10 Things I Learned: Sitting on a Hiring Committee


Last month, I was part of a four-person hiring committee, and it was our job to hire a new career counselor. Here’s what I learned from my first time on the other side of the table.

1) A messy resume is a dealbreaker. If you can, send it as a PDF to avoid wonky reformatting.
2) Don’t say in 40 words what you can say in 10.
3) Unorganized writing suggests an unorganized candidate.
4) An interviewee who can tell a story will stand head and shoulders above the rest.
5) If we can’t clearly tell from your resume where you got your experience, we will investigate. If we still can’t figure it out, we will think you’re hiding something.
6) For the ladies – if you absolutely must personalize your interview outfit, pick fun and tasteful shoes. Shoes won’t distract during the interview.
7) Interviewees: take a breath and relax!
8) If we learn in the interview that you probably won’t be happy in the position – in terms of culture, fit, and work-life balance – we will do you a favor and let another employer hire you for a job you’d like better.
9) Be on time!
10) Always send a thank-you note! Ignore the paper vs. email debate – just pick one and do it.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user bearstache.

2 thoughts on “10 Things I Learned: Sitting on a Hiring Committee

    1. Amy Annette Post author

      Thanks for the question, Dan! For recent grads and those with less than 5 years of experience, keep the resume to one page. Let your LinkedIn and your online presence step in and further color your experience. If you do have enough experience to justify a multi-page resume, keep your descriptions clear and concise and avoid rambling at all costs! When they say that employers only take 20 seconds to look at a resume – it is absolutely correct.


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