Thursday, November 24, 2011

Don't go vanilla on a job application

In honor of Thanksgiving here in the United States, I'll adopt a food theme for this post, although it's not really about food.

I recently participated in an election in which three candidates were running for a position within a particular organization. I won't reveal the position or the organization (although some of my readers may know what I'm talking about), so let's just say that the Widget Guild is seeking a Chocolate Manager.

As I mentioned, there are three candidates for the position. All three candidates have a lot of widget experience, as detailed in their candidate statements.

But only one of them spent any appreciable time talking about chocolate.

One candidate included an extensive resume that talked about widgets in detail. One line in the resume mentioned sweeteners, but didn't explicitly mention chocolate.

A second candidate's resume didn't talk about chocolate at all. But there was a mention of chocolate at the very beginning:


The third candidate did devote a long sentence to a discussion of previous chocolate experience.

Now perhaps if I knew these three people, I'd find out that all three of them have a lot of chocolate experience. But I don't know any of them, so I had to rely on their candidate statements to see how they felt about chocolate.

I'm just shocked that two of them hardly talked about chocolate at all. They trotted out generic resumes, but didn't make any effort to customize the resumes to match the position for which they were applying.

Why am I shocked? Let's just say that these, um, "widget" experts should have known better.
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