Careers

Strange feedback from employer - Didn't get the job

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 15th, 2012 11:34 am
Tags:
None
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 22, 2004
2535 posts
529 upvotes
Syne wrote: Like I've said before, I can work on plenty of things without working for money - and I don't feel entitled to a job because I don't particularly like working for people - but my fellow Canadians lent me money (OSAP) in good faith that I'd pay it back. Now, I'm an able-bodied person, willing to kick back whatever extra money a university education will give me, into paying back my student debt. I will uphold my end of the bargain, but only if I'm given the opportunity to leverage my education.
Did you alter your OSAP agreement to reflect this prior to accepting the loan from your fellow Canadians?

If not, you are absolute dog **** if you don't pay back the loan as per the signed agreement.

Note: don't take offence to the name calling, I just used one of your self-righteous responses in another thread as a template.
Sr. Member
Nov 14, 2008
809 posts
279 upvotes
Syne wrote: Writing in an online forum is completely different than writing a formal job request. I was trying bring of the realities to impress upon the OP, the realities of hiring someone, based on my experience, looking at often hundreds of CVs.
i think you missed some :- job application instead of job request.

I was trying bring of the realities to impress upon the OP (incorrect, i was addressing the previous troll)
It should have been I was trying to bring the reality

maybe you should spend the same effort in checking your own cv (formal vs informal)
Deal Addict
Jul 29, 2008
2210 posts
282 upvotes
BC
Syne wrote: Writing in an online forum is completely different than writing a formal job request. I was trying bring of the realities to impress upon the OP, the realities of hiring someone, based on my experience, looking at often hundreds of CVs.

Damn, I was all set to hire lostintransit for a $40 an hour job posting his thoughts on the internet. Not anymore!

I wouldn't think too hard about the rejection letter, there's a pretty good chance it was sent to most people who applied and wasn't tailored to you. Kind of like how your cover letter wasn't tailored to them. Cut down the resume too, 2 pages worth of education/work history either means you've worked 10 different jobs (which looks terrible) or you're including every last piece of education and work you've done, which is unnecessary. Recent work history and higher level education is more than enough.

Also, different from :razz:
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 7, 2009
13841 posts
1337 upvotes
In regards to resume length, do you really think I should leave off my entire college education? I'm graduating from university next year but also have 3yrs of college.

I always thought I could combine the two streams of education, to demonstrate both a practical and theoretical aptitude. Plus, if I leave one off, then all of that money I spent is literally down the toilet. I need something to show for it.
In a perfect system, corporations would fear the government and the government would fear the people. - David Wong

Check out caRpetbomBer's picks in this thread.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 1, 2006
3370 posts
343 upvotes
Brisbane
Syne wrote: In regards to resume length, do you really think I should leave off my entire college education? I'm graduating from university next year but also have 3yrs of college.

I always thought I could combine the two streams of education, to demonstrate both a practical and theoretical aptitude. Plus, if I leave one off, then all of that money I spent is literally down the toilet. I need something to show for it.

No, I wouldn't leave off the college education... but honestly what space does it require? It's 2 lines:

SEP 20xx - APR 20xx College of the XXXX, XXXX Campus (XXXX, Ontario)
XXXX Program

The challenge with technical writing or a sales document (such as a resume), is that you're attempting to clearly convey the same information but in less words. This isn't about the reader being lazy. It's about the writer understanding what is important to the reader. I want to spend less time reading a resume and more time meeting the people, getting to know them, and making a decision.

If you consider a resume a sales document, then you can easily compare how much advertising has changed in the past 50 years, ie from an old issue of TIME magazine. You'll notice that advertisements were almost a story about how your wife can save time ironing your shirt and spend more time cleaning and cooking a better dinner. Today they're frequently completely text absent, or just one word. Sort of makes you feel like a consumer *****, but it's really just that there's so much competition for your brain time and they're all trying to get the same message across in less time. Same goes with resumes.
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 7, 2009
13841 posts
1337 upvotes
Truemana wrote: No, I wouldn't leave off the college education... but honestly what space does it require? It's 2 lines:

SEP 20xx - APR 20xx College of the XXXX, XXXX Campus (XXXX, Ontario)
XXXX Program
The way I have it set up is as follows

Sept. 2002-April 2004: College, City, Province
(Full Time) <Name of program> with Co-op
Graduated: April 2004
Mean GPA: 3.1

