Random chance

Once, during my stint with McKinsey, an HR recruiter from the New York office once asked me if I could help shortlist a few resumes for interviews.

The applicants were all from top B-Schools (Harvard, Columbia, MIT, Wharton, etc.) and every resume looked stellar. All B-Schools have resume workshops for this very purpose. Now, how do you pick 1/3rd from a pool of candidates who look equally good on paper?

Initially, I tried to eliminate a few and pick some which really stood out. But soon, I figured that it was going nowhere and this was taking time away from my own work.

I don’t know what I did but somehow I picked a few resumes and sent them back.

While I don’t think I did a particularly great job, practically all resume filtering, and even recruiting is full of random chances. I would argue, this is even true for life in general.

Admissions, job offers, promotions — all have a huge element of luck. Somebody’s mood, biases, and random actions could determine if your resume gets picked up.

Fortunately, while life is unfair, it is not a single shot game; it gives us many chances. Keep trying and eventually, luck will even out.

That is how you become ‘lucky.’


– Rajan

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