“To whom it may concern:” This has to be my favorite line when I’m opening up a new resume or getting an email with just an attachment after posting a job opening.
This is going to be a quick and short blog post (maybe). My attempt is to have this post serve as a reminder to people who are applying for a job, new out of school, in transition or whatever your status may be. BE ORIGINAL!!!!
Each time we post a job listing, we receive hundreds of emails. The key for you, if you send one of those emails, is to stand out from everyone else applying for the position. This may not be the case for everyone, but when I read a resume for the first time, hell … I really don’t even read it.
What I am trying to say is, give me a compelling reason to read your resume. Start with the email/cover letter. BE ORIGINAL. (Oops, did I say that already?)
Highlight your creativity in the cover letter, providing incentive to open your resume. Tell me something most people don’t know about you, or tell me that you have taken two FREAKIN’ seconds to go look at our website and see some of the work we have done. Tell me why we are a good fit and how our culture makes sense to you. Hell, tell me that we suck or a website we did sucks, and show me where we made a mistake.
Do you see what I’m getting at here?
So, if you apply for a job with us, here are some quick tips:
1. In your email, write something, anything! Don’t just send me an attachment with your resume. It will likely be deleted. It shows us you didn’t take the time to look at who we are and are just applying aimlessly to a bunch of job postings.
2. Stop saying the word I. I can do this. I can do that. I am great. I am the best. I have this. I, I, I, I am going to go freaking crazy if I see anyone else promote themselves to no end. Yes, I have written resumes before. Yes, I have embellished a bit on them. It’s no secret. We all do it. Find a new and creative way to promote yourself (even if you are a developer). You are coming into a company that deals with marketing and is very public facing. Tell me about you and not so much what you can do.
3. Tell us why you are relevant and what you will bring to the company. Sorry, but if you’re fresh out of college, chances are your experience delivering pizzas is not going to land you a job. Your blog posts about your passions or examples of your side work may very well catch our eye. Tell us how you may add to our team going forward or what you can see yourself doing in the future with our company. It may be something we haven’t even thought of yet and that can add real value to our company.
4. Don’t misspell anything (even though I do all the time). I may not be the only one reading it, and spellchecking a Word document is the easiest thing to do. Just don’t rule yourself out on the first pass if you can help it.
5. Read this blog Punk Rock HR. Laurie is an expert on HR issues. I can assure you it’s not for the weak at heart. Make sure you are sitting down when you start to read her blog. She has great tips about getting hired and how to deal with companies.
6. Prepare a video resume (even though I know Laurie doesn’t completely agree with me on this one). Again, it’s about being original and different. It’s going to catch our eye. We are small, creative and live on the cutting edge. We want to see different. That’s why we do what we do.
7. Find me. Yes, that’s right. I am easy to find. Find me on Twitter, comment on my blog, find me on Facebook. Find me around town. Find the people who work with me. Find them online. I am at a ton of events and always pretty accessible and (I think) approachable … but that depends on who you ask – haha. But really, I love to talk to people, especially when it’s about something that I have spent years creating. I am not saying to come blow smoke up my ass, but engage me in conversation.
8. If we have a position for a designer, send a link with your portfolio. Show us your work. If we have to hunt down your portfolio, chances are we are going to pass. If you are a content writer, point us in the direction of your blog. If you are an SEO person, show us something you have done quickly. Get our attention.
I feel like a broken record sometimes, and I maybe I am a bit too passionate about this stuff. We try to hire the best. We have no room for anything but all-stars. Even if we aren’t hiring, tell us why we should.
Does anyone else have any other reasons they can add? I would love to hear some.