This past week I have been on a mission to hire a couple of people for the shoe shop I currently work for. You would think that in this economy, with this many unemployed people, and college students having trouble finding jobs, and basically there being a huge amount of people looking for work, that it would be really easy to find a couple of folks willing to put in a good 40 hours for decent pay. But apparently, hardly anybody really wants a good job, because if they did then they would put in the effort to follow basic instructions and to appear professional. Right??
You would think. But, as I’m wont to say, you would think a lot of things.
In the spirit of… well, a lot of things, I have put together a little instructional for all you College Rebels with all the secrets, straight from the hiring manager’s mouth: How NOT to Get Hired.
1. Don’t read the actual hiring advertisement. Don’t even skim it. Really, the only reason you even need to click the link at all is to get the e-mail address to send your inquiry to.
To enhance this effect, don’t actually send a resume or cover letter, just e-mail the hiring manager with a message inquiring for more information, or just a straightforward “Help me, I need this job!!” will also suffice if you do not wish to be contacted for an interview.
2. Copy and paste the same resume to every half-decent looking job advertisement on Craigslist. It really impresses the hiring manager that you put so little effort into a little resume-tailoring towards the type of job at hand. You could even impress this person more if you include a similarly copied-and-pasted cover letter; see below.
3. Write your cover letter and resume using as much disingenuous superfluousness as possible. Don’t include any actual examples from your life or previous jobs/experiences that would actually make your cover letter stand out from all the other cover letters a person receives. When the hiring manager has to look over dozens of cover letter submissions, she really likes to see the same one from “Resumes and Cover Letters for Dummies” over and over again. It makes the process of elimination go faster, after all.
If you get the chance, by the way, never hesitate to add in your cover letter, good key sentences like, “The position requirements and my skills are a perfect match” and “I know that I would be a great fit and would be able to contribute immediately. I am very interested in becoming a part of your team. Your facility would gain an individual who is dependable, motivated, and personable. I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss my skills and experience at a beneficiary meeting.”
— Let’s pause a second here to examine how writing a cover letter like this is not going to land you an interview, at least with me:
- It has no concrete examples to back up any of the claims this person is making. If you wanted to be considered for that ‘beneficiary meeting’, how about: “I would be a great fit because I am a bit of a shoe aficionado and I could easily converse with customers to find out what type of shoe they are really looking for.”
- “I am very interested in becoming a part of your team…. [I am] motivated, and personable.” If you are interested, SHOW me! Write me a cover letter that is detailed towards MY shop! That would also display motivation!
- And if you’re so personable, why don’t you write me a real, genuine cover LETTER from your own heart? Your words and your actions are not lining up and we haven’t even gotten past the first step in the application process.
I would much rather in a million years get a two-line, misspelled, run-on sentence that came from the heart of a person who cared about each job they were applying to than three paragraphs of pretentiously well-written bull.
4. In the spirit of How to Not Get Hired tip #1, skim over the text of the advertisement just enough to get the gist, and then send your resume. Never mind that the hiring manager asked for a resume, cover letter, and three references. Just send the resume, and maybe a reference or two, if they were already on the resume. Hiring managers don’t care about details, and they probably won’t even notice that you neglected half of what you were instructed to do. That doesn’t reflect on your ability to be on time or to perform simple job tasks at all, no sir!
5. Don’t bother with simple grammar and formatting of your cover letter and resume. It doesn’t reflect on your ability to be reliable and professional that you can’t seem to remember that you are applying for a JOB and not texting your BFF.
Seriously: as indicated on your resume, you did in fact go to high school. Don’t they teach you how to write correctly in high school? I never went, so I wouldn’t know, but I’m pretty sure there are still English classes that teach you how to do simple things like:
– Capitalize: “hi, my name is jessica and i saw your ad on craigslist” OR “Hi, my name is Jessica and I saw your ad on Craigslist”?
– Punctuate: “Hi my name is Jessica I saw your ad on Craigslist I am really interested in working for you I am very dependable a good listener organized…” OR “Hi, my name is Jessica. I saw your ad on Craigslist and I am really interested in working for you. I am very dependable, a good listener, and organized.”
– Basic spelling: “ur ad on cl was amazin how on erth do you git a job at ur place??” OR “Your advertisement on Craigslist intrigued me and I couldn’t stop thinking about what I could do to get a job at your shoe store – so I started with using correctly spelled words in my cover letter! What do you think?”
– Eye-friendly formatting: Think sentences. Paragraphs. Make sure your computer didn’t space things strangely if you copied and pasted something from a word processor to the body of the email. Be clear, concise, easy on the eyes, and when in doubt, use bullet points.
– SPACES: spaces go between words so that you can tell when a new word is starting. Spaces also go after punctuation marks: You,don’t,write,a,sentence,with,no,spaces,after,the,commas. It is an indication of lackadaisical tendencies, which I’m not looking for in a future employee. Sorry.
So guys, I hope that helps you know what to do when you don’t actually want to get hired by someone. We College Rebels can be Employment Rebels too, after all. Who needs The Man??
But seriously. Go be awesome and genuine and stand out from the crowd. How else do you expect to land your dream job, with or without a degree??