Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Happiest Moment…

…of an employer’s life is when he or she can toss your resume and cover letter into the garbage.

“1. I'm 45. 2. I wear reading glasses. 3. I have 200 files to read. 4. It's 10 p.m., I've worked a 12-hour day, my kid has just thrown up, and if I don't do laundry tonight, I'm not going to have clean underwear tomorrow. 5. So if you don't make this in a font that I can read without straining, you're toast!"

I’ve got to love this quote… because I’ve been there, done that. (Okay, I’m older and no kids. But the underwear thing—yup.)

It’s from a blog for academics, with advice to job-seekers. If you are reading my blog, you are probably not looking for a job as a tenure-track college professor. You probably don’t have a Ph.D. You may not even have your B.A., yet, but God willing and the creek don’t rise, you’ll have one in a short while.

So what’s the point? The point is that there are more applicants than ever out there looking for your job. Your application materials will possibly be read first by a machine. And then, if you make the cut—your materials will be read by a human being who is stressed out, sleep-deprived, perhaps dyslexic, balancing work and life badly, and who really needs a compelling reason to keep your application “in the running” for the job, rather than to toss it.

Make your materials easy to read (font size!), pleasant, engaging.

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