Concerning the “how to get hired” topic, I’ll add this obvious post. Our job in the trial consulting world requires a high level of conscientiousness, a very detailed orientation. As I explain to applicants and new hires, our clients are attorneys. They are paid to find mistakes; we don’t give them any freebies. Undoubtedly, there are mistakes and typos in some of what we deliver to clients in our reports or presentations, despite the best efforts of several people in eliminating them. And, we do have many checks and balances to try to eliminate them. But, when applying for a job, for which the job description contains the words “must be detail oriented” proof your resume`. Proof your cover letter. Today I received an application from someone with a Master’s degree, a fairly impressive resume, and decent cover letter, except… Except that he said he wanted to work for us at “Mangus Research Consultants” because… We’ve been “Magnus Research Consultants” since 1993, and notably, he got that right in the address block at the top, just not in the letter. Be careful, first impressions count.
In the most recent round of searching for a new Research Associate, we also received a resume` from someone who, in an attempt to stand out among all of the other job applicants, intentionally built in a typo and noted it with a joking comment. Trust me, this applicant got noticed, but not in a positive way and not in a way that accelerated him to the first round of interviews. I have nothing against humor, but a job application, a resume`, or a curriculum vita is not the place for humorous commentary. As a psychologist, I am always looking for “red flags” that indicate someone is too weird to work for me and building in a fake typo on one’s resume is a sure sign of weirdness, in my opinion. We all make mistakes, and typos are inevitable, but purposely misspelling a word as an attention seeking ploy is almost guaranteed to backfire. Considerable media attention has focused on people who pad their resumes`, by exaggerating their credentials, but the intentional act of making oneself appear dumb and dumber is something I had never, until recently, experienced. As an aside, when one is applying for a job that emphasizes detail orientation, one can be sure the details of one’s resume` will be noticed by the prospective employer. One recent applicant professes to be “an expert” on a complex statistical analysis software program that I, after using it for the past 35 years, including several advanced training programs I attended after obtaining a Ph.D., would never consider myself as “an expert” in using this software program. Watch out, job applicants; someone might actually read what you write on your application!