Don’t Make Me Wonder

Career Aug 7, 2017

The biggest mistake candidates make when applying for a job.

A bad sign when reviewing an applicant.

Imagine your inbox contains 500 applicants for a Product Owner role.

Great! Now the fun part starts. Going through all resumes and motivation letters to select the lucky few to invite. Can’t wait to begin!

Each resume I read, I ask myself the question:”Why would this person be able to perform the job we posted?”.

A good candidate doesn’t make you wonder.

You do not need to look for reasons why the person is able to do the job. You cannot ignore them even if you tried. All the arguments are there, right in your face, to easily digest. A great candidate will have crafted a credible story guiding your imagination.

A poor candidate makes you wonder.

When you read the resume, you start wondering why would this person be able to perform the job? You wonder, do they have experience with agile? Do they know how to write user stories and split epics? Do they know how to prioritize and work with developers? You actually have to figure out why they would be able to perform the job you posted. You start wondering why the candidate applied in the first place.

That is your cue to move on to the next resume and discard the candidate.

If you are applying for a job very different from your current job, it is difficult to stop the recruiter from wondering. So you need to do an even better job to prevent this from happening! Make it very clear how your current skills and experience transfer to the job you are applying for. Leaving it up to the recruiter to figure it out for you is a risky business.

Use Your Imagination To Captivate The Recruiter

If you want to write a great resume you have one job: stop the recruiter from wondering. Grab their attention and tell a credible story why you are the right person for the job. Give them no other option than simply nodding in approval when they read your resume and motivation letter.

In the wise words of Mark Twain:

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.”