Resume Slingers and Well-Dressed Slackers

Published on 19 August 2010 by Kelly Riggs in Career Building, Job Search

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19160666 300x199 Resume Slingers and Well Dressed Slackers“Great hiring isn’t an instant process, and many companies would benefit from developing more-structured internship programs, in which success and proof of a good fit are measured over time,” says Mary Ellen Slayter in her recent article entitled Bring Strategic Rigor to Your Internship Program.

In the current economy, companies can afford to take more time with, and put more effort into, the hiring process. In fact, smart companies should be doing exactly that. When the labor market is slow, more talent is available and companies should tighten up hiring procedures, improve job descriptions, and focus on hiring quality people instead of hiring a resume. Internships are a great way to take a look at job candidates and determine – in real time – if they have the skills and attitude to flourish in the company.

Over the last several posts, I have tried to make it clear that finding a good job is about much more than polishing up your resume and checking out a few websites. Candidates have to work diligently at improving their value to employers. They have to find ways to increase the ways in which they can contribute to the success of an organization. In a nutshell, you simply cannot rest on your laurels; you have to be improving, growing, and constantly learning.

Need more proof? Read this excerpt from Slayter’s article:

Scare B-list candidates away upfront. General, fluffy job listings create more work for your HR team in the long run than a sharply focused one would. First, too many random candidates respond. Second, HR must then sift through a mountain of lackluster or insincere applicants. Third, these are short-term applicants that need any job they can get, as opposed to A-list candidates interested in a long-term career path with you. There’s a much better way: Sit down with key managers to carefully draft the most challenging, rigorous, mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive job description write-ups as possible –– with zero fluff. Include a roster of advanced role requirements and high cover letter expectations that invite only the keenest and most accomplished to apply. In short, scare the heck out of flaky applicants. Shotgun-blast resume slingers and well-dressed slackers won’t bother applying.

At first glance, this might be pretty intimidating. As you look at your situation and your resume, you might worry that you have little chance to secure that “perfect job.” My suggestion is to change your perspective: to move out of the realm of “resume slinger” or “well-dressed slacker,” you have to make every single job interview a learning experience. Failure to get an offer is not FAILURE – it’s an opportunity to learn where you need to improve. If you don’t get the job, you need to get as much information as you can that will help you in the next opportunity.

Always thank your interviewer and ask if you might ask a couple of questions regarding your interview. Most HR professionals will give you the opportunity, so make the best of it:

“I want to learn from this experience, so…”

“If you were in my shoes, what one thing would you work on to improve my ability to get hired?”

“What is the weakest part of my resume?”

“As an HR professional, what advice would you give me regarding my interview with you?”

At the same time, if you are serious about working for a particular company, you should consider an internship. They may or may not pay, but you could gain valuable experience inside an organization and potentially work yourself into a nice opportunity. If you don’t get an offer, and you’re fairly certain you were a final candidate, don’t be afraid to ask your interviewer if an internship is an option.

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  5. Bend says:

    Good advice on the internship thing. That makes a big difference to some companies.