I am in the process of hiring additional employees for the fall season. I manage a relatively small coffee shop in a relatively quiet neighbourhood and finding relatively good staff can be a challenge. So I put an ad on Craigslist. Within 24 hours, I had over fifty resumes filling up my inbox, so I removed the ad before I was truly inundated. Out of those fifty plus applicants, I interviewed five people with the intent to hire two or three. And two of those interviewees were absolutely great! So I’m happy.
Several hopefuls did not even make the short-list, however, regardless of the fact that they appeared to have all the qualifications for the job. Here are some examples of what I saw on resumes and cover letters. I kid you not.
1. Hey! I’m a great person and I like coffee. You really want to hire me. (Really? You start a cover letter with “hey”?)
2. To the Manger: Here’s my resumay and I hope you will phone me to come in soon. (Ever heard of spell check? And I am not a “manger”.)
3. Dear Manager, I have no experience but I think I can do the job good. (At least you were honest.)
4. One of my biggest accomplishments was losing 30 pounds in 2004 and I’ve kept it off. (Seriously? I’m happy for you, but this has no place on a resume unless you’re applying for a job at a weight-loss centre.)
Then there were the interviews.
I asked this question: Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with someone and how you resolved it. The responses were – well – interesting.
1. I got this job at Boston Pizza one time and this girl like had to train me and I knew like right away she didn’t like me. You can tell. So I just like ignored her except when I had to watch her do stuff and at the end of the shift she like came up to me and said she didn’t like me at first because I was so beautiful and she wasn’t, but she liked me at the end. And then she asked me if I wanted to go to a party with her and I said like no way was I going there. (The woman was like 35 years old and I was like speechless.)
2. I never have conflicts with anybody. (Please share your secret.)
3. Conflict? What does that mean? (Um . . . what are they teaching kids in schools these days?)
There are the applicants who tell me they have no weaknesses. They are usually the same ones who can’t think of a single example when I ask them to tell me about a time they thought of a way to improve something. And of course, they are very quick to share how much they love dealing with people (except the difficult ones), how well they work under pressure (until there is a lineup at the counter), and how quickly they catch on to new things (before you’ve hauled them into the office again to bring an error to their attention).
Oh, the joys of management.