So it turns out that someone out there thinks that I am employable and pays me money to make other people employable. I work in my real life as a Recruitment Consultant (though I am campaigning to get my title changed to something cool like Talent Acquisitioner or something alternately wanker like) and in this course of work I have seen some things that make me gasp and laugh at the general public. I guess sometimes my job just reiterates the fact that the general public are stupid (my dad says it all the time so it must be correct). I am going to share some of my top tips with you to keep in mind when looking for jobs...
You're an adult now, your teenage email address of email@example.com may not be appropriate (and never should have been) to use when applying for jobs. its our job to notice things like this so don't think that we wont. It might be a good idea to stick something generic like firstname.lastname@example.org because there is no way you can get into trouble with that. Look there needs to be no shame in your original email address. My first one was something along the lines of email@example.com, at 14 years old my best friend and I were called Feral 1 and Feral 2 (and maybe now I think about it I maybe should have been offended by this but I never way) so it seemed like a good email address. Good Ol' Feral_2 served me well.
In this world of social media it is very easy to trace people and find out information on them. Recruiters use these social media tools to their advantage. I will admit to going in to peoples FBs before we bring them in just to see what we are getting ourselves in to. Before you jump up and down and shout that this is a blatant abuse of personal rights think about this, if you are dumb enough to have it public then people are going to look at it. Lock your shit down and make it private if you are worried about the way that you behave in your down time. Keep your profile pics classy(ish) if you can and you wont have anything to worry about.
N.B as a modified (tattooed and pierced) recruiter I generally judge less than a few of my counter parts but we do have a job to do and a service that our clients pay us for and sometimes that does come down to the image that the company wants to portray.
Keep your resume up to date and make sure it reads intelligently. We may get a couple of hundred resumes for each job that we put up, you need to make yours stand out. Check it for spelling mistakes and grammar, don't make it fancy and loud (unless you are going for a fancy loud job like advertising or the like) and keep all the fonts the same. The Internet is a powerful tool, use it to your advantage. Google resume samples etc and then all you need to do is fill in your relevant information.
A few years ago a friend of mine lost his job, we were having a party at his girlfriends house that evening and as you can imagine he was a bit upset about being unemployed and after many condolence drinks he disappeared. Like the worried friends that we were we set off to find him, after much hunting we found him in a strangers house, sitting at the strangers computer typing up his resume. Without a word of a lie this happened and the lesson to be learnt from this is possibly stranger danger BUT also not to resume whilst you are drunk. My friend hadn't even spelt his name correctly and if you cant spell your name correctly how can someone hire you.
Hobbies? that's fantastic that your life has substance but realistically why does that need to be on your resume. My hobbies may include fisting and ritual animal sacrifices and I can guarantee that these two activities will not assist me in my job gaining ability. I got a resume the other day and the girl listed her hobby as Extreme Frisbee, what the fuck even is extreme Frisbee?????
Follow up, make yourself stand out, really this is all that job hunting is about and I cant stress it enough. If you have applied for a job online and haven't heard anything in a day or two call the company to see that they have received it. There has been a few times when I have discounted a resume and then the person has called up and they have blown me away over the phone so I have brought them in (and they have subsequently got the position). It is much easier to get a message across in speech rather than on paper.
Sell yourself - I did marketing at Tafe and whilst my teacher was a whore (I don't know if she actually was sexually loosely moralled but she was a bitch) she did teach me one important thing "the most important thing you can ever market is yourself". A cover letter is a great opportunity to do this so think about it before you send it. Mention the position you are applying for, why you want the job and what you have to bring to the company. I have gotten call backs for jobs before when I forgot to attach my resume simply from the strength of my cover letter. Make that extra bit of paper count.
Once your resume is done and submitted the next hurdle is the actual interview. To give yourself a flying start remember these points
Be on time, well actually you should be 5 minutes early, it shows that you are eager and you wont be rushed. It will give you some time to compose yourself and be calm before you are called in to interview.
Be about contact, but in the non creepy way of course. When the person interviewing you comes in to the room stand up to greet them, give them a firm hand shake, address them by their name, keep eye contact. Let them know that at this moment in time they are the most important person in your life (again without being creepy, no touching eyes or stroking of beards)
Know your Resume - this one is a actually a bit of a no brainer BUT you would be surprised how many people mess this up. Give yourself a quick refresher because it may be hard to remember what you were doing 5 years ago (If you are anything like me I sometimes even forget what I did yesterday)
Explain your gaps, if you have been off travelling or popped out a human or something which has kept you away from working be willing to have an answer as to why you have long career gaps. Its a question that you will be asked so don't let it stump you.
Language counts, your speech will let someone know everything about you. Refrain from the "like", slang and for goodness sake check your potty mouth at the door. I had a girl come in to interview me and say "I'm so over this shit" and guess what, she didn't really get far. Its good to be relaxed but then that may be a bit too relaxed.
Think about it. If you are asked a question that you don't know the answer to its ok to take the time to think of an appropriate answer, try and stay to the point and give relevant examples. If you are unsure ask them to repeat it, asking twice is better than giving the wrong answer once.
They will check, so make sure your references know to expect a call. One of the questions they will generally be asked if why you left so be sure that the answer you give is the answer that matches theirs. Honesty is always the best policy.
Go forth and prosper my creatures, believe in yourself and you can get your dream job.
Love and Leadership