Author Topic: What NOT to do when applying.  (Read 11359 times)

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Offline ColleenfromPA

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What NOT to do when applying.
« on: November 05, 2010, 02:41:00 PM »
Hi lads and ladies,

I wanted to make a post and share ideas on what NOT to do when applying for a role online. I am currently hiring in my position and hiring for my replacement and its been an interesting few days trying to work the online job circuit. I hope this thread helps a bit and is not just a rant. We all know the basics and here are a few of my turn offs:

Please Dont cold reply - When you apply please make a detailed cover letter including a brief of why you are applying and what skills coincide with the role advertised.

Please Do Not apply the same day/hour/second the job goes up on the site - Literally about five minutes after the job went up I received emails, copy/paste emails. Take a night, really write out a short and detailed cover letter and tweak your CV to this job.

Do some research - If the job advert tells you the company... do a bit of research and include that you know about the job you are applying for. If you are good at sales and the company is in sales then add a sentence about their sales, just a subtle "hey I actually took 30 odd minutes seeing how the role fits in your company"

Do not apply for jobs an hour or more away without mentioning travel or relocation. For me I have a lot of Liverpool and Edinburgh applicants applying for jobs in London. There is nothing wrong in applying but if you don't mind a £300+ a month commute then say so or if you are relocating or willing to then mention it because otherwise most will discard it just on location.

My other little peeves (which will not matter to most) are bad showreels/portfolios, there it nothing wrong with submitting a old bit of work but mention that your work currently has been more admin or management (if thats the case) and that is why your submitted work needs updated. 
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Offline TeaLoverDenise

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Re: What NOT to do when applying.
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2010, 10:41:22 PM »
Thank you for an insider's look. Great post.

Although I've been job hunting for 3 months now (I'm a Legal Secretary, Greater London) with no results, your post confirmed that I seem to be doing everything right.

 
04/03 – Met UKC online
07/04 - Married UKC/lived in UK 1 mo.
11/04 - Moved to US 
11/08 - UKC husband received USC
03/10 - Decided to return to UK
04/10 – Received UK Spouse Visa (KOL REQ)
08/10 – Returned to UK to live; took KOL
12/10 - Received ILR
11/13 - Received British Citizenship

Offline Olive

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Re: What NOT to do when applying.
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2010, 11:32:57 PM »

Please Do Not apply the same day/hour/second the job goes up on the site - Literally about five minutes after the job went up I received emails, copy/paste emails. Take a night, really write out a short and detailed cover letter and tweak your CV to this job.


I just had a job go up this week and what turned me off is when interested people called for more details but haven't even read the person spec and job description. I am happy to talk about the job if people have questions but I do not have time to tell every person the details of the job just because my name and number were at the bottom of the ad.

The other odd thing is when people call on behalf of their friend/son/daughter/husband/wife/etc and worse yet, call me to have me call them to tell them more about the job.

The job application needs to show some application of your skills even if it doesn't quite meet the job description. Interviewees needs to do the same and brush up on their research so that the answers are in the same language of the job.

The job market is tough so it is important to make a good impression.

Offline DanielD1980

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Re: What NOT to do when applying.
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2011, 08:57:51 AM »
I'd like to share a couple of pointers from a staffing agency point of view.  I worked for Snelling Staffing Services for nearly three years and picked up a couple of tips.

Don't omit or lie on your CV!
If you commit this sin, you may be fired from your job if found out later.  It's a misrepresentation of your work history.  Always explain any position that lasted only a short while and give a reason for being terminated from a job.  Remember: honesty IS the best policy.  Always be up front and offer the information readily.

Always ask questions!
You're interviewing the company as well as their interviewing you.  How will you know what they expect unless you ask specifics.  What are their goals?  Why did the person in the position before you leave? What's the timeline for hiring (e.g. how soon do they expect to make a decision?) Are there other candidates in the pipeline? 

Say thank you!
It may go without saying to express your thanks for the interview.  After all they did take time out of their schedule to meet with you!

