First, I want to thank all my readers for responding to last week’s postings with their likes and comments.

I know most of you like to tune in to see read about all my near misses with whatever calamities happened throughout the course of the week in my bathroom, bedroom, fitness class or other such arena of misadventure. To you I apologize for boring you with something as mundane as applying for a job. I have to apologize again, because this week it’s going to be worse as I set forth to do it all over again, as I apparently have some ‘splainin’ to do.

One alert reader responded personally to say that I made a good point in writing that one should prepare everything before clicking the “Apply Now” button. She went on to advise that part of the preparation should be to make sure that the language on the application form and the posting should match.

She went on to explain that there is no reason to assume that the first reader of the application is going to be a living and breathing human. It also won’t be a be a Sasquatch, an Ogopogo, or any other mythical creature. It’s going to be a computer – and perhaps more than one computer. Each application is going to be read, dissected, and reduced to zeros and ones  to gets the OK to grace the desk of an actual person.

The bottom line is to make sure you use the same key words that are on the posting. This means the actual HR person won’t get confused.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Mike, you’re an idiot. Everyone knows that you won’t get hired if you can’t show that you’re creative. How can you be creative if you’re saying the same thing as everyone else? How will your application stand out?”

That is a good question. Why not try to reformat your cover letter. Instead of using it to show why they should call you in for an interview, write it in the form of a press release announcing your appointment to the company, and spelling out you skills and experience as if it were being published in tomorrow morning’s daily newspaper.

Another part concerned the online test. I said that you shouldn’t try to outthink the reader and try to go for the extremes of each answer. The comments I got were that nobody is perfect, and that HR departments allow for some imperfection.

I still suggest that they are looking only for perfection.

I just established that the computer is going to be the first reader of the application, and I believe it will be the only reader of the online exam. All the HR person is going to read is the score. My hinch is that the HR person will only receive scores of 95 – 100%My suggestion is that by answering extremes at either end of the scale, and being extremely “in the middle for questions that demand a neutral answer will get you closer to that perfect score.

Break a leg at your interview.


Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .
He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there “aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look like.
He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”
He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.



  1. Sharon Says:

    More good info for those of us who are so old we used to type our applications. Actually, my first boss would not hire me until I sent a handwritten letter. He sent the letters to a handwriting analyst and only hired those people who received positive reports. How times have changed.

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