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.