300 Resumes For Review What if you worked at a job where you had to go through 300 resumes to find the right candidate to fill one position? If you examined each for only a minute, you would spend five hours reading the resumes. That's if you only spent one minute on each.
Weed-Out Process: Step 1 The large number of resumes would force you to create a weeding out process. Right off the top, you'd get rid of any that look sloppy. Next, you'd drop the ones that contained any spelling errors. Let's assume that gets rid of 50% of them. That leaves you with 150 resumes.
Ever Talked On The Phone For 12 Hours? Are you going to interview 150 people for the position? Would you even phone interview that many people? Of course not, because it would take you at least 5 minutes for each telephone interview. That's twelve hours and 30 minutes talking to possible candidates on the phone. Many of them wouldn't be right for the position anyway.
Weed-Out Process: Step 2 Once again, you'd create another, more strenuous, weeding out process. This time you'd pick only the resumes which have formatting you like. That gets you down to 75 resumes. Still too many to interview, considering an interview takes at least an hour for set up and meeting.
Weed Them Again What would you do to weed them out further? At this point, you're probably going to get a bit random. Maybe you decide that anyone that has a last name starting with a 'D' is gone. Y ou dump those in the trash, but you still have 54 resumes on your desk. You absolutely cannot interview fifty-four people for this position. It's not realistic. You've got to get this list down to ten. You decide on a plan.
It's A Toss-Up You throw them up in the air and all the ones that land on your desk win an interview. Twelve of them land on the desk, so without looking you push two off the side. We're talking about your time here, okay. Those two extra interviews mean over two more hours of sitting with two other people in an office talking about them.
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Same Thing For Editors, Every Day This is the same thing that editors are forced to do with all of the manuscripts that pour into their offices. There is no physical way to read all of them.
The Best Editors Let's say your book lands in the best bookhouse of them all. The SuperNice Book-Publishing Company gets a wonderful copy of your sure-to-be-best-seller. This place is great, because they promise to read everything. Yes, they may. But how much do they read? A sentence or two, maybe.
Minds On Fire You better be brilliant in that sentence. It better set their hearts and minds on fire.
Only One Sentence, Are You Crazy? Don't you act the same way when you go into a bookstore and you're looking for a book? Don't you pick up a book, judge it by its cover -- your manuscript doesn't even get this benefit -- and then read a sentence or two, and decide if you're going to read it?
Simple Math: Life Divided By Time = Ignore This is how math has your manuscript in a headlock. Editors, agents, and readers only have so much time. That's why it is up to you to be brilliant. Consider these facts and allow them to force you to write so well, that someone who reads your first sentence is set on fire with desire to read your second sentence. Repeat with regularity until your book is complete.
One More Thing, A Sad Truth Some of those resumes that fell on the floor represented people who would've been better than the actual person that the company hired. This same truth also occurs in the publishing world. That's right. Sadly, the best book isn't always the one that gets published.
Keep on learning, keep on writing.
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