Friday, August 19, 2016

The Right Way to Apply for a Job

Every time I post a job to hire someone new I am absolutely floored how bad the resumes are that I get. It seems that no one knows or cares how to properly apply for a job these days. However, when I do get someone that takes the time to put together a nice application I show them the same respect in return by giving them careful consideration. If you're applying for a job it is something that you should keep in mind.

Chances are that if you apply with a company that has less than 50 employees the person reviewing your resume is not a full-time HR person. They have a primary job other than hiring and are probably really busy doing their day-to-day business activities, that's why they are looking to hire someone. That means they don't have a lot of time to go through resumes. When I go through resumes I usually decide in about 5 seconds whether to hit the delete key or to read a little further. 

Because this first impression is so critical below are a few tips to help you get more consideration when you apply for a job:

  • Follow the application instructions carefully - I always post a couple things that applicants MUST provide when they send their resume in. I delete all the applications that don't follow these rules. I want to see how well applicants can follow instructions and this is how I test people without them knowing.
  • Save your resume as a PDF and name the file properly - A PDF is the only way to guarantee that the viewer will see your resume exactly as you want it to be seen. I've had weird word formats sent to me that won't open or try to start downloading plugins. At that point I delete and move on to the next candidate. Also, name your resume file properly. A filename like, New Resume (2).docx shows me you are lazy and disorganized.
  • Write something thoughtful - Write me a note and tell me about yourself. Tell me why you want the job. Tell me why I should be compelled to hire you. Tell me why 'x' on your resume looks bad but you have a good reason for it. Don't send me, "i want the job. -sent from T-Mobile". Again, if you are that lazy in the way you apply what makes me think you aren't going to be just as lazy when I hire you. Are you going to send equally lazy unprofessional notes to our company's clients once I hire you?
  • Do a freaking spellcheck - It's 2015 and spellcheck is readily available for you to use. The lowercase 'i' is not an acceptable replacement for word 'I', which should always be capitalized. If you don't give me the respect by sending me something written in proper English then I will not give you any respect in return and will quickly delete your application.
Take your time when you apply for a job. The way in which you apply is an indicator to the employer what kind of job you will do if you were to get hired. Remember that the person reviewing your resume is likely very busy and you will have only a few seconds to make an impression.         

Friday, August 5, 2016

Axiom 86: Don't Take Big Commitments Lightly

"Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.-Robert H. Schuller

"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.-Theodore Roosevelt

The biggest mistake that young people make is taking life's big decisions too lightly. Buying a house, getting married, choosing a college, having children, moving to a new city, and quitting a job are just a few of the really huge choices that we sometimes make on emotion only. There needs to be a little logical analysis that goes into making these big choices. Making a choice only because it feels good can come back to haunt you later.

Before you make a decision think about the best and worst case possible outcomes. Don't ignorantly put on those rose colored glasses only to regret a bad decision later. I know we often want something so much that we ignore the bad and only pay attention to the good. You must resist the urge to jump into a bad decision before weighing all the options.

This axiom reminds me of I when I went to shop for engagement rings. I went into a jewelry store to casually look and soon found myself cornered by two high-pressure salespeople holding a ring I asked to look at. 

"If you walk out of here and don't buy this ring you will be making a stupid decision. This is the best possible deal you can get," the clerk said.

It was this statement that made me realize I had to get the hell out of there. Any purchase I was going to make that big was not going to be made without looking at all the options and this was the very first place I had visited.

"You may be right. I may walk out of here and regret this. But I did not come here today to buy a ring yet. I came here to look. I want to consider all of my options before I make a decision. If I decide that this ring is the one then I will come back and buy it. If by that time it was sold to someone else so be it. That is a risk i am willing to take over making an impromtu purchase," I told the clerk before I walked out.

Needless to say that after looking at all my options that ring would have been an awful purchase. I found a much better ring that I bought and have had no regrets.

Think before you act.