4 lines total. I guess I could take off the GPA, but other than that I want to give the employer a basic timeline of my progression.
The challenge with technical writing or a sales document (such as a resume), is that you're attempting to clearly convey the same information but in less words. This isn't about the reader being lazy. It's about the writer understanding what is important to the reader. I want to spend less time reading a resume and more time meeting the people, getting to know them, and making a decision.
I do understand the fundamentals behind technical writing. I just don't think that this complaint is very well grounded, You'll have to forgive me, but having to parse an extra page of information about a person who is going to be potentially spending tens of thousands of hours working for your organization seems like such a petty gripe to me. The detail is for their benefit, not mine. I could literally spend the rest of my life working for them, but they couldn't be bothered to read an extra page on a resume? It just doesn't make any sense to me. Sorry.
If you consider a resume a sales document, then you can easily compare how much advertising has changed in the past 50 years, ie from an old issue of TIME magazine. You'll notice that advertisements were almost a story about how your wife can save time ironing your shirt and spend more time cleaning and cooking a better dinner. Today they're frequently completely text absent, or just one word. Sort of makes you feel like a consumer *****, but it's really just that there's so much competition for your brain time and they're all trying to get the same message across in less time. Same goes with resumes.

Whenever I'm making a big purchase (and I would consider an employee a big purchase) I like to spend many hours poring over the details, to make sure I'm getting my money's worth. In fact, I often browse multiple different websites to get every last drop of information. It becomes a bit of an obsession.

I don't understand this culture of selling ourselves short for the sake of some bored middle manager, who would rather be doing something else because they aren't all that invested in the company's success. Changing this attitude seems more important to me than changing how much information I give to potential employers.
In a perfect system, corporations would fear the government and the government would fear the people. - David Wong

Check out caRpetbomBer's picks in this thread.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 22, 2004
2535 posts
529 upvotes
Syne wrote: I do understand the fundamentals behind technical writing. I just don't think that this complaint is very well grounded, You'll have to forgive me, but having to parse an extra page of information about a person who is going to be potentially spending tens of thousands of hours working for your organization seems like such a petty gripe to me. They could literally spend the rest of their working lives there, but you can't read an extra page on a resume? It just doesn't make any sense.

Whenever I'm making a big purchase (and I would consider an employee a big purchase) I like to spend many hours poring over the details, to make sure I'm getting my money's worth. In fact, I often browse multiple different websites to get every last drop of information. It becomes a bit of an obsession.

I don't understand this culture of selling ourselves short for the sake of some bored middle manager, who would rather be doing something else because they aren't all that invested in the company's success.

The person doing the hiring has multiple resumes to review and likely have other commitments. They want to quickly review the resumes to shortlist and then will spend time during the interview to determine fit for the position. IMO your resume should be short and sweet and should make them notice you. Showing practical and theoretical experience is a good selling point, but make it concise - not many employers will read a third page. That said, they will read a cover letter. I would also suggest more effort there, one or two sentences on directly relevant experience would go a long way to illustrate your fit for the position and an understanding of what is involved.

My firm's hiring practice is simple:
- HR filters all resumes based on key requirements (e.g. specific degree, years experience)
- management short lists based on a very short review of the resumes
- short listed candidates come in for interview and as many staff as are available will drop in and interview
- sometimes we will ask them in real-time to illustrate their ability to do the job (e.g. given a topic research and provide a quick writing sample, or given a problem write some code)

We pick interview candidates based on quals (i.e. where did they go to school) and after the interviews we discuss each with respect to who we think we can work with and can do the job. It is not about who is the most qualified.
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 7, 2009
13841 posts
1337 upvotes
knapper wrote: The person doing the hiring has multiple resumes to review and likely have other commitments. They want to quickly review the resumes to shortlist and then will spend time during the interview to determine fit for the position. IMO your resume should be short and sweet and should make them notice you. Showing practical and theoretical experience is a good selling point, but make it concise - not many employers will read a third page. That said, they will read a cover letter. I would also suggest more effort there, one or two sentences on directly relevant experience would go a long way to illustrate your fit for the position and an understanding of what is involved.
I will take this into consideration, thank you - but I do think that people reviewing applicants should be giving their undivided attention to this task, as it is extremely important.
My firm's hiring practice is simple:
- HR filters all resumes based on key requirements (e.g. specific degree, years experience)
- management short lists based on a very short review of the resumes
- short listed candidates come in for interview and as many staff as are available will drop in and interview
- sometimes we will ask them in real-time to illustrate their ability to do the job (e.g. given a topic research and provide a quick writing sample, or given a problem write some code)

We pick interview candidates based on quals (i.e. where did they go to school) and after the interviews we discuss each with respect to who we think we can work with and can do the job. It is not about who is the most qualified.

