What Screening 20,000 Job Seekers Taught Me

You’d be surprised by how effective video-enhanced applications are, especially when compared to traditional resumes. As a grader at HireArt, I’ve often recommended candidates whose resumes might have been overlooked for any number of reasons. However, because they completed work samples, many ended up with the job they wanted – even if they weren’t a “perfect fit” for the position.

Dedicated graders like myself carefully review every application, and are able to assess skills and traits that can’t be accurately determined from a resume alone. Given the sheer volume of job seekers I review daily, I thought it might be helpful to suggest a few basic rules to keep in mind  when completing your work sample assessment. This way, you can avoid raising any red flags, and use every HireArt feature to its fullest potential.

Here are 5 all too common mistakes I’ve seen during my time here:

Don’t bare it all.

Recording a video in your own home can make you a bit too comfortable. You should treat the recording process like a preliminary interview. Many of the same rules apply. Be sure to look neat and sit up straight. Also, don’t forget that everything behind you is in the shot, so throw that pile of clothes somewhere where it’s out of sight.

Don’t over-share on your resume, either.

At HireArt, we know that a college education doesn’t correlate highly with actual job performance. Also, while it’s true that many employers are looking for college graduates, they rarely ask for a candidate’s GPA.

Great GPAs are nice to show off, but if yours isn’t above a 3.5, then there’s no reason to include it. No job I’ve graded for at HireArt has ever required a minimum GPA. More importantly, we evaluate you on your speech and writing skills – which are much stronger indicators of intelligence than grades!

Don’t get too personal.

Unless a prompt asks you about a personal experience, try to keep your responses as professional as possible. It’s great that you love to surf, and that you’ve been working out lately, but it’s also irrelevant.

There’s an elephant in the room…

Employers spend a lot of time and money looking for the right candidates. When they find them, they don’t want to do it again – at least for a while. When an applicant’s resume makes it seem that the job doesn’t fit their career trajectory, it’s a red flag for hiring managers. Luckily, our platform allows you to explain why you’d be a great fit for a job, whatever your past experience may be.

While users tend to keep their experience video somewhat generic, HireArt allows you to record a new one for every job application. If you’re applying for a job you’re really passionate about, it might be a good idea to record a new experience video just for that position. Also, every application has a supplementary question where you can make a compelling case for why you should get the job.

For those with many talents…

Don’t just list the positions you’re interested or experienced in. Anyone can sell themselves as a generalist. Even worse, people have a tendency to tune-out when reading lists.

If you’re like most people, you’ll likely have more than one interest and many talents. Be specific! Explain why these things interest you, and why you excel in those roles.

Alternatively, stay focused and list only the skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Both approaches will work, as long as you avoid listing everything you can think of, in hopes of appealing to as many employers as possible.

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