So we're hiring -- who isn't? -- and my colleague hands me a stack of CVs. That's 'Curriculum Vitae' here in Merrie Olde England, aka a "résumé" for those of us who enjoy using accents.
"These are the ones I'd like to interview," they say, "but there's still too many. Could you take look at them?"
"Well this one for a start," I say, handing them back the first CV on the stack. "There's two typos in the first paragraph."
"What? Why does that matter?"
It matters. It matters a lot. When I'm going through a stack of résumés I'm not looking for reasons to accept, I'm looking for reasons to reject. And quick ones too; we can get hundreds of applications for a position, especially for a junior role, and I have an actual job to do at the same time. So I want to get rid of 90% of these applications. And the ones with typos are the first to go.
If your CV is more then two pages (one in the US), then I bin it. I do not have time to read your life story. No, changing the font size to 7pt won't help you. You will have to cut stuff.
I select on other things too -- poor formatting for instance -- but you get the idea.
Some people think this is unfair. I get told that we're hiring developers, not writers, and who cares if they can't spell.
The first thing I'd say is that this is fairer than just binning 50% of the applications from the start, at random. Yes, I have seen that done.
But also, these criteria; what are they really testing for? Concision and accuracy. These are two excellent attributes for a developer to have, as well as the diligence to check your work before you send it off.
I want to hire someone who cares, who has a sense of pride in what they produce. And I think that starts with the CV and the job application.
What do you think?