Part 2: Death by Applications
Since my last post I have once again poured my soul into a few job applications. At this point I haven't yet received the customary "no thanks" email, so my long and arduous journey into a career might be over soon (doubt it). I can't help but feel that this entire online application process has a few faults. I'm sure if I ran my own successful company I would not use such a system. Something I don't understand is how to get the balance right between being myself in an application, being formal, being professional, and appearing perfect for the role. What's the golden rule for selling yourself? If I am to be MYSELF in an application, (which so many companies suggest) I would shrug off all formalities, crack a few jokes and attempt to be " cyber-charming" with an element of "hire me please I'm desperate" thrown in. (I've tried it, but these still get the "no thanks" reply.)
Second rant of the day: "Why do you want to work for our company in particular?" Don't get me wrong, there are a good few companies that I sought out instantly that I DO want to work for. When I write these applications, this question will usually answer itself. It's a bit like a first date, I want to play it cool without looking too keen, but I want to grab their attention and lead on to a long relationship. However, half of the time the true answer to this question is "I did a degree which qualifies me to apply for this position and I want your money." Don't condemn me for being honest, because I know you've done it too. I believe that just because I might not have heard of your company before today, it does not mean I won't be perfect for your job. I think the ideal solution is to scrap these sorts of questions. This allows me to document my passion for your company (should I choose to) in my cover letter. The rest of the application can then be analysed with a view to seeing if I am personally appealing to you. Should this develop and require an interview, this is where it is perfect to ask me why I want to work for you. If you want variety in your applications, make every question about the person. If you ask everyone about your company, prepare for a huge number of applications that repeat your website back at you. Rant number two over.
At this point, I would love to unleash a scathing critique on two particular applications. However, I am no fool and despite my super casual writing style for this blog, I am always professional. Not to mention that too much detail could seriously hinder my chances of success with these two applications. Let's just say some application tasks are annoying. I know, (for a fact) that none of the current staff would have to do these sorts of things within such time limits, so it's unrealistic to expect me to be able to do it. End.
As you may be able to ascertain from this blog, my overall mood regarding my career and the ol' job hunt is not exactly optimistic today. Of course I do understand the need for these application processes, otherwise there would be 1000 interviews which is just ridiculous. I have said this before, but each application I complete enables me to complete the next one to an even higher standard. However, it is getting to the point where I am reading through my most recent applications and loving them all.
Don't force me to start my own multi-million pound company to compete with yours, just to prove to you that I would have been great, because I will do it!
Thanks for being patient,
Jared Take a look at Jared's story so far on our blogs page