especially for lower-tiered roles, is fear. Fear of not being able to eat, to pay their bills. As a media professional, I’ve got my ear to the rail and things are bad. I certainly don’t want to appear that I’m trying to “one-up” you, but I’ve been working a lot longer than you and have seen a few recessions and this market is the worst I’ve ever seen.

    All that said – I don’t disagree that you want to scope your prospects to make sure you’re getting quality – which indeed is difficult to find. Professionalism is a dying attribute.

  111. Bob,

    I appreciate the regard you give to reducing genericy in applicants, but let’s look at it from another perspective: In this day and age, who can survive on what you’re paying? Granted, you acknowledged that and I didn’t catch the locale of your job opportunity, but under many circumstances in this job market, a prospect at that wage will be working more than one job and most likely won’t have a whole lot of time to sleep, let alone blog — assuming they can even afford a PC, internet access, etc.

    As far as passion about the job – the potential applicant may be passionate about what they do, but don’t have the ability to devote passion because they have to pay their bills, feed their kids, etc. Perhaps they’ve been laid off and quite honestly, will bail at the first sign of trouble, because loyalty is non-existent from corporate attitudes where money and shareholder appeasement is rule #1. And let’s face it, when heads roll, admin staff get pink slips almost always at the onset of downsizing, rightsizing, whatever you want to call it.

    The dominating factor in this job market, especially for lower-tiered roles, is fear. Fear of not being able to eat, to pay their bills. As a media professional, I’ve got my ear to the rail and things are bad. I certainly don’t want to appear that I’m trying to “one-up” you, but I’ve been working a lot longer than you and have seen a few recessions and this market is the worst I’ve ever seen.

    All that said – I don’t disagree that you want to scope your prospects to make sure you’re getting quality – which indeed is difficult to find. Professionalism is a dying attribute.

  112. From my perspective, cold replying to a job posting is like walking up to a girl at a bar and just asking her to go home with you. Even if she’s at the bar alone and is actually looking for some company, that’s probably not a great way to get what you’re after, unless you’re an absolute stud/MIT MSc in CS. Even then, looking for a job is like looking for a wifey or husband – take some time to get to know them. Get familiar, get comfortable, then maybe get intimate.

    Many (if not most or all) companies prefer to hire from within their own networks first, as well as from their customers/users/community. I think it’s pretty natural to be more comfortable with someone that already has some exposure to your team or your products, or hopefully both.

    So what do you do if you don’t have any connections to a company? Build some. Use their products, read their blog (and comment!), participate in the community. Get involved in the conversation, or, if you can’t find it, start one. No doubt you have many redeeming qualities that aren’t captured in your work experience and resume; showing interest and asking questions is a good way to at least hint at a little depth.

    I occasionally get asked for job advice. My first hint is usually to go to Startuply. My real suggestion is this: make a list of the companies, brands, and products that you use, like and admire. Seriously, write that shit down. Don’t you want to work on stuff you think is cool, anyway? Then, start getting to know them better; read their blog, comment if you have something relevant to say (questions are great), and spend some time actually thinking about what they do. Try to conversate. Romance them.

    My bet is that you can do a lot to increase your odds of getting your foot in the door, so to speak. You still won’t get the girl every time, but you’ll definitely have a better shot. Don’t quit when it doesn’t work, just keep expanding your circle of targets (I mean, someone has to work at Yahoo). You might meet some people, get a job, or even learn something in the process.

    That make any sense?

  113. From my perspective, cold replying to a job posting is like walking up to a girl at a bar and just asking her to go home with you. Even if she’s at the bar alone and is actually looking for some company, that’s probably not a great way to get what you’re after, unless you’re an absolute stud/MIT MSc in CS. Even then, looking for a job is like looking for a wifey or husband – take some time to get to know them. Get familiar, get comfortable, then maybe get intimate.

    Many (if not most or all) companies prefer to hire from within their own networks first, as well as from their customers/users/community. I think it’s pretty natural to be more comfortable with someone that already has some exposure to your team or your products, or hopefully both.

    So what do you do if you don’t have any connections to a company? Build some. Use their products, read their blog (and comment!), participate in the community. Get involved in the conversation, or, if you can’t find it, start one. No doubt you have many redeeming qualities that aren’t captured in your work experience and resume; showing interest and asking questions is a good way to at least hint at a little depth.

    I occasionally get asked for job advice. My first hint is usually to go to Startuply. My real suggestion is this: make a list of the companies, brands, and products that you use, like and admire. Seriously, write that shit down. Don’t you want to work on stuff you think is cool, anyway? Then, start getting to know them better; read their blog, comment if you have something relevant to say (questions are great), and spend some time actually thinking about what they do. Try to conversate. Romance them.

