22 things to think about when applying for a job
Amid rotten economy and 9% unemployment, we’re thrilled to be creating new jobs.
We’ve seen a bunch of job applications in recent months, and based on that experience, we’d like to share some do’s and don’ts.
First, 10 things to avoid when applying for a job. (Yes, we’ve seen all of these errors, some many times.)
So do NOT:
- Send a resume with a DRAFT watermark across it
- Get our location wrong
- Get the job title wrong
- Get our company name wrong (We’re not Blog Lads, thanks)
- Forget to run spell and grammar checks
- Highlight unnecessary qualifications (“I’m a realtor!”)
- Tell us your typing WPM
- Over-share (“I can send you a clean drug test!”)
- Forget to send us a PDF resume
- Label your resume ‘my_resume.pdf’
Here are 12 things to aim for when applying to one of our jobs. Or any other, for that matter.
1. Think of our needs. Your application is the first test of your ability to obsess about what a client (in this case Blogads) wants.
2. Read the job listings carefully, and respond exactly as requested. Think about delivering yourself in a package that fits exactly what we might be looking for.
3. Send your resume as a PDF. No Word files, no text files, no HTML. You want to be sure your resume looks as beautiful on our screen as yours. And we don’t want your viruses. Please. Despite our request, more than half of all job applications we receive are not in PDF format. Really?
4. Remember to name your file. We have lots of resumes to organize and review; renaming every resume is a pain. Use your own name in the file name and avoid calling your resume “new” or “improved” or “better than the last version.”
5. Write a great cover letter. Use your cover letter to enhance your resume and provide an arc tying together the data points it contains, not just recap it in prose form. Send it as the email itself or as an attachment. Not both, please.
(Need a hand getting your cover letter started? Local marketing shop Viget Labs has an awesome piece on cover letter salutations.)
6. Be an effective written communicator. Most positions at Blogads.com are heavily email-oriented. Show off your writing skills in your cover letter and any other communication you do with us.
7, Make a connection with us. Why do you like the Blogads.com and the position… and why are you a great fit for both? Show us that you have thought about our company and the position you’re applying for.
8. If you’re seeking a sales position, how are you selling yourself? If you ramble on for paragraphs without catching our attention, you’ll fall to the bottom of the stack.
9. Match the tone and details of the posting. Do a little research. If we’ve got a lot of dogs on our site, mention your love of dogs. Please make sure you are applying to OUR position. (P.S. We’re still based in Durham, not Wilmington.)
10. Tailor your resume for us. It’s OK to have a different version of your resume for each job you apply for. In fact, it’s expected. We ask for very specific qualifications, and those are the things we’d like to see in your resume. Give us what we’re looking for — but only if you’ve actually got it.
11. Be brief. If only half of your resume relates to the position to which you’re applying, the rest can be distracting. A one-page resume customized for us is just fine, thank you. Easier for us to read and we’re more likely to focus on the parts of your career that fit us.
12. Don’t leave us hanging. If we get in touch with you, don’t take weeks to get back to us. In all your follow-up communication with us, you are still being evaluated. Spelling and grammar rules still apply to follow-up questions and thank you notes as well.
Looking for even more advice? We really love this Craigslist rant on the subject.
Good luck out there!