Recently, I posted an ad on Craig’s list for a Marketing Assistant. In the ad, I mentioned “Humanities/Liberal Arts background preferred.” That didn’t mean I didn’t want to find InDesign and PhotoShop experience on the list of credentials, but I did want to find people who could write, think creatively, take initiatve and be analytical. Where better to look for all that than in students of the humanities?
I was right. I heard from at least a dozen qualified humanities majors among the 100+ applications I received. Two or three were noticeably better on paper than the others, though, and here’s why:
• Their resumes were concise. Anything longer than a page, I didn’t read. (I was looking for anywhere between entry-level and 2-3 years of experience. A page is plenty!)
• Their resumes were readable—nicely laid out, plenty of white space, in a professional-looking, decipherable font.
• Their experience and qualifications were relevant. It was obvious they’d read the ad and had made an attempt to link their experience to my requirements. For example, one applicant highlighted in the experience he had which I’d specifically written in my ad (I wrote “assist with search engine optimization” and his resume said “improved search engine optimization for a start-up retail store.”
• They wrote cover letters that demonstrated they’d checked out my business online and had at least applied some preliminary imagination to the prospect of working here. (“I imagine there’s quite a market for your class in Technical Presentation skills, and I look forward to helping connect with more students.”)
• They’d obviously proofread their resumes, which demonstrated two things to me: First, that they can proofread (literacy) and second, that they did (attention to detail).
Next time, I’ll tell you about how the interviews went.