Career Explorations

The "Weeding Out" Process

A friend of mine called me earlier this week and said “Jeff I have a topic for you, you have to do a blog to help people understand the “weeding out” process! For the last few positions I have applied for, I feel like I have been “weeded out” by all these minimum requirements, tests, and assessments before I can even get in the door! What do you think man, can you help?”

After listening to my friend all I could think of was a large patch of weeds in my yard that I had been passing by for the last few weeks. These weeds were so bad they stick out like a sore thumb and I was waiting for my wife to say “Jeff, it’s time to mow the lawn.” The tough part is always trying figuring out how I to pick the weeds out without pulling out the good grass around it. The hiring process is no different. The question hiring managers ask is how can I legally separate the quality candidates from the not so good candidates without eliminating a good candidate? The truth is hiring managers spend more time “weeding out” candidates than they do choosing the best of them. For that reason I am giving you 3 ways to avoid being “weeded out”:

  1. Address All Minimum Qualifications: “Do you meet the minimum qualifications?” Seems like a simple question but most candidates assume the hiring manager knows they meet the minimum qualifications. Hiring Managers always review submitted materials to ensure the applicant has stated and met the minimum qualifications. This is the first step of the “weeding out” process and should not be over looked. To make it past the first stage of this process make sure you address all the minimum qualifications listed in job announcements on your application, resume and cover letter.
  2. If you’re going to make an appearance, make it count: If you desire to submit your application or resume in person, be prepared for an interview. According to a study on first impressions, professional appearance has the greatest impact on how others perceive you. You never know whom you will have contact with when submitting your application. For an experienced hiring manger this is the easiest technique used to “weed out” candidates. In addition, it takes less than 30 seconds to know if an individual is going to be a qualified candidate, so make it count.
  3. Have your resume reviewed by a professional: I cannot express how many resumes I have received for vacant positions that have not been proofed and lacked professional organization, appeal and content. These resumes are unacceptable and are always targets of elimination first. It’s important that you find a professional resume writer or an experienced hiring manager, who provides professional advice and/or service. Sometimes these services may cost you, but it’s a small price to pay to enhance your employment opportunities.

I have to admit that I too have been a past victim of the “weeding out” process. It’s truly not a great feeling to know you didn’t even make it past the first round. So take these tips to heart and put them into practice. When you do you will be one step closer to your dream job!


Jeffery Grant - Founder of Maximum PotentialJeffery Grant is a leading career expert, speaker, author and Founder of Maximum Potential, a career training & development company created to equip, train, and empower individuals to maximize their full potential. In his years of experience, Jeffery has had the privilege of managing over 1000 employees, interviewing over 1000 candidates, and building relationships with hundreds of clients each year. He has worked in the private and public sector as a Senior Human Resource Manager and currently as a Director of Human Resources. Jeffery is an ASA Certified Staffing Professional (CSP), HRCI Certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR), and has also been featured WATC ATLANTA LIVE for the announcement of his power packed presentation and CD Series “The Secrets That No Employer Will Tell You But Every Candidate Should Know. Each year he speaks to organizations such as corporations, colleges, professional associations, churches, school systems, and civic organizations. 

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