Friday, February 19, 2016

Dear Candidate

Dear Job Applicant,

The chief pilot saw something on your resume that indicated you might have a skill that she valued, over and above your possibly adequate piloting time. She sent you a quick e-mail asking for more information about that item on your resume. You blew it.

Communication is another skill that she values highly. She understands that not everyone is a novelist. She overlooks clumsy grammar and trite cover letters, because she's been there trying to write something that is going to impress some management droid she knew nothing about. But when she asks you two direct simple questions and your reply answers only one of the two, and that vaguely, your resume quietly goes away. It doesn't get forwarded to a colleague who has a much cooler job than the one you applied for. If that's the quality of response you give while job hunting, the chief pilot does not want to think about how you will communicate with your dispatcher or maintenance staff. She will not inflict you on them.

Spelling is nice. Grammar is useful. Vocabulary is entertaining. Communication is everything.

love and kisses, but no interview,



Colin said...

This makes me so sad. It's right, I know that, but I still am sad for the vast multitude who may be useful but who have grown up staring at the idiot box and have scant communication skills.

Paul Tomblin said...

I've learned from harsh experience to only ask one question per email. Even other software developers, who you think would have a passing familiarity with Internet technology, seem to see just one question.

kschendel said...

I admit to not having fully answered all questions in emails, from time to time. My excuses are a) I'm a senior dev usually answering a support colleague's question while I'm trying to concentrate on one or two other things, b) I'm doing them a favor by answering an email instead of a formal issue, and c) the questions are usually posed in a stream of consciousness fashion interspersed with all sorts of other relevant and irrelevant material.

I have a hard time envisioning Aviatrix authoring a blurry and rambling email, and even if that were the case, one would have to think that the applicant -- being in the position that he or she is -- would take the time to dig through it with care regardless. After all, it's a job on the line.

It's probably as much about over-eagerness, or possibly laziness, as poor communication skills; that doesn't change the conclusion, alas for the applicant.