Like many hiring managers across the country, several years back I was faced with a common scenario: A stack of resumes a mile high for a single job opening (in this case, an entry-level QA technician).
First of all, the stats you hear are true -- you really do only have a few seconds to make an impression with your resume. As I quickly scanned the resume of an applicant named Joe, things were looking good. He had held jobs that were relevant to the position, he had a strong educational background, and I sensed from his cover letter that he was chomping at the bit to prove himself. Then I saw the final item on his resume:
Interests: Competitive bodybuilding, ice hockey, ballroom dancing, alligator wrestling
Hold on a second. Bodybuilding and ballroom dancing? Alligator wrestling??
After a long day of sifting through dozens and dozens of resumes, this brought a smile to my face and upgraded him from the "Yes/Maybe" pile into the "Bring him in for an interview" pile.
Jim Hopkinson is an author, writer, and speaker living in New York City. His focus is on career development for the new economy, showing how new media, technology and branding are changing how people look at their career and lifestyle. Read more...