500 resumes for a $13 an hour job

Call it a testimony to the times. A Salt Lake City trucking company's quest to fill a $13-an hour administrative assistant position at its Indiana driving school generated nearly 500 resume hits from all over the country, according to a New York Times story.

The job entailed data entry, copy making and assembling paper work at the Burns Harbor, Ind. school. Interested candidates ranged from a former IBM business analyst, a former bank manager to a veteran Deloitte & Touche alum.

Normally, C.R. England posts jobs for 30 days before starting the hiring process. But in this case, the company shuttered its doors on applicants after the third day. "It was just such a high volume -- we never got that many for one job," said Stacey Ross, head of corporate recruiting, in a telephone interview.

The overwhelmed company was forced to come up with a strategy to sort through the piles of resumes and find that best hire. Well, the best and the smartest hire.

Ross decided the fairest approach was to screen applications on a first-come basis. Many who faxed their applications instead of applying online lost out early in the game, because Ross just couldn't get to all of them. She picked the ones that looked promising and passed them along to the school's director after a round of short interviews.

The overqualified ones, including the IBM alum, didn't make the cut. Besides matching skills for the position, the company wanted someone who would ride with it through good times, and not abandon it once the economy picked up steam.

The winner? A standard one-page resume submitted online by 28-year-old Tiffany Block from nearby Portage. Block was a former accounts receivable manager at a building company that recently closed shop in Indiana.

In her final interview she was asked what she would do if a foul ball came her way. Would she catch the ball or wait for it to come her way. The company wanted to gauge her assertiveness. Block's answer: She would grab it, and with that she clinched the deal.
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