Attention to detail

Let me tell you a funny story.

It wouldn't be a stretch to say that one of my personal and professional traits is attention to detail. It's more like an obsession with detail. You can ask anyone who ever worked with me. It's just the way I have always been. I think I'm wired in a way that, for me, it's an effort to let go. I'm not saying it's good or bad; I am saying I do have attention to detail.

That was a preamble. And here is the story.

A while ago, I realized I needed to find a new gig. Everyone knows it's stressful, but my situation was also challenging because I was not ready to look for a new job after working at the same company for a little over 12 years. Not ready at all.

One thing you do when looking for a job is to update your resume. And so I did. You are supposed to put quite a bunch of bullet points in your resume: your strong sides, your technical skills, the projects you are proud of the most, and so on. So I did that too. "C#, Python, JavaScript, TDD, REST, SQL.." You know the drill. As for my strong sides, I struggled quite a bit because of my natural imposter syndrome. But not once I doubted the "attention to detail" line. Because I do have attention to detail, you can tell by my pixel-adjusting the custom-crafted resume layout.

All that process took some time and was as painful as one would expect, and finally, I had everything ready to start applying.

I applied to many places and got screening calls. From what I could tell, they were successful. People were excited to get me to the next stage of the process, and so was I. Things were going well.

But I started to notice a concerning tendency. After the first successful chat or two, I didn't hear back from them. I was waiting for the promised next steps, but nothing was happening. That didn't stop me. I also have another natural trait: I am stubborn. So I kept applying, chatting, receiving emails, and doing technical assessments.

About the third month into looking for a job, I got a call from a company I was seriously considering. They called me a week later than we agreed. By that time, I was already expecting such things.

The interesting part was that they apologized by saying they couldn't contact me earlier. Guess why? Because a phone number in my resume had a typo! 😱 I had put a zero instead of an eight. I couldn't believe it, I checked it right away, and they were right!

And suddenly, it all aligned in my head. That's what was happening! None of them ever missed a follow-up call. They were just calling the wrong number!

So much for the attention to detail.

Of course, I've fixed my resume. No, not by removing the "attention to detail" line. Instead, I updated the phone number. Later on, I finally got a job that looked promising.

Why was I telling you all that? Maybe to remind you that once in a while we all do stupid things, attention to detail or not.

What do you think was the first thing I checked in my resume before applying for the next job? Yep, my phone number. I guess I should have called that unlucky person who suffered from all these calls because of me. But I think now it's too late for that.