Offline BusyBee

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Re: What NOT to do when applying.
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2011, 12:41:18 AM »
Great posts! I would like to add a few more points:
DO NOT TAKE TOO LONG TO APPLY. I totally agree with researching the person specification and company and adjusting the CV and cover to a specific post, but taking too long to apply can be fatal. Many employers receive too many applications and close the posts early. I work for the NHS; when I was applying for my post my manager had to bring the deadline forward as they received 160 applications in two days! I suppose things are different in other fields, but make sure you are clear about deadlines when applying.
DO NOT BE OVER-CONFIDENT IN YOUR QUALIFICATIONS AND WORK EXPERIENCE
UK employers (at least in my field) like candidates with skills so you want to spend a lot more time talking about those, if you want to impress them. Show them you are excited about the post, rather than that you believe that you deserve to get it because of your studies/experience.
DO NOT SPEAK FAST IF YOU HAVE A NON-UK ACCENT
Your interviewers may find it difficult to understand what you are saying if you have a foreign accent. If you see them leaning forward trying to make out what you are saying, slow down and speak clearly.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 08:40:48 PM by BusyBee »
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Offline sonofasailor

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Re: What NOT to do when applying.
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2011, 08:39:50 AM »
but I do not have time to tell every person the details of the job just because my name and number were at the bottom of the ad.

You know there's an obvious solution for this......
Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across - Sun Tzu

Offline racheeeee

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Re: What NOT to do when applying.
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2011, 09:22:50 AM »
I have worked in recruitment for over ten years, and I think some of these tips might be industry or job specific.....

Okay, I say go ahead and apply as early as possible. Some jobs might have a hgue response and the recruiter might decide to close the vacancy. Do not wait until the day before the closing date or even minutes before the closing date.

Don't have your mother call and ask about your application, thats a sure fire way to let your potential employer know you aren't that interested.

If you are rejected, always ask for feedback. Always. It might not be company policy to give it, but ask.

Make sure you have any work permit information in good order. Sometimes recruiters aren't familiar with any information regarding legality to work in the UK, mainly because they don't get many applications from people that aren't straight forwad re work permits, make sure you can explain what your work permit status is and have paperwork if need be.

Don't miss interviews, again, this might be more industry specific, but if you miss an interview or even worse, an assessment centre, its not good. Once shame on you, but twice, shame on me!!!

In my experiences, cover letters don't ALWAYS get read, neither do thank you notes. So if you are applying online just keep it brief and succinct. Don't forget that the recruiter might have a hundred CV's a day, so make it easy for them.

If you are from another country, do your research and find out EXACTLY what your qualifications are equal to in the UK. Don't leave it up to someone else to know what worldwide qualifications are.

Don't forget the person screening your application can't read between the lines, and most likely has a criteria that they have to follow. So be clear with your CV or application form.

Do not be afraid to pick up the phone and ring to check up on your application or to ask where the recruitment process is up to. If you haven't heard anything in a while, ring and ask for more information.

If you are applying for a job and the ad tells you what they are looking for, don't apply unless you meet that criteria. They put that info in ads so you self select or de-select, so make sure you have those qualifications.

If you are lucky enough to have an interview, spent 15 minutes on the internet to find out more about the company you are applying for. Its okay if you quote the website, just let us know that you had a look!

(Sorry Olive) if there is a number on the ad and you have a question about the Job Description, ring up and ask. I will always try to find out as much information for you if I can, I would always try my best.

I have a million stories about candidates that I could share...I have recruted for some of the biggest companies around for roles from Business Development Manager to Call Centre Staff. Just be sensible and smart!
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 09:29:32 AM by racheeeee »

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Re: What NOT to do when applying.
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2012, 12:02:15 AM »
I know it's been a while since anyone replied, but as someone who has struggled to both hire and be hired, I though I'd add my two cents.

In my opinion, don't even bother applying online. There's just no personality to it, you have no idea how your hours of formating now look on the other end, and in all probability your application may never even get opened, let alone read. An ad gets posted and within an hour or two there are easily 100+ new emails in the inbox. And just think how many there will be the next day, and within a week!

My advice: RESEARCH the employer, NEVER send your resume/cv to an anonymous email address, NEVER send your cover letter - whether it's attached to the email or is part of the email itself - addressed "Dear Sir or Madam" etc. You must find out the NAME of the hiring person. Better still, MAIL your cover letter and resume/cv to that person. It is so much more likely to get read and stand out than an email. I have never not read a letter and resume that was mailed to me in hard copy. And, some may differ on this, but if you have good handwriting then handwrite your cover letter addressed to the very person who is hiring. That shows some time commitment.


