When looking for work, remember that the way you connect with your family and friends is not likely to be the best way to connect with potential employers.
This is most obvious in the initial contact. Unless you are properly prepared, you WILL give employers the wrong impression. Following is a contribution from an employer (who chooses to remain nameless) outlining how things look from am employers perspective. Take it away, mysterious employer…
“I am sure you have probably covered off these topics before, but if not, I thought they might be interesting topics for an article aimed at your job seekers.
These have been bugging me for some time but came up again in our recent recruitment efforts, so if I thought I would mention them to you.”
Too many applicants do not have a message bank!
If an employer calls to speak to you, and you don’t answer, are we going to pull out our mobile, plug in your number and type out a message? Not likely. What’s likely to happen is that we move to the next candidate on the list and talk to them about the role instead.
Too many applicants have an inappropriate message bank, ie. Musical/gag
Understand that your voicemail is likely to be your ‘first impression’, so make it polite and professional. DO NOT USE the 10-second voice to text option. No employer wants to cram their message and number into 10 seconds.
[Argh! Anyone using the 10-second message to text thing should lose phone rights – D]
ANSWER YOUR PHONE!
You have applied for a job – you want someone to call you! Expect a call from any number, interstate, mobile blocked number etc… If I am personally calling applicants I block my number as I am often working from home and don’t want my personal phone number broadcast. If you’ve applied for a job, this is not the time to be ‘screening calls’.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL…
If the job ad says “Attach a cover letter” then ATTACH A COVER LETTER!
This is my pet peeve – The first line of the resume reads “I have great attention to detail” yet we specifically asked for a cover letter and one was not included! It doesn’t have to be your whole life story, just a brief outline of why you think you would be suitable for the job.
[Attention to detail is paramount with HealthyPeople, so when advertising for a role with us, any application that failed to address the requests in the job ad was binned – D]
Check the spelling of the company name. Then check it again.
Again, attention to detail is not just a buzz-phrase, it’s a real thing and it’s important to employers.
[Especially if sending multiple applications, ensure that you’re not mixing up your employer and roles. This happens WAY more often than you’d think. – D]
A nice touch is to personalise the application
For example, “To the Healthy People Team / To Dennis Hosking” shows that you’ve looked at the ad in detail and aren’t just attaching a generic resume and cover letter to every job ad you come across.
Thank you, mystery employer, for your input. I encourage any employer with anything to add to include it in the comments below.