Lessons from hiring a new intern
September 13th, 2011 - 14 Comments
Last week, I posted a want ad on my blog for a Content Curator position.
As expected, I received a TON of applications for this…and while I was sifting through them, a number of fascinating insights emerged about how to get your dream job.
I’ll be brutally honest here because many hiring managers won’t tell you this stuff.
- After reading 10-15 applications, it became easy to spot the worst applications. In fact, so many apps came in that I could only afford to spend about 15 seconds on each one — and my first objective was to DISQUALIFY people so I could move through the huge stack of apps. Think about that mindset of your hiring manager: 15 SECONDS PER APPLICATION. It hurts to hear, but it’s true. Whiny candidates will say, “Waa…you should spend more time to be fair” but the winning candidates know this is how the game works, so they spend their time making sure their application stands out immediately.
- All it takes is one bad line to disqualify yourself. For example, when I asked if the applicant was a self-starter and resourceful…. one candidate said:
“For one, I am filling out this survey for the curation position, usually I would have glanced over it, thought to myself “wow, that seems like a cool job” and then tell myself “I’m not qualified for it”. Yet here I am, wanting to learn and put myself out there.”
Your application is not a place to have a therapy session. It’s a place to highlight why you’re the best for the position.
- The biggest key insight: Every finalist, plus the winning candidate, DID THE ACTUAL JOB instead of just talking about how good they were. They built an actual system and sent me a link to the system or a video so I could see for myself. Now that’s a great way to stand out.
I point these things out not to mock my readers but more to illustrate what separated the successful applicants from the unsuccessful ones.
If you’re interested in learning more about landing your dream job, I’ll send you a free mini-guide on figuring out WHAT your Dream Job is, how to interview better than 99% of people, and how to negotiate (usually more than a $5,000 raise). Get the free mini-guide on landing your Dream Job here.
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