Workforce Surveys

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Since a lot of Clue Wagon readers are HR/hiring people, here’s another one of those ask-the-audience things:

What are the things candidates do (aside from the actual content of the interview or experience) that will get them disqualified?

I don’t mean the stuff that annoys you.  I mean the stuff that, if the candidate does it, you will immediately put them in the “NO” pile.

I ask because I’m starting to feel a little uncomfortable with some of the stuff I’m reading, both in my email and out in the world.  I see a lot of candidates who are saying, “Oh my gosh, I thought my resume had to be one page, so I shrunk it down, and then I just read your post, and now I’m like, is this the reason I’ve been unemployed for 10 months?

No.  The reason you’ve been unemployed for 10 months is more than likely the fact that there are six candidates for every one job opening in the United States.  In some places, the ratio is slightly better.  In some it’s worse.  But the math sucks from coast to coast, and although I give advice to job hunters three times a week, I can’t think of a single thing I’ve posted (aside from the Tales of the Cluefree) that would actually make me disqualify you for a job before an interview.  For example, I talked about not calling women with double-surnames “Mrs.,” and the truth is that it annoys the crap out of me when people call me that.  But would I disqualify a candidate for doing so?  Of course not.  I’d suck as a recruiter if my personal preferences trumped my mission to find the person who is the best fit for the position.  The same is true for most every other little peeve I’ve written about…even the follow-up calls.  It all factors in, but when I hear from candidates who are stressing over small details like this…well, I feel bad.  Because job hunting sucks hard enough without people telling you that you will never work again if you get some tiny detail wrong.  Plus everyone’s tiny detail is different, so how the hell are you supposed to know what they are for the person you’re emailing?  You’re lucky if you can even find out the person’s name.

So anyway.  Dealbreakers.  What are yours?


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