I’ve hired close to 100 people in my professional career – more than some, not as many as others. Three items jump out that help me sort our candidates.
Why are you excellent? I’m not really interested in mediocre. It is so surprising to see resumes that are just chronological summaries of job descriptions. Hiring managers really need to know about your specific accomplishments. Show examples of how you moved the needle in a big way for previous clients.
Three-year itch. Some alarms go off when I see good performance, but only in 2 to 3 years at a company. Sure, I know everyone says people are going to change jobs more frequently in today’s workplace. I certainly want to see more staying power and a willingness to ride out some bumps, which are likely to happen over a longer tenure. Two to three years is long enough to hang around, learn the job, get the low-hanging fruit and wear out your welcome. Can you hang?
Ivy League v. Big 12 Conference. I should definitely be impressed by great educational credentials. Actually, the greatest employees I’ve ever had? U of Michigan, Maryland, Community Colleges, JMU. If you’re from a state school, don’t forget you can compete with the best of them.