We’re looking for a new dolphin, as is no secret, and for a variety of reasons I have been far more involved in the hiring process than I would usually be. Sure I’ve been to a lot of interviews in the past, but Dave normally goes through our resumes and meets our hopeful recruits long before that. By the time I meet our potential applicants in the interview room, they’ve long been filtered down to a manageable number by Dave.
Except this time. This time I’ve been involved much earlier on. From an operational perspective, the person we are hiring will be a critical employee and I’ll be working very closely with them. I’ve been meeting people as they drop off their resumes, reviewing them, meeting with them again, and even coordinating and leading some of the interviews.
I have to say I was surprised by some of the impressions that I had. Wow. Seriously, wow. The amount of people who filter themselves or tarnish their first impression by doing some very simple things incorrectly is just amazing! I really had no idea what a high percentage it would be. I’m hoping that this article can provide some guidance for those people because I feel like there are a lot of quality people out there who just don’t see the entire picture.
This is the employer’s perspective.
A potential employer will notice if you are 1 minute late for a scheduled appointment. They will notice every single spelling mistake on your resume or other documents that you provide. They will notice that you don’t know what a paragraph is, or that you don’t follow instructions when they are given to you. They will notice a whole lot of other little stuff too, because they’re looking for little stuff!
Always remember this: the hiring process is nothing more than a filtering process. Human beings are filtered down like water based on various qualities/skills until there is only one person left. Think of yourself as a pebble passing through this filter, made smaller by how perfectly you can represent yourself when giving your first impression. The smaller the pebble, the better chance that you’ll be given an opportunity to sell yourself.
It probably sounds harsh, but consider the employer’s perspective. If you had to sort through fifty resumes fairly quickly, how would you start? You can’t interview everybody.
The rule of thumb is quite simple: Do not give your prospective employer any reason to filter you. One of the easiest things that you can do is to simply not draw attention to yourself with anything obvious. That alone will put you a step above about 75% of the other applicants.
So slow down, and do take the extra few minutes to ensure that you are no bigger a pebble than you need to be. Trust me that it will be worth it.