Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One Employer's Perspective

I recently had the opportunity to attend a networking meeting where I met a fellow who happened to sit upon the recruiting committee of a law firm. As would be expected, we got onto the subject of résumé and cover letters and such, so I took the opportunity to ask him his views regarding the résumés that come across his desk. This gentleman shared with me a number of points from an employer’s perspective and I believe that they are important enough to share with you.

  1. The size of font a candidate chooses to use matters. While content is important, he is baffled as to why some candidates choose to shrink the size of the font so that the résumé will be only two pages in length. Candidates need to understand that, at some point, the documents they submit will be printed out and that hiring managers and/or committees will be trying to read the harp copy without the benefit of the ‘zoom in’ button that it typically found on any desktop computer.
  2. Candidate profiles are a waste of space. In his case, the fact that they have already finished law school and are now looking for articling positions with various law firms indicates that these candidates have already proven that they can learn. In order to be successful at securing a position, it would be to their advantage to show me what makes them special. Candidates need to be able to differentiate themselves from the pack.
  3. Personality counts. When candidates are looking to join a company, they need to demonstrate that they have a personality. Interpersonal skills are just as important as technical skills. Candidates that are personable have an edge over candidates that are ‘book smart’.