For the first time in several years I’ve put my recruiting hat on. Broadlook is expanding and we need to hire about 10 people. I decided to get in on the ground floor and do the initial outreach to prospective candidates.
Here is what I observed:
The general professionalism of the better candidates was…better. Does this seem obvious? Possibly, but what I am talking about is simple things like voicemails and formats of email addresses.
Emails: One of the emails contained the following: DaddySpankU@(email domain.com). This was in application for a Director level position. The resume contained the minimum level of experience, but I had to ask myself, “what is this persons level of professionalism?”. In the end, I don’t care, I’m not going to roll the dice with this person.
Voicemail recordings: Next, I called a candidate and got a voicemail with dogs barking, an obvious party going on in the background. Again, not professional. BTW, he also sounded as if he had at least a six pack in him, slurring his words.
Poor Voicemail message: “Yeah, high um, I like got your message and I ahh will send you my resume…. blah blah blah”. Message deleted.
Voicemail message with no recording: “You have reached the voicemail number 414-555-1212…etc”. My goodness, if you are applying for a sales or customer facing position, record a voicemail so people know they are talking to. I want to hear how professional you sound.
Funny voicemail: “If you are driving or over 30 send me an email later. If you are under 30, send me a text message”. I liked this guy. Shows some personality and that is better than an “UM, Er, Ah, speaking dolt”. Sales reps should have personality.
Facebook pages: I don’t care if you have a tattoo on your ass. But putting it as your *Profile* photo on Facebook is a bad choice. This lady did not get a call. Ok, nice photo, but I don’t want you representing my company. Mrs. politically correct in Human Resources may tell you different that you can’t be discriminated against due to something on your Facebook page. Reality: your application will be deleted and you will never find out why. No call. No job. No explanation.
Regarding your resume. For the experienced people… dates like 2010-2011 is a huge red flag. That could be December 2010-Jan 2011. Fill in all dates. Good interviewers will ask you to account for all dates and gaps in your work history. Did you take a 4 months off to travel Europe? Don’t hide it. This is a positive thing. What did you learn and grow from it?
Don’t lie. You will get caught and there is no excuse. In the first 10 phone interviews, I caught a few people in lies. The interview immediately ended. People lie about stupid things.
“I made $55,000 last year. ”
“Are you sure about that”, I ask
“Yes. It might have been a little more.” (then I got a detailed description of the compensation).
I interjected. “You do understand that we require copies of your last 3 years of W2 to verify past compensation”.
Pause… then. “Ok, then I only made $45,000 last year”.
“So you lied to me”. I stated
“I just really wanted the job”.
I terminated the interview. This is something that he should have learned in Kindergarten. Funny thing is that his skills would have commanded the $55,000 he was looking for.
What it all comes down to empathy. Job Applicants need to understand how each and every way you interact with a potential employer looks to the employer. Here are some take-aways. There are many articles and tips and what to do and not to do. Here are some of my pet-peeves.
- Have a professional email address. DormStalker@gmail.com FAIL. Try something like First.Last@something.com
- Have a clear voicemail message. If your message includes “Um”, “Er”, “Ah”, “you know”, “like” (at the start of every sentence), then re-record it.
- Fill in all dates on your resume. If there is a gap, explain that gap.
- Spelling mistakes on a resume. Have a friend proof-read it. Yeah, I’m awful, but I have a job
- Unless you are prepared to forge W-2’s Don’t lie about compensation. You will get caught when you are asked for proof.
- Do what you say you will do. Return calls when you promise, send paperwork, etc. Failing in what is required in the job application process is a huge red flag.
- Don’t treat my assistant rudely. She has a copy of your resume and will write notes about how you engage her. She is interviewing you too!
- Don’t lie. What you think is important may not be. Job applicants lie about the stupidest things.