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Are You a Detail-Oriented Job Hunter?
By Billie Sucher, Career Transition Consultant


"Success is the sum of details." ~ Harvey S. Firestone

As a job seeker, do you pay attention to details? Do you think about them? Notice them? Respect them?

Make time for them? There are numerous details to consider as it relates to job search.  What is a detail, anyway? According to the dictionary, a detail is “a small part of something or a particular fact or piece of information about something or someone.”

A few years ago, another consultant and I were asked to meet with a company’s top two candidates for a senior sales leadership role. Our directive was to ask each candidate the same set of questions – one of which was:

So tell us about your commitment to details and give us three examples pertinent to sales leadership.

As the first candidate proceeded to give a lengthy defense of how detail-driven he was, he asked if we minded if he removed his suit jacket. (He was getting a little warm.) We said we didn’t mind at all. As he stood up to hang up his jacket, we noticed his shirt was a total wrinkled mess, except for the part his suit jacket covered. Wrinkled like the shirt had just been pulled from the laundry basket.

My consulting partner (male) went off script and asked Candidate A this question.

I am curious – you have been telling us how detail-minded you are in all aspects of your work...I was wondering if you would like to comment on your shirt – those details.

The candidate looked at his shirt and apologized profusely for his lack of attention to details. He said he was in a hurry and did not take the extra time to iron it, except for the front and cuffs. He thought the suit jacket would cover up the shortcut.

Details. They are everywhere in job search.

They’re in your résumé.

They’re in your attire.

They’re in your conversations.

They’re in your preparedness.

They’re in your job interviews.

They are the teensiest of little things that can do you in and you don’t even know it.

As a job seeker, are you paying attention to the details – the kind of details that can land you or lose you a job?