Not just your company, but every company should spend more time on the bolded part. Managers should not be multi-tasking or skip-reading the shortlisted resumes. Are these people overworked? Otherwise, I think your organization's hiring practice is pretty good, as it's not based around nepotism or who knows whom. Liking the candidate is important, but the initial sample must be objective and merit-based, which I think you guys are doing, and thus upholding your end of things.
In a perfect system, corporations would fear the government and the government would fear the people. - David Wong

Check out caRpetbomBer's picks in this thread.
Banned
Nov 27, 2006
2200 posts
444 upvotes
Toronto
lostintransit wrote: i think you missed some :- job application instead of job request.

I was trying bring of the realities to impress upon the OP (incorrect, i was addressing the previous troll)
It should have been I was trying to bring the reality

maybe you should spend the same effort in checking your own cv (formal vs informal)

The only person in this thread that is a troll, is you. Your writing style is that of a grade 11, but you come in here speaking in a very matter-of-fact tone. The reality is, one grammatical error is not going to have your resume tossed in the waste bin, unless of course you were applying to something that involved alot of writing and you mispelled some common word that truly made you look like a re-tard. For example, if after you corrected Syne, you then mispelled the word GRAMMAR, not only would it be ironic, but it would make you look like a complete tool.

See what I am hinting at here?

While Syne's resume probably needs some touching up, it's not the reason he didn't get the job. As pointed out, he actually went to the interview. Perhaps a boost in his interview skills will help.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 1, 2006
3370 posts
343 upvotes
Brisbane
Syne wrote: The way I have it set up is as follows

Sept. 2002-April 2004: College, City, Province
(Full Time) <Name of program> with Co-op
Graduated: April 2004
Mean GPA: 3.1

4 lines total. I guess I could take off the GPA, but other than that I want to give the employer a basic timeline of my progression.
Take off the GPA and the date graduated (the range you gave implies a finish date). They will ask for GPA if they care. If they don't care, it just sends the wrong message. 90% of employers don't care about your GPA because GPA is only one indicator of your actual job abilities, and a poor indicator at that.
I do understand the fundamentals behind technical writing. I just don't think that this complaint is very well grounded, You'll have to forgive me, but having to parse an extra page of information about a person who is going to be potentially spending tens of thousands of hours working for your organization seems like such a petty gripe to me. The detail is for their benefit, not mine. I could literally spend the rest of my life working for them, but they couldn't be bothered to read an extra page on a resume? It just doesn't make any sense to me. Sorry.
Yes they are spending a lot of money on employing you and finding you. I see what you're saying, but I think my biggest issue here is your stubbornness to reduce the content. Why are you so attached to the extra page? Job applications are about conveying to the employer that you've done research and understand what they're looking for. Why include high school education when it's implied you have one since you attended college?

If you are absolutely, completely, without a doubt tied to the information, make the information clear and concise. Expand margins and slightly reduce text sizes and spacing. Make it into a 2-pager. Again, I think you really need to convince yourself that the employer you want to work for will look past the extra words. I can put my entire, targeted resume/CV on one page. When I personally see that on a resume, I think, "efficient", "modest", and "socially intelligent".
Whenever I'm making a big purchase (and I would consider an employee a big purchase) I like to spend many hours poring over the details, to make sure I'm getting my money's worth. In fact, I often browse multiple different websites to get every last drop of information. It becomes a bit of an obsession.

I don't understand this culture of selling ourselves short for the sake of some bored middle manager, who would rather be doing something else because they aren't all that invested in the company's success. Changing this attitude seems more important to me than changing how much information I give to potential employers.
Yes, I do the same. But in an employment market, employers don't have the entire internet of professional, detailed reviews of your work experience and abilities. They just have one document: your resume. The point is, the middle manager IS invested in the company's success. He wants to spend the least amount of money (ie man hours) to find the best candidate.