Offline geeta

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Re: What NOT to do when applying.
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2012, 12:18:32 AM »
Considering I've got the last four of my jobs by applying online (in three different countries) as well as plenty of interviews, I disagree with the advice to not bother applying online. I also wouldn't handwrite a cover letter. As someone who has reviewed applications, I'd strongly question the judgment of someone who handwrote a cover letter!

Offline CharmCityGirl

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Re: What NOT to do when applying.
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2012, 12:25:12 AM »
As someone who has done hiring, just follow the instructions given on how to apply. They're there for a reason. There is nothing more annoying then receiving a random CV in the mail stating that the person is applying for your position when the instructions clearly state that applications are taken online. This causes more work for me and shows that the person isn't able to follow the most basic of directions.

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Re: What NOT to do when applying.
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2012, 04:16:11 AM »
And do you take the time to read every single email in your inbox the next day and download every resume?

Maybe it's different according to industry. I've easily emailed over 100 pointed and tailored applications in a week for a few weeks on end and never even received a response. Recruiters at big law firms told me they just look at the first 50 or so and if they see a few they like everything else was deleted.

Offline ksand24

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Re: What NOT to do when applying.
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2012, 07:27:58 AM »
And do you take the time to read every single email in your inbox the next day and download every resume?

A lot of jobs these days are apply online only - many companies will not accept mailed-in applications. I spent two years applying for jobs (2008-2010) and every single application I completed had to be submitted online.

It's not done by e-mail so much though - the way a lot of companies work these days is that there is an interactive online form you fill out, which is then submitted into a database and then a team of company employees (in HR) go through them in a sifting process and weed out the applications that tick all the boxes... then those applications are passed to the recruiters to decide whether or not to invite the candidates for interview.

This is how it worked for my current job... they had over 400 online applications for just a handful of places... they did an application sift to narrow it down to a few dozen people, then interviewed about 40 of us and finally offered the job to about 10 people.

Offline phatbeetle

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Re: What NOT to do when applying.
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2012, 09:09:50 AM »
Remember too, that anything that screws up your formatting will screw anyone elses formatting up as well. 

I imagine a lot of HR companies go through CVs and can immediately weed out anyone with say not the correct qualifications, or they're looking for a specific word (i.e. a specific computer skill), or they're looking for someone with experience  in x, y,z so they weed anyone else out.   Computer programmes also do the same -

I can't think of any jobs I have applied for in the last 10 years that haven't been online applications?   ???

And 5 years ago, one of those online job applications led to me getting an international job and being sponsored for a work permit. So like anything in life, your mileage may vary......... 


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Re: What NOT to do when applying.
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2012, 12:20:54 PM »
I am the hiring manager for 25 open roles at the moment. My advice?

Apply online if the job advert says apply online, if you've stalked me to find my personal or work email address all you've done is wasted your time and it will go in the queue at the bottom of the over 250 emails I receive a day. Whereas I go through our online CMS thing regularly, updating and marking candidates, then sending them to our office manager to organise interviews. If you're outside of this workflow you may get totally forgotten, I totally agree with everything CCG has said.

Don't hand deliver me gifts to our office. It's happened three times this month and it creeps me out a little. It wouldn't rule you out, but it has the risk of going REALLY wrong.

Don't endlessly tweet at our official, or my personal twitter. You'll be dealt with as part of our queue, or you probably didn't qualify for the position.

Don't send a handwritten cover letter. I'll likely not be able to read your handwriting and think you've got poor judgement.   An exception to this is artists, who often send in amazing packets with all sorts of their artwork and painted CVs, portraits of themselves, clay models of our characters. I like this.

I have no issue with addressing cover letters as "Dear Sir/Madam", but researching the company is important, mentioning things we've done or said is really good....don't go too far and quote my own quotes at me without crediting me though. Or do what a candidate did the other day and basically recite the text of our design director's latest GDC talk at him but couldn't explain anything, but playing our games etc is good.

Don't assume I'm a man and in the first line talk about how you'd be happy to come to work in sexy cosplay (Srsly!) Even if I was a man, I'm likely not a 12 year old boy.



Offline NoseOverTail

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Re: What NOT to do when applying.
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2012, 12:23:33 PM »
Yeah, applying online is kind of unavoidable. The only way you can get away without it is certain kinds of small shops and restaurants, and other places where you can just walk in. You can't just walk in to JP Morgan or some other company and fill out an application.
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