Posted by: stackedfivehigh | January 29, 2010

Reflecting on hiring

Today I kept working on my archive project, because my supervisor in the photo archive was out sick.  I did a few small projects today.  I photocopied funeral information, and investigated some obituaries to help the genealogist on one of her projects.  I also finished the step I was on for my collection.  I’m not sure what comes next, so we just left it at that until next week.  I finished re-housing files, removing staples, and getting sucked in to someone else’s business. One of those things that I got sucked into ties back neatly to what has been going on at my real job – namely, hiring.  As I mentioned last week, there is a file of resumés and applications to become the project manager’s assistant, which I find riveting.  It was interesting to see how people were writing resumés differently – the format often involves full paragraphs, and they include personal information like whether or not they are married.  The other neat part  is that I can read the comments about why they are not going to be hired (hint: check your spelling).  This person was overqualified, that person wasn’t even vaguely qualified, a third person didn’t speak well during the phone interview.

This ties back to my normal job, in that we just did hiring.  And I mean ‘we’ because my boss made me participate, turning a deaf ear to my whining and kvetching.  In my defense, I was intimidated by going through all of the applications and especially by doing the interviews.  Can I just do the second interview?  Sure.  Until we had to move on to the second batch of applicants.  Then I had to do first interviews, too.  In my boss’s defense, she made me do it because I need the experience.  It’s good to have a boss that cares about that stuff.

It was an interesting experience. My boss (we’ll just call her H) walked through the applications with me.  We compared our reactions to the cover letters and resumés, deciding who would get a follow-up and who wouldn’t.  It really gives you a different perspective on the hiring process.  I’ve always been sort of slack with the cover letter, even though I’ve often heard how important it is.  From the other side of the desk, it looks really different.  I had no patience for generic cover letters, and it made a huge difference if the applicant directly referenced the qualities/requirements mentioned in the job posting.

H’s main complaint?  Using too many big words, and overly complicated sentences.

Happily, that was resolved quickly and it’s on to training.

Next week – I get to learn the next step for my collection.

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