We needed to hire and we needed an easy way to sort through the clutter of people who aren’t qualified.  It’s a problem that all growing companies go through.  After nearly a month of unqualified applicants, we initiated a tactic that I learned from my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Bills.

She handed out an assignment with over 25 questions.  At the top were directions for the exam.  The directions read;

“Write your full name on the line at the top of the paper.  Be sure to show all of your work for each equation.  Skip ahead to problem 25.”

Problem 25 read.  “Draw a smiley face in the top right corner.  Turn your paper in and return to your seats.”

3 people read the directions and turned their papers in with a grin while the rest of the class struggled over long division in a pre-calculator era.

If you read our current job description for a Junior Marketing Strategist on Indeed it reads:

“Please be sure to read through the entire job description. Every time a resume uses Times New Roman or Arial a hipster dies, please preserve the hipsters.” at the top…and at the bottom:

“Apply by going here: https://lionandpanda.com/work-with-us/ and not applying through Indeed. This will tell us whether or not you can follow instructions like ” read through the entire job description”. For all unqualified applicants that apply and force me to read about your liberal arts degree in Buddism, I will kill a kitten. Seriously, I will do it*.

*no kittens will actually be harmed, but please don’t apply if you don’t know what SEO means, it’s super annoying”


Every resume I receive through Indeed instantly gets deleted.  Every resume that comes through our website has a fun comment about not killing kittens.

Problem solved.

This simple concept has saved me hundreds of hours reading unqualified resumes, because I remembered a simple lesson from Mrs. Bills.  To be fair, the reason I remember is because I was not one of the 3 that was smiling jubilantly.  I was one of the dozens that were doing long division for 45 minutes.

I hate long division.