In our last issue I commented on the challenges companies face in hiring these days. Most of it’s fixable, I said. Those people in charge of hiring at companies have been finding that it’s difficult filling some positions because quality candidates just aren’t out there. Some of it, I said, may be due to attitude on the part of some younger people these days who expect too much because they may have been spoiled or overprotected by their parents. Well, I’ve been thinking about some of this stuff since then and I’ve realized that a lot of it comes down to basics. We’ve all got to concentrate on the basics managers, business owners, employees, schools and the community as a whole. I had a great experience last week as a member of a team of people from several local companies that gathered at Cal State Northridge to offer advice to students about resumes. Yes, resumes, the most basic thing involving businesses and the people they hire. Dozens of students lined up to show us their resumes and get ideas about how to make them better. These students wanted to know what we as managers look for in resumes. They basically wanted to take the mystery out of the process of sending a resume to a company and then waiting for a call for an interview. What works. What doesn’t. How can they get in the door for an interview? This “Resumania” event was one of the most constructive experiences I’ve had dealing with our local academic institutions as a businessperson. CSUN did a great job in offering students a packet of information on what makes a good resume and what makes a good cover letter. It was all so basic but incredibly helpful. I agreed with everything in the packet as to format and elements of a good resume and cover letter. I say that because sometimes what academicians tell students isn’t exactly what the real world wants. I liked this event because it was about the basics and we were all focusing on the basics and nothing else. The students I talked to realized that a good cover letter and resume is essential and really wanted to get it right. They had no attitude and listened to me. I’ve been reading resumes for a long time and I know what I want. They sensed that. They all were prepared and I saw no really bad resumes. We tinkered with certain elements here and there but essentially they were all on the right track. And they weren’t putting the cart before the horse. They understood that they needed to get the whole resume experience down to a science before they became stars in their professions. It’s all building blocks. We can’t have a great worker pool to choose from in hiring if the workers don’t know what is wanted or expected. Thanks, CSUN. It was a very productive day for all concerned. Business Journal Editor Jason Schaff can be reached at (818) 316-3125 or at email@example.com .