Dear Job Seeker: I Don’t Care If You’re Passionate

Close-up Of Bored Businessman Rubbing His EyesYes, I know my HR department (whom I don’t control and to whom I pay insufficient attention) has asked for a dedicated, energetic, goal-oriented leader with a passion for quality. And I know your outplacement consultant has suggested you mirror the language of the job ad. But the truth is, I really just want to know that you have the technical qualifications and experience to work here before I interview you. I’d like to have a sense of whether you actually delivered value to your previous employers, and didn’t just scurry around performing “duties”.

Of course, I also need to know that you actually want to work for my company, and whether you’ll fit well with my team. I’ll judge that for myself when and if I decide I should interview you. Then I’ll confirm my judgement by getting my team to talk to you, and by talking to your references. I’ll look for confirmation that you’ll be an asset to the company, and won’t let me down.

So, please do us both a favour – ditch the fluffy verbiage in your resumé. Give me the clear sense up front  that you’re the right candidate, and don’t hide your best arguments inside your cover letter, which I won’t read (and always seems to get lost between HR and my desk anyhow).

As I write this tonight, there are IT 4,000 vacancies in Ottawa. Let’s work together to make it only 3,999 tomorrow.

Your Would-Be Future Manager

Letter discovered by Jennifer Bulman, who regularly gives a workshop called “The Hard, the Soft, and the Fluffy: How to Describe Skills in Your Resumé”.
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