They Can Read, But Can They Write?

If a candidate’s writing skills are an important part of the job qualifications, don’t count on the resume or covering letter as being any indication of his or her writing abilities.

In this day and age, many people are getting professional assistance in putting together their resumes. What you see is most likely the creative writings from one of these services and not that of the candidate.

If the candidate will be expected to write letters or respond to emails as part of his job responsibilities, have him write one for you as part of your hiring process. One way to make sure you don’t fall into this hiring trap is to give the candidate a scenario. Here’s an example:

A customer is expecting delivery of his order by the end of next week. You’ve just found out that delivery will be delayed by six weeks. Compose a letter or email to the customer explaining the situation.

You’ll be surprised how many people have no idea how to even set up a letter let alone handle the situation effectively. You may even find that they are atrocious spellers and have no ability to use spell checkers.

If there’s a problem, better that you find out before, not after, you hire the person.

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