    My bet is that you can do a lot to increase your odds of getting your foot in the door, so to speak. You still won’t get the girl every time, but you’ll definitely have a better shot. Don’t quit when it doesn’t work, just keep expanding your circle of targets (I mean, someone has to work at Yahoo). You might meet some people, get a job, or even learn something in the process.

    That make any sense?

  114. With all the social media networking sites that are now available-you’d better be on them and, you’d better be consistent. That means LinkedIn and Facebook and Friend Feed and your corp.site and your blog etc etc. BTW, I’m looking for some collaborators on a cool project that won’t pay anything. Hit me up.

  115. With all the social media networking sites that are now available-you’d better be on them and, you’d better be consistent. That means LinkedIn and Facebook and Friend Feed and your corp.site and your blog etc etc. BTW, I’m looking for some collaborators on a cool project that won’t pay anything. Hit me up.

  116. The advice you are dishing is reasonably good, but relevant to your audience and not $15/hr administrative assistants.
    I think your point #5 is the best advice. People don’t go to work at jobs, so they shouldn’t search for jobs. Find the best company for you first, then the job will present itself.

    I agree with Luke G, just looking through job postings is pretty lame. Particularly when you are in a high demand profession/skill set, where a keyword search will return thousands of almost random results.

  117. The advice you are dishing is reasonably good, but relevant to your audience and not $15/hr administrative assistants.
    I think your point #5 is the best advice. People don’t go to work at jobs, so they shouldn’t search for jobs. Find the best company for you first, then the job will present itself.

    I agree with Luke G, just looking through job postings is pretty lame. Particularly when you are in a high demand profession/skill set, where a keyword search will return thousands of almost random results.

  118. Thanks for the advice Robert. Of no use for me really, I never worked and intend not to work… ever.
    I suppose its a big issue though (for those looking for a job of course).
    Although I can imagine that some of you guys reading this post may wish to say like Jack Handy: “I wish I would have a real tragic love affair and get so bummed out that I’d just quit my job and become a bum for a few years, because I was thinking about doing that anyway.”

  119. Thanks for the advice Robert. Of no use for me really, I never worked and intend not to work… ever.
    I suppose its a big issue though (for those looking for a job of course).
    Although I can imagine that some of you guys reading this post may wish to say like Jack Handy: “I wish I would have a real tragic love affair and get so bummed out that I’d just quit my job and become a bum for a few years, because I was thinking about doing that anyway.”

  120. I agree that “standing out” is key in the emerging era of shrinking economy and jobs. Not sure if blog is the top of the pile though…i think there are a couple of new sites that offer creation of an online portfolio, resume, career page…i think if my resume had a link to one of these online portfolio sites with a reference that you could see my video interview portfolio it would make a big difference…as an example for one of these online resume sites http://www.nuresume.com

  121. I agree that “standing out” is key in the emerging era of shrinking economy and jobs. Not sure if blog is the top of the pile though…i think there are a couple of new sites that offer creation of an online portfolio, resume, career page…i think if my resume had a link to one of these online portfolio sites with a reference that you could see my video interview portfolio it would make a big difference…as an example for one of these online resume sites http://www.nuresume.com

  122. Part of the pay package here is no doubt prestige. $15 an hour working for Scoble and FastCompany.TV is not the same as $25 an hour working as a temp. It’s actually substantially better. Impress Scoble for a year, and put that on your resume, and you’ll have a careeer.

    People still take shitty, low paying jobs as production assistants on films or clerks at the New York Times — or work for FREE as interns for politicians — for the exact same reason. These jobs lead somewhere. The people you get to work with are the type of people you want to be one day when your career is further along.

    Is an employer that has this prestige at their disposal being a jerk by paying less? Perhaps. But my experience is that the organizations with jobs like this don’t have as much money to spend. If you’re looking for a high paying, soulless job, go to Wall Street instead. Oh wait. Too late.

  123. Part of the pay package here is no doubt prestige. $15 an hour working for Scoble and FastCompany.TV is not the same as $25 an hour working as a temp. It’s actually substantially better. Impress Scoble for a year, and put that on your resume, and you’ll have a careeer.

    People still take shitty, low paying jobs as production assistants on films or clerks at the New York Times — or work for FREE as interns for politicians — for the exact same reason. These jobs lead somewhere. The people you get to work with are the type of people you want to be one day when your career is further along.

    Is an employer that has this prestige at their disposal being a jerk by paying less? Perhaps. But my experience is that the organizations with jobs like this don’t have as much money to spend. If you’re looking for a high paying, soulless job, go to Wall Street instead. Oh wait. Too late.

