Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Worst Resume Mistake I've Witnessed

Mistake I Witnessed // Post 2

"Dishonorable Discharge."

Right there. On the resume. What the ****?

Lesson // Don't list negative things about yourself on your resume. Your resume's job (and it's only job) is to get you an interview. It's not to serve as a history document. Or a confessional.

If there is something negative that will make a difference in getting the job, wait until after they interview you to share the information. Once they know you as a real person (and not just a piece of paper) they may be willing to hear your explanation and give you a chance.

Don't take yourself out of the running from the get-go.

Mistake Scale // Never Got in the Game

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Worst Interview Mistake I've Witnessed

This week I'm beginning two regular features – "Mistake I Made" and "Mistake I Witnessed." I'll rate each mistake on a scale from "Career Implosion" to "Miraculously Got the Job." If you have any you'd like to share, I'll post the best ones.

Mistake I Witnessed // Post 1

Me: "If I were to talk to your best friend, what is the worst thing she would say about you?"

Finalist for Job: "That I can get out of control. One time, while at a bar, I was so drunk I tried to pick up an entire group of baseball players ..."

And she continued her story. And wouldn't stop. Oh God, she wouldn't stop.

Sadly, it got worse. Since this was a final interview, my boss was sitting in the interview as well. He tried to stop her (my ability to speak had been taken from me by her answer) and she talked over him to finish her story.

Every question, no matter how innocuous-sounding is about getting the measure of you as a person or employee. Never ... ever ... ever forget you are being interviewed. We try to put you at ease, make you comfortable, forget you are being interviewed, so we can get to know the real you. The finalist viewed us as buddies and let her guard down. Bad move. Last I heard, this talented designer was working in fast food.

Mistake Scale: Thank You, Please Drive Through