How Not To Get Hired

Send me, or, your resume as an attachment, nothing else, and even worse, the attachment is a Word Doc. These immediately go to the trash.

If you took the time to include a cover email, or attached letter (least preferred), I’ll read it. If the cover letter says “I am really excited about the opportunity and what a great company that you have that is going great places” and then proceeds to tell me all about them and how awesome they are. To the trash it goes.

If the person says “I would like a call within the next few days to discuss the opportunity” or other such demand with specifics as to when and where this call will happen, to the trash it goes. I might be too Canadian but this just seems pushy and rude to me.

However, if the candidate tells me their understanding of what the position is all about, and describes what they have learned about our company, and how this role within the company could solve a major problem for us, or create amazing opportunities, and then they paint a picture of how their skills and experience could make that pain go away, or that opportunity materialize to move the needle (whatever metric they choose) for the company. Now I am really excited. They don’t have to be right, they just have to demonstrate that they did the research and that they have thoughts as to why this would be a really good fit for both of us. Now if they can’t describe this succinctly, in a 95% grammatically correct way, with no spelling mistakes, and no text message cryptic acronyms and all lowercase sentences, to the trash it goes. I’m disappointed because there was potential but being able to communicate is critical to us.

Now if that cover letter refers to an attached resume I’ll put aside my biases and open it and if there is a fit, we will talk.

But, if that cover email (notice I didn’t say letter) refers to an online resume, a personal website, now I am pumped! And if that website also includes a blog that journals their thoughts and lessons learned over the course of their academic and working lives, I am completely over the moon. I will be sending emails to see when they are available and waiting in anticipation to see what we can learn from them.