  124. Even better is to not need a resume at all.

    Joe Girard, formerly the world’s #1 care salesman, used to say that everyone knows about 250 people on average. He sold more cars than many entire dealerships simply by mailing a card once a month to everyone who ever bought from him.

    If most people made a plan to contact 10 people each day, they could cycle through 250 names a month, with weekends off.

    Factor in the 250 people those 250 people know, and you could be 2 phone calls away from 62,500 people — if you were as systematic about this as Joe Girard. There ought to be a job lead in there somewhere.

    Here’s a link to a video of a guy who did a short version of this and got a job lead in 5 minutes – http://tinyurl.com/4dzzw4

    … no resume needed :-)

  125. Even better is to not need a resume at all.

    Joe Girard, formerly the world’s #1 care salesman, used to say that everyone knows about 250 people on average. He sold more cars than many entire dealerships simply by mailing a card once a month to everyone who ever bought from him.

    If most people made a plan to contact 10 people each day, they could cycle through 250 names a month, with weekends off.

    Factor in the 250 people those 250 people know, and you could be 2 phone calls away from 62,500 people — if you were as systematic about this as Joe Girard. There ought to be a job lead in there somewhere.

    Here’s a link to a video of a guy who did a short version of this and got a job lead in 5 minutes – http://tinyurl.com/4dzzw4

    … no resume needed :-)

  126. I fully agree with what you said there, a few months back I was looking at a whole pile of CV’s (around 50 or so), for a job tailored for a university student to take a 1 year internship – and pretty much all of them got thrown out for one reason or another – we ended up interviewing 3 people out of that 50.

  127. I fully agree with what you said there, a few months back I was looking at a whole pile of CV’s (around 50 or so), for a job tailored for a university student to take a 1 year internship – and pretty much all of them got thrown out for one reason or another – we ended up interviewing 3 people out of that 50.

  128. Yeah thats it – use a high quality email address instead of a throwaway so you last surviving inbox can get blasted with incest porno when they give away your email address.

    No thanks. I’ll be sending throwaway emails..

  129. Yeah thats it – use a high quality email address instead of a throwaway so you last surviving inbox can get blasted with incest porno when they give away your email address.

    No thanks. I’ll be sending throwaway emails..

  130. The real problem is employers don’t do anything that encourages the person who is really motivated and qualified to apply. Instead, hiring and dealing with applicants is seen as a burden.

    If employers really wanted to find the right people, they’d publish the name and phone number of the hiring manager. Professional people would know how to handle and present themselves. Wannabees would hang themselves in the process.

    You are right, resumes are completely inadequate to demonstrate competence today. That’s especially true when an economy decimates your industry or field and employers insist you must present yourself in terms of what you’ve done before. That’s not a winning formula in an environment of change, especially for applicants who are ready, willing and able to change. Question is, are employers?

  131. The real problem is employers don’t do anything that encourages the person who is really motivated and qualified to apply. Instead, hiring and dealing with applicants is seen as a burden.

    If employers really wanted to find the right people, they’d publish the name and phone number of the hiring manager. Professional people would know how to handle and present themselves. Wannabees would hang themselves in the process.

    You are right, resumes are completely inadequate to demonstrate competence today. That’s especially true when an economy decimates your industry or field and employers insist you must present yourself in terms of what you’ve done before. That’s not a winning formula in an environment of change, especially for applicants who are ready, willing and able to change. Question is, are employers?

  132. I think that the general consensus of all here is that Administrative Assistants are lower on the job chain. I can assure you that if you feel this way that you haven’t had a real administrative assistant and maybe the reason you are getting the bottom of the barrel is becuase you pay as such. The admins within ur company make upwards of $75 gran a year and well worth every penny. They are an essential part of our organization and their loyalty is unmatched.

  133. I think that the general consensus of all here is that Administrative Assistants are lower on the job chain. I can assure you that if you feel this way that you haven’t had a real administrative assistant and maybe the reason you are getting the bottom of the barrel is becuase you pay as such. The admins within ur company make upwards of $75 gran a year and well worth every penny. They are an essential part of our organization and their loyalty is unmatched.

  134. I am not looking for a job. I am trying to run a few ads to sell a boat,a old
    train.a truck cap after I write my add it brings me to a code I put the code in the box then it says are you human I check yes and another box with about 75 # and letters it will not let me post.
    If any one has an idea please help.

    thank you Tom

  135. I am not looking for a job. I am trying to run a few ads to sell a boat,a old
    train.a truck cap after I write my add it brings me to a code I put the code in the box then it says are you human I check yes and another box with about 75 # and letters it will not let me post.
    If any one has an idea please help.

    thank you Tom

  136. Is there a page or a phone # so I could talk to somebody at criagslist.

    the help would be cool.

