A day late, but now I know the thing I knew I was forgetting to do last night – so, silver lining found!
This post is based on a small complaint of mine. During my day time hours, I put my time in as a recruiter. I won’t say which company I recruit for, and I won’t say which market I work in. Honestly, it doesn’t matter – the things I’ll discuss below apply across the entirety of job searching. I only bring up my occupation to explain how it is that I see, daily, people who do things correctly and horribly badly when looking for their next career move.
Let’s start with a position. My company partners with another company to help fill an opening they have. I might have candidates I’ve already talked to and, in all likelihood, if the position is coming to me, I probably already have 2-3 people in mind who would work.
To get said candidates and to find new ones, though, I usually toss the position description online so other can apply. Having done this for a while, I can pretty quickly break the respondents into three categories: awesome and need to call right away, might be worth talking to, and why did they bother?
What always amazes me is that across the spectrum – great to crap – I continually run into people who add unnecessary steps to the process. And one, more than any other, bugs me to no end.
Here’s an example of a job posting I’d put up on Craigslist (actually, and surprisingly, one of the best sources I have found for good candidates):
Company X (my company) is searching for a ___ (position title) for one of its clients.
Insert Position Requirements and expectations here
For consideration please email your resume (and maybe samples if applicable) to XXXXXX (my work email address)
Straight-forward and simple, right? I tell them who the position is with (my company), what I’m looking for (requirements/expectations), and give them a direct line to contacting me with specific things I’m looking for.
Why, then, do candidates – again, across the spectrum of good to bad – still email with pre-fabricated emails? Sometimes they include the resume, other times they don’t. More annoying is when the job REQUIRES samples and I put it down and they send a non-pre-made email, their resume… and no sample.
What the hell. Why not just tell me that you can’t follow simple directions, have no attention to detail, and don’t read things carefully? Why not scream into my ear that you’re not someone I should consider?
Now, given that I’m pretty forgiving and will usually email good candidates back to ask them for samples if I like everything else I see, I think my candidates are lucky. But I’m sure there are plenty of other people hiring or looking to hire who aren’t quite as nice as me.
The ones I enjoy the best are when the applicants apply for jobs that require specific skillsets that pertain to following details (like an editor or an IT tester). How do you fail to follow the specifics when that’s the job you’re applying for?
I’m not making this up, people (sadly). This happens to me all the time.
Let me give advice to anyone out there who’s searching for a job or planning to search for a job: there are always other candidates and employers will always try to count you out rather than count you in. So, go out of your way to make them find a reason to cut you out… don’t hand it to them. Or, if you are going to make stupid mistakes, please stop applying to my jobs.
I actually think I might come back to this theme – what should be stupidly, plainly obvious advice that so many good people just do not get about looking for a job. Maybe it’ll be a running bit for me.