Thursday, December 08, 2005

So, what's your most significant accomplishment in '05? (Advice to Job-Seekers)

Some time ago, I found a job posting on Careerbuilder that was placed by one of the recruiters from The Adler Group. It was a great job posting with a compelling job description that stood head 'n shoulders above the daily fare (junk) that litters most of the boards. Don't' get me wrong ... I'm not slamming job boards, just the junk that too often gets thrown out there that's supposed to represent a first-class organization vying for top-talent. 9 times out of 10, we in the recruiting profession do not take the necessary time to craft a job posting worthy of the company we are representing. But I digress.

The closing of this particular job posting requested that all interested parties reply to the email address with their resume, and a single paragraph describing their most significant accomplishment year-to-date. Never shy to adopt a new process from those I respect, I quickly copied and pasted the line for future reference.

Having used this line several times over the past few months, I've discovered a thing or two about applicants:

1) Most applicants do not read the entire job posting.

If they did, they would note the request to include a paragraph which highlights their most significant accomplishment of the year. I have to assume they don't read the entire posting (even if it's short and compelling), because the majority of the folks that take the time to send their resume never bother to include the additional paragraph. It floors me.

2) The applicants that do include the paragraph (the few, the proud, the attention-to-detail-applicants), rarely tie their accomplishments to a work-related event.

Again, I am floored. If given the opportunity to provide a paragraph that details my single-most accomplishment of the year, I'd sharpen my pencil and get to it! Not so for those first 20 job-seekers responding this morning to a monster ad placed by one of my teammates (again, I realize this is not monster's fault).

Here's the breakdown:

Of the first 20 applicants, 16 did not even bother to include a paragraph of their accomplishments. That's right, sixteen.

Of the remaining applicants, here's what we received:

"I am currently building my first home."
"I just moved in to my dream home."
"I recently became the President of my Homeowner's Association."

Of the 20, one single applicant took the time to prepare a thoughtful paragraph perfectly describing her work-related accomplishments. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven (or that the 'Horns had won the Rose Bowl, sorry Heather).

I only made one phone call this morning.

And, no, I didn't call to see how his Excellency was doing with the Homeowner's Association.

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