I may not be part of an official HR department but I do help our small company find the right people for our team. I’ve seen thousands of resumes over the past few years that I’ve been tempted to create a blog like Clients from Hell only this time, for applicants.
A lot of fresh grads will now be looking for jobs (unless they’re still in Boracay) while those who have been with their respective companies for a year now can pretty much tell if they want to quit or stay. I figured it’s a good idea to go over what I commonly find in applicants’ resumes/interviews and come up with a tip-list post on it.
Here’s my list on what job applicants need to do before sending that resume or going to that job interview:
- Google your own name.
- If the job ad says you need to answer questions and/or include your transcript of records, do it. Don’t think so highly of yourself that you think you can get away with not following directions.
- Double check your resume.
- Re-read your cover letter and/or answers to your potential employer’s questions 3, 4, even 5 times.
- Be professional during your interview.
Very very important.
I’ve found hate blog posts about a candidate, old and unflattering YouTube videos, and embarrassing status messages on Facebook/Tumblr/Twitter from simply googling their names. You can have the best resume and answers to our follow-up questions but if we find that you love bashing other people or (gasp) your current employer on your social networking accounts… yeah.
If you google your own name and find a significant number of unflattering links or images, it’s time to reflect. After that, read up on reputation management or SEO. Here’s a quick read from Tony Ahn on how he removed a client’s pictures from Google Image Search.
This was an applicant’s actual cover letter:
I know that I have to do certain things for this application (according to the Jobstreet post) but I’m not gonna do it. Because I go straight to the point and I know that I have the passion, the skills and the wit for this job. And I can kick all of your asses on Call of Duty. Check out my resume. Passion and learning are my game.
I’m not sure whether it’s laziness or overconfidence that I spot here.
Unless you’re applying to become a flight attendant or model, you do not need to include your height and weight on your resume. I also don’t know why we Filipinos like adding our religion in there as I’m not exactly sure how valuable that is to an employer. Also, I don’t think we need to know that you were awarded Best Student when you were in… first grade.
Here’s an example:
Primary: ******** Catholic School
Grade 4 – 6 (March 2002 – June 1999)
Best in Reading CEM Test
Top 2 – grade 5
Top 10 – grade 6
Basic writing rules. Use capital I if you’re talking about yourself in the first person. If you include “i love writing” in there, I’m not sure I will believe it. Don’t forget your punctuation marks. I’ve seen tons of responses that don’t use periods or commas. Don’t use “PLS” as substitute for “please.” That tells us you’re lazy and that you don’t think spelling is important.
Some examples (all in verbatim):
As a newly graduate i was attracted on the written or posted on your site in jobstreet.com, i feel that in this company boredness is not an option to employees but enjoyment in the environment of the workplace is a must.
i am not expecting to be hired actually LOL :)) i just wanna answer the questions you posted in you’re ad because that’s the funkiest job advertisement iv’e even seen dude! nice job by the way.
I suppose we can ignore the second one as s/he did mention that s/he isn’t expecting to be hired. This young woman though who writes about eating her mom (!), seems pretty scary!
You’d think this is something everyone should know by now…
Don’t cover your mouth when talking. Don’t do the hand-on-chin face when something is being explained to you. We had someone look like this while we were talking about what his job responsibilities would be:
It’s okay to be nervous, it’s not okay to slouch. It’s okay to take your time when answering questions, it’s not okay to make your interviewer wait because you’re on your mobile phone talking to someone.
If you can’t show up for whatever reason, tell your interviewer ahead of time. We had one interviewee who made us wait 15 minutes and when I called said interviewee, he sounded like he was making an excuse and told us he forgot to say he can’t make it. And he was laughing (the “hehehe” type)! That’s just rude. Just because you’ve decided you’re no longer interested in the job, doesn’t mean you can waste other people’s time.
There you have it! If you have any more tips, feel free to add to what I have. Funny job interview experiences welcome too!