Most writers have day-jobs. Mine is in the family footwear business where, for four generations, Gilmours have worked when necessary and when time and resources permitted, indulged their own little sidelines. Right now, I’m in recruiting mode. I do it occasionally when we need staff, and every time I do, I say I’m gonna write a list of job application tips. Well now I’m finally doing it.
- Use proper grammar. Text speak, lazy capitalization (lowercase “i” instead of “I” etc), and your/you’re confusion etc gets you onto the NO pile real quick.
- Provide plenty of information about yourself. Don’t be bashful. Put in your age and your background. The more information a recruiter has about you, the better.
- If you have a unisex name, specify your gender. I know it sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many resumes I get where I’m left scratching my head over the gender of applicant. I know it shouldn’t matter, but trust me, it does.
- PROOFREAD YOUR FUCKING RESUME! Bad spelling is a great way to stay unemployed. Also, check the “Dear Sir/Madam” bit. If you’ve addressed your application to a specific employer and plan on using the same application for another, make sure you use the correct contact details. I’ve had applications addressed to other employers, and that just makes the applicant look dumb and unemployable.
- Include a photo of yourself smiling. Don’t, for the love of jam doughnuts, use a passport-type photo of you looking just a few degrees warmer and almost as excited as your average corpse.
- While we’re on photos… Ladies, don’t show me your cleavage. Really. Save it for a photo your significant other can keep in a wallet.
- Facebook. Folks, it’s here to stay and like it or not, your potential employer is probably checking your page out right now, as well as using Google Earth to see just where you live and how long it would take you to get from your home to work every day. If you have a Facebook page, make sure it’s clean. No pics of you half naked, boozing it up. No duckface. You get the idea.
- Use standard fonts, margins and page sizes for your resume. Same goes for file formats. Pdf, doc and rtf are fine. Everything else is shit and should not be used.
- Show some spark. Seriously. Your potential employer is not only looking for experience or skill sets, they’re looking for people they want to work with. If you show you’ve got a personality (Yes, I know you have got one – we all do, but it pays to show it in a resume), or better yet, a sense of humour, you’re more likely to end up on the YES pile.
- Follow up. Give your potential employer a quick call a few days later to see if they need any more information about yourself. If you’re too nervous to do that, send an email. Showing some tenacity is a sure-fire way to get yourself noticed. You still may not get the job, but you’ll be giving yourself an extra chance at impressing the employer. Remember, the employer asked for your application. They want to hear from you. It’s not very often that they can refuse to take your call.
There. ‘Nuff said.