We’re not currently hiring, but we are assisting a client in a search for a marketing assistant position, and we are seeing some of the following mistakes made by prospective (or not) employees. One would think that in an economy with an unemployment rate of just under 9 percent, people who are looking for a job would be very focused on the process. Not the case.
I’m reprinting an entire post from Peter Shankman’s blog because, well, it accurately describes the kind of things I encountered the last time I sought a new employee, just not on the scale that one of the leading thinkers in the new media scene would encounter:
A few weeks ago, I put out a call for an assistant editor for HARO. As HARO continues to grow, we’re going to be hiring more and more. With that said, I figured I’d share some of what we got, and possibly help you the next time you’re applying for a new job.
No personal identifiable information is disclosed here, which for some people who applied, is probably a good thing.
We received 481 resumes in the past three weeks. Of those, 449 of them came to the correct address. That means 33 resumes were immediately disqualified for not being able to follow the simple instruction of where to send it.
TIP: Chances are, your resume is being emailed to a specific address because filters allow the hirer to look at it with the others. Not following that simple direction does two things: 1) Guarantees your email will be deleted, because 2) it proves you can’t follow directions. The time to be different and show off is NOT now.
From the 449 that came to the right address, 184 of them simply had a resume attached with absolutely no cover letter, no subject line, no information insofar as the position you were applying, and no reason for us to even bother opening the resume. We didn’t specifically ask for a cover letter, but come on – Nothing? That doesn’t give us much to go on. That’s like a guy walking up to a girl in a bar and just screaming “SEX!” It doesn’t work. Give us some reason to look at you – This is your first introduction to us. “JOB!” doesn’t cut it.
TIP: Your resume will never, ever be enough for any type of creative position. Chances are, you need some kind of cover letter. Make it short, to the point, and interesting, and give us a reason to look at your resume.
265 resumes left. 52 of them either had one or more spelling or grammar errors (I’m not kidding) or was addressed to the wrong person, (seriously – how hard is that?) or, in two cases, the applicants were applying for jobs at a different company.
I understand the allure of cut and paste. Really, I do. But you’ve simply gotta be smarter than that. If you’re going to cut and paste, CHECK YOUR WORK FIRST!
213 resumes left.
28 eliminated due to their email addresses. Now while you think this is harsh, hear me out. I’ve never met you before. Do you really want the first thing I know about you to be that your email is firstname.lastname@example.org? Get a real email address. Seriously.
185 left. From those, We chose 20 of them that matched what we were looking for.
Over half the resumes we received were rejected outright because of stupid, pointless mistakes.
It always comes back to this: We have to be be smarter.