The article is a short read, but I specifically like two things from Cloutier's article.
When seeking out the best talent, Cloutier does not require industry-specific experience (how many times have you heard that?). He does, however, require the appropriate skill set and a hunger/passion for opportunity (preach it, Norman!).
Secondly, he has a cover-letter fetish. Here's Norman on cover letters:
"When I solicit resumes, I insist on something else: a cover letter. Many
companies don't put as much stock in them as they once did, but after
hundreds of hires, I've found that if you have a couple dozen prospects who
look equally good, the ones who write well-crafted cover letters often turn
out to be the best candidates. Anyone in a management position has to be able
to organize his thoughts and to sell his ideas. A rambling, disjointed letter is a
big red flag. If someone can't express his thoughts when there are no
distractions, how would he fare under the pressures of the job?"
Granted, anybody can shell out a few bucks to have somebody else write a stellar cover letter, but at least they thought it important enough to do so.
Many in the recruiting community disagree with me (and Norman) with regard to cover letters. I'm just a firm believer that it gives me one more opportunity to differentiate myself from the guy next door.
Should you choose not to read my cover letter, so be it. But if your name happens to be Norman Cloutier, you're gonna love the fact that I took the time to craft something of value - something that piqued your interest so much that I made it impossible for you to overlook me.