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

Updated Oct 12 2015 (Posted Dec 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…