I’m currently on the search for a new part-time employee and once again I am astounded by the lack of basic cover letter and resume writing skills exhibited by the applicants.
Now, I know that I’m kind of a snob about these sorts of things… things like misspellings and language mistakes.
But the person I hire is going to be representing my organization. It would be nice if they could at least use spell check.
I often put in a few little tricks in my help wanted ads, like requesting a cover letter because I want to see if the applicant can actually write a letter, and only including my first initial and last name to see if people will go to the website to see if I’m a Mr. or a Ms.
Even if someone doesn’t pass both those tests, I still try to give their resume a fair shot. But they don’t make it easy on me.
To start with, a lot of people have stupid email addresses.
I don’t have a problem with silly email addresses. I even have one, just for fun. But when you are applying for a job, you should have a simple address that won’t offend anyone.
Technically, if an email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and the person hiring is a Yankees fan, they shouldn’t let it affect their decision. But it might just put them off just a little, subconsciously.
Once I get past the address, I have to read poorly written emails, if there is any text at all.
I’ve received emails with resumes that just say, “here is my resume” which is just slightly better than a completely blank emails.
Today I received one that had been forwarded to five or six different employers. The applicant didn’t bother to change to subject line from “FW:” or to erase the forwarding information so I could see everyone else who got his resume.
Another person sent a mass email to undisclosed recipients and a generic email saying she wished to apply for the customer service job.
I’m not hiring a customer service person.
She also forgot to actually attach her resume.
Sometimes they think the email is the cover letter, which would be fine if it really were a letter. But people seem to believe that the rules of grammar don’t apply to emails. This includes punctuation, capitalization, complete sentences, greetings and salutations, and so on.
Maybe that’s fine if you’re emailing your mother or an old friend, but if you’re writing a potential employee you should probably capitalize that “i” and spell the name of the organization correctly. (There’s no h on the end of opera, by the way.)
One letter told me that the candidate would “take the job serious.” “Seriously! Seriously!” I found myself yelling at the screen.
Ok, so maybe I’m picky, but for crying out loud save your resume as a PDF, people!
It is so easy to make changes or mess up the formatting in a word document. What if I opened a resume and unknowingly changed some critical piece of information on it? What if I wanted to call an applicant for an interview but had accidentally erased the last digit of their phone number?
All the resumes I’ve received make me despair that no one really wants to get hired. Or that employers just have to settle for someone with bad grammar and poor email etiquette.
Well, I refuse. Out there somewhere is a person who gets it. Who knows that an adverb end in ly at the end and an email starts with “Dear Ms. Clow.”
The trick is to find them.