There’s been a lot of talk about employment of late, as there always is around placement time, but I want to take the focus away from the Bs and the Ds for a second and focus in on the people who are applying for the various posts around this town. Remember, by avoiding the “dos and don’ts” of getting employed you are simply handicapping your efforts of even meeting with a Human Resources (HR) Manager. Now a very close friend of mine is an HR Manager and a recent posting for a entry level position within her company has led to over a hundred hopeful applications bombarding her inbox within 48 hours of the posting. Hanging out with her as her smart phone buzzed and buzzed, I was privy to the flagging process as certain applicants made it clear they didn’t want their Curriculum Vitae (CV) to be read… EVER!!
Red Flag to Getting That Job #1. Applicants sent in their CVs from personal email accounts… that were way too personal.
Pro tip: While you are free to enjoy your personal life to the fullest (within reasonable allowance of the law), you shoot yourself in the foot if you don’t see a problem with applying for a job from an account with a name like [email protected]…” or “[email protected]…”. The fact that you didn’t think to sign up for a free email account and simply use your christened name to apply for a professional post means you can’t be serious about employment. Your CV went unread!
Red Flag to Getting That Job #2. Applicants got past Red Flag #1 only to blow their chances with a terrible, and unnecessary photograph.
Pro Tip: If you feel the need to include a photograph of yourself in your application (when it wasn’t requested), please make sure it is a professionally taken image. Simple plain background (white, black or grey), clean lighting and a neat and professional look. Sending in what appears to be photos snapped at parties, in your home or the FB profile pic of the month doesn’t score any points with potential employers. There goes another unread application.
Red Flag to Getting That Job#3. One applicant made the sensible decision to send her CV and Cover Letter to a friend for perusal, however, she chose to simply FORWARD said email on to her potential employer after receiving a positive response.
Pro Top: Getting a second opinion from a trusted advisor is always a great idea, however, if your employer is privy to that discussion you may lose a few points. You lose more of course, if the correspondence to your friend showcased a very poor command of the English language, which may have simply been the result of your casual conversation with a friend.
Red Flag to Getting that job #4. Applicants can’t spell.
Pro Tip: Almost every piece of writing software including the free to download Openoffice.org comes with a spellchecker. Sending in a cover letter with poor grammar and misspelled words in this day and age makes an employer view you as lazy and incompetent. At this stage, it doesn’t matter how great your CV sounds, you’ve already handicapped your chances.
In the end, I’m sure the right people made it to the interview room, but I am baffled by how many others ensured that they didn’t even have a shot at achieving the post advertised based on what can only be described as Job Application incompetence. Best of luck to the successful candidates, and best of luck to all of you who are sending in applications for employment opportunities.