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  1. #1
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Default Cover Letters & CVs: from an employer's viewpoint

    Thought I'd share today's experience from an employer's point of view.

    We just advertised a part-time position as a corporate trainer through a free website today. Within minutes of posting the ad, application emails and CVs started streaming in. I was hopeful! Wow, a lot of candidates to choose from!

    Then I started reading the emails. You know, you'd think people looking for jobs would actually put in some effort. As a screening test, I instructed people to send their CVs to a specific email address (instead of clicking the 'submit resume' button on the website).

    We've received 29 applications so far.

    Only 6 people read the instructions and sent their application letters to the correct address. They automatically made it to the second round, including the ones who were not as qualified.

    Things people did that got them disqualified:
    - Mass application (with twenty other employers' email addresses in the CC box)
    - Sloppy emails like cutting and pasting their resume in the body of the message without an introduction, using random multi-colored texts for not apparent reason with constantly changing font sizes, misspelling a lot of things (including their own names)
    - Clear signs they did not read the ad: applying for the wrong job, expecting a full-time position, etc.
    - Emails full of demands: especially things like "I would like the employer to provide me with XYZ" or "Only employers who [insert condition] will be considered"
    - 'Scans' of relevant documents using their phones. The attached photos are usually gigantic, unprintable, and include a good portion of table, rug, or whatever surface they put their documents on when they took the picture.

    Things that were not that bad but should have been avoided:
    - Sending your CV as an ODT file
    - Sending multiple emails, with one containing your cover letter, one containing your CV, and one containing your photo, and the last one explaining that you have sent 3 emails (why?)
    - Sending questionable photos of yourself doing your favorite hobby (playing soccer, playing the guitar with an ultimate rock star expression on your face)
    - Including very long paragraphs about how passionate you are about your hobbies that have nothing to do with the job description
    - Humorous (but inappropriate) email sender names
    - Padding your previous jobs with overly-positive words, like claiming you have developed excellent interpersonal skills from having worked as a phone operator.

    Things that made my day better:
    - Cover letters! Yes, we read them! People immediately get extra marks for personalizing the letters (showing that they have read and understood the requirements in the ad and that they have at least decent communication skills). It is great if you cut to the chase and say you are applying for this job because you have relevant experience, and say briefly what those experiences are. Don't start with "I'm a very friendly and professional person and I believe I have skills and expertise that will be beneficial to your company..."
    - Professional-looking CVs, especially in pdf form. Only 2 people have pdf CVs -- and they are so much better than those messy Microsoft Word ones! If you really need to use a Word CV, try to make it clean, simple, with 'normal' margins and formatting so that there's a higher chance it will show up properly on other computers.
    - Proper grammar, capitalization and punctuation. It makes reading your thing easier, you know.


    So, what I'm trying to say is: job-hunting is hard and stressful, but being professional improves your chances a lot.

    4w5 sp/sx EII

  2. #2
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21% View Post
    - Humorous (but inappropriate) email sender names
    Never understood why employers may care about that (all the other points make sense). I have heard their points (professionalism, bla bla bla) but it's impossible for me to understand how they can be related to the potential employee's ability to perform on the job.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  3. #3
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Never understood why employers may care about that (all the other points make sense). I have heard their points (professionalism, bla bla bla) but it's impossible for me to understand how they can be related to the potential employee's ability to perform on the job.
    It did not disqualify the person in this case, but everything that contributes to professionalism helps. I'd be a bit reluctant to hire people who call themselves "Little Miss Cutie-Pie" or "Naughty Joe" or something like that. It's just... not professional.
    4w5 sp/sx EII

  4. #4
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's "just not professional" is really not a grounded motivation. Doesn't answer my question. You'll have anyhow a work e-mail later, so it's not like the clients are going to receive naughty joe emails.

    One of my best students had "summerprincess@something" as e-mail, she was still one of the best students.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  5. #5
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Yeah, it's "just not professional" is really not a grounded motivation. Doesn't answer my question. You'll have anyhow a work e-mail later, so it's not like the clients are going to receive naughty joe emails.

    One of my best students had "summerprincess@something" as e-mail, she was still one of the best students.
    I don't mean the actual email address -- I really don't mind those as long as they are not explicit or offensive. It's the 'sender name' that they can set via 'settings' if they use public email servers and the one that shows up in my inbox under the sender name column.

    In practice, if they don't use their real name there it's very difficult to go back and find their application email if I need to, because there is no way I am going to remember that Meredith Baker, whose CV I have read and want to hire, would show up as "Miss Cutie Pie" in my senders list, and then I'd have to do a search for "Meredith Baker", which might not yield the correct results if she did not include her full name in the body of her original email and sent her cover letter as an attachment, etc.
    4w5 sp/sx EII

  6. #6
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Also, setting your sender name as "Tom Cruise" is not helpful (if your real name isn't Tom Cruise, obviously).
    4w5 sp/sx EII

  7. #7
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Ah, okay, you mean the name appearing as sender...ok that's weird lol
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  8. #8
    Paranoid Android Video's Avatar
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    The Best of the Worst:

    - Mass application (with twenty other employers' email addresses in the CC box)
    how

    - Sloppy emails like cutting and pasting their resume in the body of the message without an introduction, using random multi-colored texts for not apparent reason with constantly changing font sizes, misspelling a lot of things (including their own names)


    - Emails full of demands: especially things like "I would like the employer to provide me with XYZ" or "Only employers who [insert condition] will be considered"
    wat

    - 'Scans' of relevant documents using their phones. The attached photos are usually gigantic, unprintable, and include a good portion of table, rug, or whatever surface they put their documents on when they took the picture.
    I wonder if these people would call their smartphones a "pocket scanner". Someday I might rip this item off for a joke.

    - Sending your CV as an ODT file
    ..................................

    The OP is hilarious, and the confidence boost comes at a good time. Thanks!
    4w3 6w5 1w2 sx/sp ISFP

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    Kiss Kiss [johari] Bang Bang [nohari]

  9. #9
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Yeah, people do the weirdest things



    Oh, one more thing: please, please, please make sure your attached files include your full name. Most of them are called "resume", "cv", "cv ver 2", "matts cv", "resume-new", "mycv", "photo1232" and other things, which are a headache to 'file' properly on the computer.
    4w5 sp/sx EII

  10. #10
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    My first thought, was wow! only 6 of 29 are actually following the directions. It makes me wonder what kind of job this is for and the type of people that are applying for it.
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