Five ways to help me NOT to shortlist your job application

March 16, 2013

  1. Don’t make an effort. I know how busy you are so don’t bother with a covering letter. If that feels just too lazy, dash off something along the lines of “Here’s my CV, loser” or “I’m available, come and get me.”
  2. Don’t make any attempt to address the selection criteria. I might have spent ages thinking carefully about the sorts of qualities, knowledge and experience that would help someone succeed in the job but why not just throw your generic CV at me and let me try to work out whether you meet them? I’ve got a lot of time on my hands right? That must be why I’m recruiting.

  3. Don’t waste time proof reading anything. I will be able to make out your talent shining through the misuse of “their” and “there”, “your” and “you’re”, misspellings, bad punctuation, Spurious Capitalisation, half-finished sentences and txt spk, and if I can’t then you don’t want to work for a moron like me anyway. No job these days requires attention to detail or communication skills, so don’t sweat it.

  4. Don’t worry yourself about researching my organisation, it’s pretty much the same as all the others: we just want to exploit you for own own gain for as long as we can get away with, and you just want the money. It’s just a job, for Pete’s sake! For extra quick consignment to the shredder, consider getting the name of my organisation wrong in your application, or even apply using a competitor’s form.

  5. Have no qualifications, aptitude or experience that matches the job? No problem. Apply anyway and don’t even attempt to show me how you think your transferable skills will enable you to grow into it, or your personal skills will help you meet the challenge. I can work that out from a list of places you worked before.

I feel better now.

Actually I don’t. I know this business is a pain for both of us; I’ve read “What Color is Your Parachute”. But I’m constrained. I have HR practices to follow, equal opportunity and diversity to consider, I have to justify my selections. And I don’t have a lot of time.

So please make it easy for me. Show me how you meet the selection criteria for my job, or if you don’t, be honest about it and give me reasons why I should consider you anyway. Bear in mind that I may have dozens of applications to look through and it may be nearly midnight and yours may be the last one. What would you want to see in an application under those circumstances? Exactly.

Note to self: read this before applying for next job.

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