    Thank you Tom

  137. Very interesting post. I agree…resumes tend to all blend together – at least in the software development world. Everyone ends up looking exactly the same. I’ve thought a bit about this…I think the problem is the resume itself. It’s just a poor tool for communicating who you are (quickly).

    I recently came up with one solution to this problem – “how do you set yourself apart to get that first interview”. It’s essentially an interactive resume for software developers, showing a person’s skills and experiences from different perspectives: timeline, dashboard, etc. Check it out at:

    http://www.coderscv.com/

  138. Very interesting post. I agree…resumes tend to all blend together – at least in the software development world. Everyone ends up looking exactly the same. I’ve thought a bit about this…I think the problem is the resume itself. It’s just a poor tool for communicating who you are (quickly).

    I recently came up with one solution to this problem – “how do you set yourself apart to get that first interview”. It’s essentially an interactive resume for software developers, showing a person’s skills and experiences from different perspectives: timeline, dashboard, etc. Check it out at:

    http://www.coderscv.com/

  139. [...] Scoble, a famous tech personality in Silicon Valley, is hiring an assistant. In a post expressing his frustrations with the résumés he’s received so far, he lets the candidates know the best way to stand out: [...]

  140. Excellent advice. It’s easier than ever to apply for jobs online – which makes the job of finding a job tougher than ever since there is so much more competition. Employers are looking for people that will perform well – and every step of the application process is a reflection of the quality of work you would end up doing for the company if they hired you.

    There is more advice in my book, Get A Job! Your Guide to Making Successful Career Moves, available on Amazon and at http://www.thegetajobbook.com

    You can also get free advice at my blog (co-written with Jim Stroud, author of The Job Search Strategist) at http://jobs.therecruiterslounge.com

    To your success,

    David B. Wright
    Author, Get A Job! Your Guide to Making Successful Career Moves

  141. Excellent advice. It’s easier than ever to apply for jobs online – which makes the job of finding a job tougher than ever since there is so much more competition. Employers are looking for people that will perform well – and every step of the application process is a reflection of the quality of work you would end up doing for the company if they hired you.

    There is more advice in my book, Get A Job! Your Guide to Making Successful Career Moves, available on Amazon and at http://www.thegetajobbook.com

    You can also get free advice at my blog (co-written with Jim Stroud, author of The Job Search Strategist) at http://jobs.therecruiterslounge.com

    To your success,

    David B. Wright
    Author, Get A Job! Your Guide to Making Successful Career Moves

  142. People always hate to talk about when they are laid off. But as it has become every day’s news headline since Yahoo started it with cutting 1500 of its task force last year, now a need of platform has been in demand where people can express their selves in words how they are feeling about their company, whey the got laid off was that justified or not.
    And every thing they want to tell anonymously.And http://www.layoffgossip.com is providing you that platform.

  143. People always hate to talk about when they are laid off. But as it has become every day’s news headline since Yahoo started it with cutting 1500 of its task force last year, now a need of platform has been in demand where people can express their selves in words how they are feeling about their company, whey the got laid off was that justified or not.
    And every thing they want to tell anonymously.And http://www.layoffgossip.com is providing you that platform.

  144. I have a very close friend, who graduated from Harvard. Worked for ML for over 8 years, recently he’s been “right sized” too, despite of his outstanding performance and the increasing revenue he generated. OMG, now the banking industry is badly hurt, how long it would take for those financial background guys like him get back to the job market. Banking jobs are not there as much as before as easily seen on http://www.joboutlets.com and other job sites in the region

  145. I have a very close friend, who graduated from Harvard. Worked for ML for over 8 years, recently he’s been “right sized” too, despite of his outstanding performance and the increasing revenue he generated. OMG, now the banking industry is badly hurt, how long it would take for those financial background guys like him get back to the job market. Banking jobs are not there as much as before as easily seen on http://www.joboutlets.com and other job sites in the region

  146. This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone!!Definitely this is a strategy which every one wants to follow!!But this is not too wellknown hence there are a lot of confusions in it which will be solved as we go stage higher and read this article with new additions in it!—————————brad pittcover letter

  147. This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone!!
    Definitely this is a strategy which every one wants to follow!!But this is not too wellknown hence there are a lot of confusions in it which will be solved as we go stage higher and read this article with new additions in it!
    —————————
    brad pitt
    cover letter

  148. So Rob, did u ever find the perfect Admin Assistant? I am the 1 who commented about being overqualified 9 months ago & u responded later on.Also met u w/Steph &Marshall @the Stock Exchange & 140 Characters in June.

  149. Great post! I work for a job site, and heard lots of tips on creating a resume, but this so far is the best advice. Will recommend to all job seekers. :)
    Can I use the Russian translation of this article on my site with a link to this entry?