Great Writers Get Hired

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.

Steve Jones

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4 Responses to Great Writers Get Hired

  1. pianorayk says:

    True story: after I was hired at my current job, I was specifically told that one of the biggest reasons why I was hired was because of my writing ability. I was told that it was a skill that was sorely lacking in the organization, and something they desperately needed.

    Something for people to consider.

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  2. rsterbal says:

    What percentage of jobs are found this way? A couple of decades ago the number was below 10% but that may have changed. Have you asked the last ten people you know who were hired how they found their job?

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    • way0utwest says:

      What’s “this way”? By writing? What does the number hired was below 10%? Meaning the number hired that applied?

      Writing can make a difference in you standing out. When I talk with lots of hiring managers and HR people, they skim resumes, so standing out matters. This can get you the interview, but you still need to do well in that.

      People get hired by networking, which is reliable, but I think not enough people do this. All of these ideas are ways to increase your chances, not guarantee anything. Don’t look at this as do this or do that.

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