Just think about it this way. You're buying a new TV and care about pixel density, stock sound quality, and input ports. What if you went to the manufacturer's website and found the three page spec sheet with information about the awesome colour of the plastic casing and how incredibly comfortable the remote buttons are? The specs you cared about are scattered around the sheet or not existent. Would you want to buy it? Or would you buy the same spec'd TV from a different manufacturer who had all that information in the product title at the top of the web page, same price, easy to find, and concise? One manufacturer knows their target customer and the other doesn't. People appreciate when people target their audience. It means that you care about their interests in much the same way you might care enough to remember their name and favorite sport.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 22, 2004
2535 posts
529 upvotes
Syne wrote: I will take this into consideration, thank you - but I do think that people reviewing applicants should be giving their undivided attention to this task, as it is extremely important.

Not just your company, but every company should spend more time on the bolded part. Managers should not be multi-tasking or skip-reading the shortlisted resumes. Are these people overworked? Otherwise, I think your organization's hiring practice is pretty good, as it's not based around nepotism or who knows whom. Liking the candidate is important, but the initial sample must be objective and merit-based, which I think you guys are doing, and thus upholding your end of things.
You need to get over what you think is right and work with what is real. I work at a private firm that is run for the sole purpose of making money. There are a lot of applicants and they are filtered for qualifications. Management has earned the right to choose their priorities, and generally focus on the interview itself as opposed to reading every word on hundreds of resumes.

I will be blunt - shorten the resume and don't waste people's time. And when you get an interview remember that it is important that the interviewers like you.
Deal Addict
Jul 29, 2008
2210 posts
282 upvotes
BC
Syne wrote: In regards to resume length, do you really think I should leave off my entire college education? I'm graduating from university next year but also have 3yrs of college.

I always thought I could combine the two streams of education, to demonstrate both a practical and theoretical aptitude. Plus, if I leave one off, then all of that money I spent is literally down the toilet. I need something to show for it.

I'd leave it in (cut off the GPA amount though, they'll ask for a transcript if they want it). If your university description is of similar size (and it should be), that means you have at least a page and a half of prior work history and certificates, that's way too long. Either you've worked a new job every 3 months or you're including something irrelevant from 10 years ago. Plus certificates should be two lines after education, "I am also certified in a, b, c, d, etc" (I'd word it better than that though :) )

A profile should be 3 lines or so, I wouldn't put one at all as your cover letter should go over why you're good for the job. It's always just fluff anyway, recruiters won't even read it. Instead include a short rundown of your role under each job you're done, that's what they care about and it shows where you've developed your technical profile.

Finally, always customize your resume to the job, not just your cover letter (by the looks of it you need to do both). If something doesn't relate to the job at all, even if you think it's awesome, rip it out. You want a brief set of reasons why you should be hired for that specific job, not just why you're awesome. Volunteer work and hobbies is always a bit of a mix bag, I've found some employers love it (I had a half hour discussion with a CEO once about music thanks to adding I'm a guitar player). Hobbies and volunteer work together makes up 2 lines on my resume though as a personalising bit though at the end, unless it relates to work experience (I'm an accountant so I sometimes include a bit more about volunteer accounting work).


Edit: Two bits of advice I'd like to give on top, going by your responses. One, don't decide what recruiters should do. They do what they do, you do what you're meant to do. Providing too much information doesn't make you thorough, it means you don't care or don't understand what a resume is. And that's number two, a resume isn't your life story, it's jamming your shoe in the door. A resume will never, ever tell them what they want to know, the interview does that (or interviews). All it needs to tell them is you're experienced enough for the job. Which it apparently did, a lot of recruiters I know will simply throw out resumes if it shows the person applying doesn't care enough to do things properly. A bad cover letter, a typo, it makes you worse than the person who is concise, professional and cares about getting this job. Odds are someone will have the technical skills they need, especially when it's $16 an hour job hiring engineering students
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 7, 2009
13841 posts
1337 upvotes
Truemana wrote: Just think about it this way. You're buying a new TV and care about pixel density, stock sound quality, and input ports. What if you went to the manufacturer's website and found the three page spec sheet with information about the awesome colour of the plastic casing and how incredibly comfortable the remote buttons are? The specs you cared about are scattered around the sheet or not existent. Would you want to buy it? Or would you buy the same spec'd TV from a different manufacturer who had all that information in the product title at the top of the web page, same price, easy to find, and concise? One manufacturer knows their target customer and the other doesn't. People appreciate when people target their audience. It means that you care about their interests in much the same way you might care enough to remember their name and favorite sport.

