Resumes and More Resumes
Well, we've let some people go at the ol' company, and now we're sorting through a gaggle of resumes to fill the positions. You get all kinds of applicants, and last year I had to sort through 200 resumes and knock it down to about 10 candidates for review. In that time, I formulated my system for resume-dumping. Here are some rules I use:
  1. Short and to the point will get you past the trash can.
  2. Spelling or grammar errors of any kind will get you in the trash can. For god sakes get a buddy to proofread before you tell me about your 'compuper skills'. And switching tenses reminds me that I'm prone to do it in my own writing, and no one wants to be reminded of their own shortcomings.
  3. Your snazzy font will not impress me.
  4. Do not list work experience that has no relevance to the position at all (e.g., working at a Sunoco)
  5. For the love of Jebus, do not waste my time with a cover letter. If I see one, I'll trash the resume without even looking at it.

When you have oodles of resumes to go through, these rules will eliminate about 65% of the load very quickly. Now, it's not all pain and drudgery. Every now and then you come across a jem that makes your day. Below is a cover letter we received here for an open IT position. We cried laughing for two hours thanks to this poor soul. I've reprinted it verbatim. Enjoy.

    Dear Sir or Madam!

    I am applying for a position of a Network System Administrator .

    I am a mature , responsible, successful and ambitious. Even though I have just graduated from the University of DC, I have years of life experience behind me. I have received a Masters degree in international journalism froom The Moscow State University and a certificate in software applications from Bauman Technical College. I started working in the US in 1991 as a journalist.

    In the year 2000 I decided to switch careers and get an American degree in computer science. I enrolled in the University of the District of Columbia and after 2 years of full time stufy I earned an A.A. degree in computer science and graduated at the head of my class.

    I recognize that the University of The District of Columbia is not generally held in high esteem. However, I found my courses and teachers to be excellent. I feel that the UDC gave me the resources to be successful in the field of Information Technology.

    I have lived independently since I was 16.To support mycelf, while I was a student, I worked as a bartender at Washington DC restaurants and hotels.
    As you can see from my resume, I have always been hard working, my people skills are Excellent and I am driven to be successful in all that I undertake. I would appreciate an opportunity to interview for this position. Thank you for your consideration.

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