scraps of ideas around software and collaboration

Increasing your chances of securing an interview, when everyone is a skeptic

Once you start hiring people, there is a fundamental change that happens 40-50 CV's down the line. You become default skeptic.

Reading through dozens of CV's that mention the same hard-working and smart individuals takes away any of the meaning behind those words.

The CV goes from a method for demonstrating a track record of accomplishments to a first person narrative on how awesome you are.

People who hire are risk averse.

As someone who hires, you are incentivised to be skeptical.

Hiring the wrong person can:

  • Waste a lot of personal and organisation time on interviewing and onboarding, only to throw all of that down the drain when the person quits
  • Damage your personal reputation (especially when the first hire of a new department goes wrong)
  • Make everyone else in the team slower and unhappy

Unfortunately, a lot of people are tempted to think that "standing out" means formatting your CV in a nicer way.

The colleagues that I helped bring onto the team and ended up whizzing by in their careers taught me one important lesson:

They assumed no one believed them.

What does that mean?

  • Instead of saying "innovative", write a couple of blog posts outlining your thinking and predictions
  • Instead of saying "passionate", show me your side-projects
  • Instead of saying "entrepreneurial", show me how you made $1 off something you started
  • Instead of saying "effective communicator", reach out to someone you admire and interview them

Understanding the skepticism that lives on the hiring side reframes the CV from a signalling tool of how awesome you are to a de-risking tool for the employer.

You don't need thousands of reader or revenue for the projects above to be considered "legit".

The intentions behind them are more important than the outcome.

So when I look through a pile of 50 CV's that I don't believe, you can show me why I am wrong.

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Jamie Larson
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