I am currently trying to hire a marketing manager for my team. It seems like I have to do this every summer. Not because I am a bad boss – I don’t want you to get the wrong idea – but because that just seems to be the timing of things. Two years ago I was adding a new member to the team. One year ago a perfectly happy employee was lured away by our former sister company. I may still be a little bitter about that one. And then this summer I lost a wonderful team member who decided to relocate to Denver.
The ad I’m running clearly states the skills I’m looking for, and yet I’m getting all sorts of resumes from people who have no related experience whatsoever. I ask for a cover letter and a salary range. Strong writing skills are a must (also clear from the ad) and yet I’m getting half assed cover letters that are poorly written, or totally generic or riddled with mistakes. I did get one where the person made a valiant effort at composing a letter with some customization, but forgot to fill in our company name where it said [Company Name] in the letter. Then there are the two resumes I’ve gotten where people sent them with their tracked changes still showing. Oh, and let’s not forget the person I spent 45 minutes interviewing only to discover that she wanted $20k more in salary than I can pay. I’m never going to make that mistake again – I may stop calling people who don’t give a salary, and at the very least the person scheduling the interviews will have to ask the question. Speaking of salaries, don’t even get me started on the people who have no experience and want $50,000 per year or the guy who has three years of marketing experience and wants $95,000-$100,000. And then there were the two people who scheduled interviews and called back with some flaky excuse for not showing up. If you can’t make it to the interview, you’re not going to be someone we can rely on to get the job done, so no thank you, we won’t be rescheduling.
Here are just a few handy tips for anyone looking for a job, but most certainly for the people looking for a job from me.
1. Pay attention to detail, and proofread your stuff. If you can’t get your resume and cover letter error free when you should be trying your best to make a good impression, I’m not going to waste my time interviewing you. You’ll be a sloppy worker.
2. Actually read the ad and look at the job requirements. If you don’t have the necessary skills, or any related skills whatsoever, don’t waste my time applying for the job. If it says it is looking for someone with 3 years of experience and you’re a VP of something or other, don’t apply. It’s a marketing manager job. I can’t afford you, and I won’t call you.
3. Tailor your cover letter to my ad. If I say I want someone who has strong analytical skills, highlight something from your resume for me that demonstrates the analysis work you’ve done. Your cover letter is your chance to sell yourself to me. I’m looking for a marketer. Hey, here’s a chance to trot out the very skills you’ll be using if you get the job…dazzle me!
4. I can understand if you don’t want to give an exact salary. But when I ask for one, I’m just trying to avoid wasting my time and yours. At least give me a range to work with. If you’re outside my range, you won’t want the job anyway.
5. Do a little research on the company. We have a website. You can learn a bit about us before sending in your resume. And if we call you for an interview – do some prep work for crying out loud!
6. Also, you’ll want to get to the office a little early for the interview, not a little late. There’s this great thing called the Internet, and you can get directions off of it. Or failing that (although I work in ebusiness, so you had damn well better be familiar with the Internet, or we’ve got problems) look at a map and plan your route.
7. Don’t call us and ask if you have to dress up for the interview. I don’t care if your office is casual. Stop somewhere and change, moron. It’s an interview. You want to put your best foot forward.
8. Don’t send your resume into us 18 times in one month. If we don’t call you after the first two (because it is possible that we missed the first one), we’re not interested. Particularly when you don’t really have relevant experience.
9. I’ll refer you back to item #2, because that is one of the biggest problems I’m having. For example, marketing does not necessarily mean sales. I’m not looking for a salesman. What I am looking for is right there in the ad. All you have to do is read it.
10. Please keep in mind that interviewing you is no more fun for me than being interviewed is for you. Help me out here. Don’t give me one word answers. Show me who you are and what you can do. I want to like you. Just give me a reason – or two – to like you. Please?