You know, your post made me think that I'd actually prefer if there was some sort of standard North American resume template that everyone followed, so that this issue wasn't such a questionmark when people are searching for a job. Like a standardized format that every company uses, and can omit details where appropriate.

This would take a lot of the guess work out of what should and shouldn't be included in a resume. I guess this already happens somewhat in the form of Linkedin profiles and staffing agencies, but we could potentially flatten the framework of this and turn it into a business model that companies would get behind. I think it's a good idea.
In a perfect system, corporations would fear the government and the government would fear the people. - David Wong

Check out caRpetbomBer's picks in this thread.
Newbie
User avatar
Mar 25, 2012
59 posts
6 upvotes
ETOBICOKE
Syne wrote: You know, your post made me think that I'd actually prefer if there was some sort of standard North American resume template that everyone followed, so that this issue wasn't such a questionmark when people are searching for a job. Like a standardized format that every company uses, and can omit details where appropriate.

This would take a lot of the guess work out of what should and shouldn't be included in a resume. I guess this already happens somewhat in the form of Linkedin profiles and staffing agencies, but we could potentially flatten the framework of this and turn it into a business model that companies would get behind. I think it's a good idea.

Ha ha ha... This thread is priceless!!! My best find in RFDs to date.
What a ****!
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 1, 2006
3370 posts
343 upvotes
Brisbane
Syne wrote: You know, your post made me think that I'd actually prefer if there was some sort of standard North American resume template that everyone followed, so that this issue wasn't such a questionmark when people are searching for a job. Like a standardized format that every company uses, and can omit details where appropriate.

This would take a lot of the guess work out of what should and shouldn't be included in a resume. I guess this already happens somewhat in the form of Linkedin profiles and staffing agencies, but we could potentially flatten the framework of this and turn it into a business model that companies would get behind. I think it's a good idea.

This exists in Europe. Although, some love them some hate them. It takes the flexibility out since not all jobs and people fit in a template.

http://europass.cedefop.europa.eu/en/about
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 7, 2009
13841 posts
1337 upvotes
Image
In a perfect system, corporations would fear the government and the government would fear the people. - David Wong

Check out caRpetbomBer's picks in this thread.
Member
User avatar
Oct 20, 2010
492 posts
194 upvotes
Austin, TX
Syne wrote: You know, your post made me think that I'd actually prefer if there was some sort of standard North American resume template that everyone followed, so that this issue wasn't such a questionmark when people are searching for a job. Like a standardized format that every company uses, and can omit details where appropriate.

This would take a lot of the guess work out of what should and shouldn't be included in a resume. I guess this already happens somewhat in the form of Linkedin profiles and staffing agencies, but we could potentially flatten the framework of this and turn it into a business model that companies would get behind. I think it's a good idea.

The EU proposed a standardized CV format that would be recognized by employers across the Eurozone, as part of the Europass initiative (see template). IIRC, I originally linked this in a thread Truemana started about help in crafting a resume for a German employer (the Lebenslauf). The problem is that this initiative has not gained much traction due to fact that certain employers prefer to stick to their established formats, especially in the German-speaking DE/CH/AT areas. It's CVs we're talking about though, not resumes, and the way things are done over there in this regard is not the same as here. I don't think there would be any benefit, nor feasibility in attempting something like that here, unless such a proposal would be vetted through the ISO for global use (but also pointless).

Well this thread has lost its mojo a few pages ago, and gives further indication that the flaccid Careers section is becoming mostly a cesspool forum purely for comic relief. Syne, if you're too stubborn, PM me your resume, and I can provide you with honest feedback specific to your situation, like I've done so in the same manner for a few RFD job seekers. You'll need to take constructive feedback seriously, accept that the job search arena is not what you think it ought to be, but a bestial version of it. You must conform until you become an employer yourself, so you can put food on the table. A 3-pager is not needed; your resume merely lands you the interview--and that's where you can let it all out to sell yourself.
The sea is behind you and the enemy is in front. — Tariq ibn Ziyad
Deal Guru
Jun 26, 2011
13606 posts
3678 upvotes
GTA
Edit - nevermind, found the error in his reply you were speaking of.
Member
Apr 22, 2010
418 posts
31 upvotes
This is one of the most hopeless yet entertaining threads on this forum.

Op put a catchy title that made everyone give feedback. Lots of helpful advice given, not all taken. Now it's useless arguments about the advice given.

As for my post about packing up and leaving, lots of ppl do it all the time. Outside experience looks good on resumes. This should at least be an open option.

Top