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Bring your "A" game

July 30, 2009
by kate
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Yesterday, a popular HIT industry blog called out an error-filled job posting for a hospital CIO. This blog has carved out quite a name for itself by presenting key news items and offering honest — though often critical — comments on everything from CPOE implementations to vendor layoffs to legislation. While I often find the site to be a tad judgmental of those who are in the trenches doing the actual work, I do sometimes agree with the observations.

Like, for example, the aforementioned job listing. The short paragraph was so fraught with mistakes that I seriously doubt anyone actually reviewed it.

And it got me thinking. The pieces of advice most often given to job hunters are to act like a professional and to avoid careless errors. We’re told to proofread, double-check, re-proof, and then have a friend read all cover letters, resumes and thank you notes. We’re strongly advised to do our homework, dress the part, arrive on time (early, but not too early), think over our responses carefully, provide intelligent answers, and make sure we don’t commit any sins like — heaven forbid — having spinach in our teeth (or what I call, pulling a George Costanza).

In other words, bring your “A” game. Because what employer wants a candidate who dresses like a slob, shows up late, blurts out quick answers, makes countless grammatical errors, or emulates Costanza in any way?

Probably no one, especially in this economy.

However, I think it needs to go both ways. Sure, the job market is weak, and as a result, we’re seeing increased competition for all types of positions. But I still believe that employers need to make an effort as well. If you want to attract top-notch candidates, you must also bring your “A” game. And that means doing your homework (maybe taking a glance at the resume before sitting down with the candidate), dressing the part, making sure you’re on time for the interview, and drafting a clean job description — or at least running it through spell check.

You wouldn’t expect any less from the person you’re looking to hire, right? I say, if you want to attract the best, you need to be the best.

But that’s just my two cents — what about the career experts out there? What do you think?

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