Getting into the right pile

Subject: Getting into the right pile
From: "Doug, Data Librarian at Ext 4225" <engstromdd -at- PHIBRED -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 1994 08:20:22 -0500


Bonnie and Barb made some excellent points about the reality of the
workplace and the importance of a good resume. The scary truth is this:
supervisors hire people the way you write manuals. They're on deadline,
they're getting pressure from nine different directions, and they have to
organize participation from a bunch of other busy people, and they don't
have time for any of it.

A job ad typically produces a flood of responses; 100 or more is not
uncommon. Unfortunately, supervisors and other humans can only focus on
5-9 things at a time. So, the process has to distill from this mass of
input a small enough group to think about seriously. The first-cut
criteria are often pretty superficial; it has to be something you can see
and make a decision about quickly. I suspect that this is where much of
the hiring advantage of a college degree comes in. You can check it by
looking at the resume (or better yet, an HR person or administrative
assistant can check for it) and rapidly shrink the pile. Yes, you'll
overlook some bright and talented people, but this process is about
numbers, odds and being able to defend your decision later, not individual
merit. Cold, but I think true.

As a former boss of mine used to say, "Half of life is getting into the
right pile."

ENGSTROMDD -at- phibred -dot- com

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