Recruiting people to work for you is tough. Not as tough as applying I grant you, but treating people fairly and decently and making the right decision weighs upon me.
We’ve had over 20 applications so far for the part-time position. And there are three days to go at the time of writing (Monday morning) – I’ll finish the post and publish once we’ve shortlisted.
UPDATE: We had 45 applications in total.
I’m not going to be able to give detailed feedback to everyone who applied so here are some general points:
- Well done the first 20. You applied well before the deadline. We’re looking for someone with excellent organisational skills who is motivated to work here. Being quick off the mark shows your qualities.
- It’s a tough market at the moment. If you haven’t got genuine relevant experience then you’re going to struggle against those who do have. New graduates, you’re up against seasoned professionals. Sorry. There will be other opportunities that are less attractive to experienced people.
- “The job would be good experience for my career” – that’s not a selling point to me. I want your experience to be good for our organisation.
- “Can we speak on the phone?” – we’re advertising for a writer and communicator. If you need to revert to the phone to get my attention or ask me questions already in the job specs then you’re going about it the wrong way.
- “Dear Sir/Madam” – The ad gave a name and email address. I get it that Shane is a gender (and species) fluid name, but I’m not hard to find online.
- “I’m writing to express an interest in applying for the role advertised…” – this is not concise writing. If you can’t write the start of your application concisely I’m not going to be confident you’ll do it in our comms. Perhaps half the applications began this way. Whoever is teaching people to write this way needs to stop right now!
- Cover letter – We’re an online project. If you wrote your cover letter in Word and then attached that to an email, it displays a strange adherence to old skool, non-digital communication. Always question for yourself the best way to do something.
- Cover letter part 2 – the first requirement of the job is “Clear and concise communication skills suitable for online” – write to me in a clear and concise manner, don’t write endless long paragraphs. And please don’t write 3 pages. Be concise, please.
- CVs – the only relevant experience is your writing and communications experience. Make sure that stands out on your CV more than your academic qualifications.
- “examples of your work” – less than half of applicants didn’t provide examples of their work, or hid them in a CV. The stand out candidates provided quick and easy access to examples of their work.
We are shortlisting a small number of candidates. Their applications and experience stood out. Stood out a lot. There are a lot of suitably qualified applicants to whom the bullet points above don’t really apply, but your letters and CV’s weren’t quite as good for us as the ones we’re shortlisting.
The next steps involve choosing one person from the shortlist. I imagine they might be reading this and thinking about how they might attract my attention appropriately for a job involving online communications.
I also hope that anyone who has applied or is thinking of applying for the full-time project wrangler role reads this. If you have and want to add anything to your application then please do so, I won’t hold it against you. Quite the opposite. It will demonstrate to me that you’re paying attention.