Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Job Hunting 101 – Don’t Be Like This Guy

As I build an on-demand digital media company from scratch, I see many cover letters and resumes.

From kids right out of school looking for their first big break, to veterans of the working world, victims of the worst depression since the 1930’s.

It’s the latter that need to take note, because although we all know it’s tougher out there than ever before, showing your frustration and bitterness doesn’t improve your chances any:

“If this application finds its way to an employment agency, please disregard it. I’m tired of working on contract-to-perm – if they were truly contract-to-perm roles, I wouldn’t have to keep looking for work now would I?”

That’s an actual quote from a cover letter I received just the other day. Snarky sarcasm sure got my attention, but not in a good way.

Yes, our government has dropped the ball in letting companies outsource their workforces to such a deep degree that it’s exceedingly rare to find a secure, stable full-time staff job these days. And this unstable workforce just makes the economy even more uncertain, as those with unstable contract work don’t make the big ticket purchases which fuel the economy.

Governments need to put legislation in place to fix our broken economy – and they need to take a tough stand on the over use of contracted out consultants, and outsourcing to other nations, if that legislation is going to have any real impact.

However, complaining about it in a cover letter just sounded like sour grapes, screams attitude problem, and caused me to do what most employers probably would – instantly put that resume into the recycling bin.

Another example of what NOT to do if you want to get the jobs you are applying to:

“I’ve been a consultant not by choice, that’s all I can find. So if this is a contract of any kind, I’m just not interested.”
Neither am I interested – even though I’m looking to bring aboard full-time permanent people. If you actually spell out the limits of your employment in a cover letter or resume, you’ll probably be waiting forever for the phone to ring.

I certainly won’t be calling that person any time soon.

Despite all the doom and gloom echoed in many of the cover letters and resumes I see, occasionally I get one that makes me smile.

One of the keys to getting a job is standing out from all the other resumes, and one person recently caught my eye.

"Please check my resume and job hunting campaign below:

There is a $10,000 placement reward.

If you follow the link, you are taken to a bright and welcoming website, with a cute video about this person calling himself Fredd Basser, who’s tired of being told he’s overqualified, so he’s offering a reward for anyone that finds him a job. He’s hoping to create a social media campaign that becomes so popular, it lands him work, and he’s offering money as an incentive to push that campaign forward.

Clever solution to a real problem in today’s economy, people with extensive experience unable to find work.

I haven’t talked to this person, but I hope he finds work – his idea is innovative and positive.

And we all need to remain positive in this horrible economy.

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