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Quick hits on Joel's latest article...

The Good

- Filtering based on grammer is effective, with no measurable job applicant quality when dealing with hundreds of resumes

- Because of the fact that several resumes are received, as a corollary, you should only apply for jobs you are qualified for.

- Personalize the cover letter

- When writing cover letters, use your own bullshit, not somebody else's.




The Bad

- When you write cover letters, you ARE a bullshit artist, whether you copy it from a book or not.

- Only apply to 3 or 4 positions at any one point in time?  Right.

- Didn't explain what it means "to be qualified".  Joel's openings have relevant descriptions, but many openings require things like "Must be on first name basis with Bjourne...must be related to Berners-Lee..." in hopes of getting the ideal candidate, when really not expecting all those expectations to be filled (and they won't).    Use your own judgement I guess.

Crimson
Monday, January 26, 2004

Grammatical correction. :)

- Filtering based on grammer is effective, with no measurable DROP IN job applicant quality when dealing with hundreds of resumes

Crimson
Monday, January 26, 2004

Is New York the place to be?

Polar Bear
Monday, January 26, 2004

My own personal pet-peeve is people who spell "resumé" with accents on both e's.  Unless you are French and actually pronounce that word "ray-zu-may", then don't put the accent on the first "e".  The accent on the second "e" is usually pronounced in english.  If anything, english speakers pronounce the first syllable as if the "e" was a "è", but don't ever spell it like that, because then you'll look like you just forgot the way the accent goes and couldn't be bothered to look it up.

All three (accent on both, accent on second "e", and no accents) are in my dictionary.  This is just a personal usage preference of mine.

I think "résumé" looks a little weird.  If you're going for that -- use "C. V." or "Curriculum Vitae".

Lou Franco
Monday, January 26, 2004

I don't understand how you can write this:

"we get between 100 and 200 <resumes> per opening. "

and follow it by this:

"Don't apply for too many jobs. I don't think there's ever a reason to apply for more than three or four jobs at a time."

It doesn't make any sense. If your chance to get a job is 1/100-1/200 than you need to send at least so many resumes to get noticed. Even if your resume is good and cover letter is personal and without mistakes you still have at least 20-30 resumes that are as good as yours.

So my position here is - apply to as many jobs as you can. Choose the ones that fit your skills, write cover letter, send it and forget about it unless you got a response from the employer. Don't spend too much time on one application though - the chances are it will go to garbage soon.
Just make your resume good, so it will stand out of other resumes to make your chances to be selected 1/20 not 1/100 .

Roman Hoyenko
Monday, January 26, 2004

Couldn't have said it better, Roman.

Crimson
Monday, January 26, 2004

Absolutely, I have been reading plenty on this subject recently and also watched my old manager deal with the hiring process and I agree with the posters on this thread.  Applying for just 2 or 3 jobs is jobhunting suicide.  Most books recommend you keep up the jobhunt even after you have the position, just in case it falls through at the last moment. 

Having said that making it apear as if you are applying to just one or two is a good idea.  Appearing deperate doesn't help.  I think the key is the research, from everything I've seen or read that is one of the biggest things to do.  Make sure you know a bit about the company, if nothing else it can help you screen them out!

As for the disparity in responses, people tend to get divide into two groups in any discussion on careers.  Those who are offended that employers don't acknowledge their CVs receipt and those who just accept it as one those things. 

The responses about jobhunting issues divide people into those who are shocked at the way they are treated by the employers and those that just accept them as the only way that an employer can realistically hope to fill a position given their resources for the task.

Colin Newell
Monday, January 26, 2004

"Don't apply for too many jobs. I don't think there's ever a reason to apply for more than three or four jobs at a time."

The way I understood that was to not apply to one employer offering multiple job openings at one time.  Otherwise send out as many as you can that fits or fits close enough to your skill set.  If you are just getting into the job hunting from University you need send out lots of Resumés before getting an interview.  You can't be fussy when you have nil experience.

Zekaric
Monday, January 26, 2004

> It doesn't make any sense. If your chance to get a job is
> 1/100-1/200 than you need to send at least so many
> resumes to get noticed.

I think the point is that if you send fewer resumes, you can target them to places that are more likely to hire you.  Then your odds should be much better than 1/200 for each one.

Whereas if you're broadcasting your resume to hundreds of employers, your odds are probably much worse than 1/200 for each one.

Michael Eisenberg
Monday, January 26, 2004

Michael, if your resume is in an inbox with 199 others, your odds are 1/200. It doesn't matter if you're the misbegotten love child of Chris Sells and Bjarne Stroustrup, if they have two slots to fill, pull ten resumes out of the first 100, and you're number 101, you're out of luck.

Much of job hunting is gambling. Doing the right things can move the odds from the slot machine realm to the blackjack realm, but you're still smarter to play multiple seats and double down instead of constantly putting your entire wager on one hole card.

Philo

Philo
Monday, January 26, 2004

Couldn't have said it better myself (not knowing much about gambling).

www.MarkTAW.com
Monday, January 26, 2004

A lot depends on the job market. In the good old days you would probably get interviews for all four jobs.

Whenever I've been jobhunting I've been sending out thirty to forty applications.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

"It doesn't matter if you're the misbegotten love child of Chris Sells and Bjarne Stroustrup, if they have two slots to fill, pull ten resumes out of the first 100, and you're number 101, you're out of luck."

This, I think, depends on the company you're applying to.  Large organizations that receive thousands of applications for every opening are likely to behave exactly as you've described and it is, indeed, a roll of the dice as to whether or not anyone actually looks at your resume.  However, if you're applying to a small organization, it may very well be worth the extra effort to carefully tailor your resume and cover letter appropriately.  It's far more likely that the people running the business take hiring decisions very seriously and do at least go through the whole stack of resumes, albeit glancing at each one only very briefly during the first pass to eliminate the chaff before settling down to carefully consider the rest.

Matt
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

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