This is a guest post by Corey Harlock.
Some people believe that the hiring process is designed to showcase yourself.
Even more believe that a resume is a creative writing exercise that you can use to separate yourself from the competition.
The truth is… neither is true.
The hiring process is designed by hiring managers so they can eliminate you as quickly as possible. If a hiring manager could spend less time looking at your resume they would. As it is, they spend anywhere from 5 – 10 seconds before they eliminate you.
They are very sneaky about it too. They’ll ask you to include “extra” bits of information and lead you to believe that this is a way for you to differentiate yourself while they actually use the information to eliminate you. Providing certain information is like gambling with the opportunity to get an interview.
Following the crowd and making the same mistakes as everyone else is risky. Is your job search “risky?” If it’s not working it probably is.
For example, I did a 1 hour presentation for 22 career center managers of all the post secondary facilities here in Alberta. I purposely omitted talking about cover letters because they aren’t relevant anymore. No one asks for them and the few that do don’t read them.
Of course when it came time for questions they wanted to talk about cover letters. When I told them I recommend my people don’t use them about 1/3 of the room almost fell of their chairs.
One lady in the back told me about how she had just hired for a position and requested applicants include a cover letter. She told me how she used the cover letter to determine how strong the individuals writing and grammar were and how it made it easy to eliminate many of the candidates.
She didn’t use the cover letter to make an interviewing decision. She used the candidates experience and education to do that.
She only used the cover letter to eliminate people! The same things happens in the job interview too. That is why it is important to focus on what you love to do.
It is also important to understand that she was only hiring for one position and had the luxury or time to read cover letters. 99% of the people hiring out there don’t have that amount of time. They are hiring for multiple positions and receiving hundreds of resumes each day. Not to mention they are taking care of operation duties as well. Their time to review applications is very limited and their process is much different.
Here is where it gets funny. At the end of the presentation another attendee approached me with a similar story. She was hiring for a position in her department and had asked for a cover letter. She narrowed the field down to 3 candidates and eventually hired the person who didn’t submit a cover letter!
If you want to see some other opportunity killers, check out this article on Job Search Tips For The Over 40 Crowd.
Thanks plaisanter~ for the photo via Flickr
Written by: Corey Harlock
Tags: cover letter | decisions | hiring manager | job interview | resume | Revealed | They Are Sneaky | Tricks
Categories: Finding New Job