It’s not a guarantee that great writers get hired, but this interview with Basecamp CEO, Jason Fried, talks about their process selecting new employees. Recently they got 4,000 applications for 5 jobs, which is a lot, though not that unusual. As I talk with many human resources staff, they often talk about receiving hundreds of resumes for each job they post. With those types of odds, it is important that you find a way to stand out from the crowd.
While I suspect many people reviewing resumes don’t review them all, it is possible that some do. Given the large workload, not much time is going to be spent looking at your resume or CV. This really means that it is important that your resume attracts attention and interests a reader. Your goal is to get someone thinking that you are a good candidate and worth hiring.
In some sense, this means you need to communicate well and write something interesting. Certainly you also want to apply early for a position. Why? Most resumes are boring, and as someone that has had to review them, I find my attention wavering as I go through them. I’ve wanted to do a good job and review all that are received for a position, but when you get over a hundred, I’m not sure that’s even possible.
We are human, and our focus degrades over time. If you see essentially the same information over and over, it becomes hard to make good decisions about the differences. This is why a resume that stands out, is written well, and intrigues the reader is important. It’s also why it’s important to use networking and get submitted to places quickly.
Great writers get hired, or at least get opportunities. If for no other reason than because an HR staffer or hiring manager finds the first contact, the resume, to be interesting. Learn to write better, to communicate and showcase your skills, and you’ll get more chances to interview and more opportunities to win the position.