Elimination: how I weed out job applicants (and what you can do to avoid being weeded out)

December 20 2010 | arielmstallings
Resume Infographic
Photo by Amber Case used by CC license. This is NOT a resume that was submitted to me.

Today my big task is whittling down the pool of applicants for the Offbeat Home managing editor gig. I got about 75 applications (yikes!) and want to get it down to five final candidates to interview. As I go through the applications one by one, I'm finding myself saying a quick no to applicants who…

  • Are mostly focused on sharing their own stories, aka confusing "contributor" with "editor" (half of applicants. editors are more about other people's stories)
  • List high school publications as their biggest writing/editing experience (many people)
  • Have a website with animated falling snowflakes (two people)
  • Confuse "it's" with "its" (three people)
  • Capitalize the word Blog, showing a lack of familiarity with the format
  • Emailed saying they couldn't find where to fill out the application, despite it being linked from the homepages of both existing sites
  • Downplay their technical abilities (Many people. This is a confidence thing. The tech stuff is really easy, but if someone's all wimpy about their skills, I don't trust that they're confident enough to figure shit out)

I'm down to 15 applicants, including some fucking AMAZING overqualified totally magical people. I think eliminating the first 60 people was the easier part…