Apply Within

A disclaimer: this post has nothing to do with being American or British or in the Cotswolds. Thus you, dear reader, will suffer none of my usual far fetched and occasionally tortured attempts to make the link between what’s going on in my life and the title of this blog. Despite the global economic downturn I have been in the lucky position over the past few months of trying to hire people. The open positions are in Helsinki, Berlin, and Boston, and they have attracted a range of applicants as diverse as those three cities. While I have yet to find the perfect person for any of the posts, it’s been a sometimes entertaining and sometimes exasperating experience reading the hundreds of cover letters and resumes received so far. As most of them applicants present at best tenuous evidence of the required skills and experience, I have no reason to interview them. This is a shame as I am utterly fascinated by a handful and would like nothing more than to sit down and have a chat.With some it’s their earnestness and backgrounds that make me sympathetic. One applicant was a recent immigrant from Turkey to the UK. He had a decent job in IT in Istanbul but had been working as a waiter at Pizza Express since moving to London. My heart bled over the discrimination and frustration I imagined he had experienced, but even if he was right for the job I don’t have one to offer in the UK. Another applicant, Ehsan, wrote in his cover letter that he was “…from Shiraz, the 4th biggest city of Iran.” He went on to say, “Your Company is one of the best choices for me to continue my engineering life and build my career life on it, which has always been my dream.” All of which may be true were I looking to hire a mechanical engineer with a background in metal processing, Ehsan’s specialty. I would, however, love to talk with him about his views on the recent Iranian elections.Then there are the slight nutters, the ones who tell you way too much about their personal lives, like “Without only one exception in Middle Summer Festival 1996, I have never passed out to alcohol nor having alcohol problems!” which is the least crazy thing mentioned in this particular candidate’s cover letter. My favorite is Isabella, who has applied twice, explaining in her most recent cover letter that she “…decided to take a break from London and spend a few weeks in Europe. I feel that this was not enough time but the fact is that I had to embrace a new lifestyle,” thereby managing to be somehow overly familiar and cryptic all at the same time. Isabella, I reach. A few weeks in Europe is never enough time and although I don’t want to hire you, I bet you’d have some interesting stories to share over cocktails.

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