We don’t hire a lot of people, but when we do, we try to write a job description that is accurate, funny and engaging for our audience. We recognize that in order to hire the best people, we need to communicate our needs and desires for any new role. If we do a good job explaining the requirements and our company culture, we usually are able to find people that match our work ethic, senses of humor and commitment to our clients.
Recently, we have been searching for an addition to our team and we have been very surprised at how many people remove themselves from consideration early in the process. Often times, people make blatant errors or show a complete lack of detail in the information they send to us.
We want applicants to know how to get hired and conversely, we want them to know essentially, how not to get hired. So that got us thinking that this would be a great blog article.
1. Do not ignore the option to add a cover letter
Though there are exceptions to this rule, in our minds the cover letter is your first interview. Applying without one is just like dropping your application right into the circular file (for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term…that’s the garbage). We want to know about you. We want to hear about what sets you on fire (not literally…we like our candidates to be flame retardant if you were wondering!)
2. Using a fill-in-the-blank cover letter
Stating that you would like to apply for the open position within our company without stating the name of the position or referencing Harger Howe tells us that you are copying/pasting your cover letters. Take the time to tell us about you and show us that you care about us.
3. Forgetting to proof read
We received multiple submissions referencing incorrect cities in the cover letter, some that had an array of grammar problems and still more that left off letters at the end of words. It should be noted that we all have an off day now and again, but this position is highly administrative and it involves writing and attention to detail. Please show the application the respect you would ultimately show the position.
4. Not adding a professional summary
If you don’t want to add a cover letter, then consider adding a professional summary that is stirring and different. Who are you? We genuinely want to know you and we know that your resume isn’t the whole story.
5. Talking in general terms
What excites you specifically about our company? Show us that you took a look at our website and social networks. This position is for someone who wants to be a part of our team long-term and our company culture is a big part of our decision-making process.
6. Not adding additional elements
We like less-traditional candidates. Now, we realize that not everyone has a design portfolio or a photo blog, but we bet you have something that makes you unique. A tricked out LinkedIn profile? A snazzy Instagram account? A sassy yet professional Twitter? Show us those things so we can get a taste for what would makes you the best fit.
We know that it is tough out there in the job market and at times it can seem like you are drifting through an endless sea of job listings, so take these tips to heart and submit job applications that highlight why you are SO AWESOME! In return for your time investment you’ll definitely see more positive responses from recruiters.