Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Searching for a job?

As you may or may not know I am a Human Resources Manager.  I have been helping the wife of an employee this week with her resume and cover letter as she tries to re-enter the work force.

I thought I should take a few moment with an actual email exchange to give you all some advice to help you have a successful job search.

Below are actual emails. The only items I have changed are the person's name, email address, and company identifying information.

From: Hopeful job applicant []
Sent: Monday, June 29, 2015 4:30 PM
To: Human Resources
Subject: Job opportunity
Hello, my name is jonathan smith and i am writing this message because i am intrested in a position with abc turnstiles . i am a former welder for ampco out in the job sites sam, sepulveda, and sierra. I became close friends with alex vasques and a couple of employees who encouraged me to appy for abc. if you guys are hiring by any chance. Please give me and email message or a call on how can i apply. Thanx you..  

(Sadly posting the email took out ALL the wavy red lines which highlighted all the mistakes he had made in this email.)

On Jun 30, 2015 5:24 PM, "K; wrote:

Thank you for your interest in a job opportunity with ABC Turnstiles.  Unfortunately there are no openings at this time.

Please take the time to read and apply these helpful pointers so that you will have better luck in your job search:
1)      Always attach a resume
2)      This is your first and only chance to impress the hiring manager- so work hard to impress them
a.       Use proper grammar (for example capitalization)
b.      No spelling mistakes
c.       No text short cuts, use the whole word spelled out properly.
3)      Always mention that you were referred by someone and spell their name correctly.  In this case you should mention all the employees who would give you a recommendation. More is better.

Your email is all stuffed together and without the proper capitalization it is harder to read.  You could easily have spent just a couple of more minutes and done a lot better on this email and made a much better first impression. 

I am not saying this to discourage you but to assist you in your job search.  I wish you good luck.

From: Hopeful job applicant [
I appreciate your help kathryn thornton. Yes you are right, i should have double checked my grammer. I will keep trying. Thank you.

Do you see all the mistakes he made with the second email?   

  • Obviously the capitalization, spelling and grammar did not improve.  He didn't even try. This shows me this person cannot take or follow directions well. 
  • He didn't try to improve at all. He is not someone who will grow or have a lot of upside potential.
  • He didn't attach a resume. Again not following directions and paying attention to details. We are a very safety conscious company. Our work is inherently dangerous and if this person can't follow directions or pay attention to details he is going to get himself and others hurt.
  • While I did change the email I have seriously gotten emails from email addresses that are completely unprofessional and cast the sender in a terrible light. The email address I created is a good example of ones I have seen.  Email addresses are free. Get one that shows you are a serious, respectable person I would want working for and representing our company.
  • He did not Google our company. If he had he would have found our website which has a job section and all the information he needed to know to apply.  Lazy, wants the easy way and everything handed to him.
  • He didn't take the opportunity to sell himself. He has a leg up over everyone else. He's worked on our work site and he can tell me exactly what he does well that we need.  Big opportunity lost.  Your resume may not illuminate your intangible soft skills that set you apart. Always put that information in your email and cover letter.
I bet you didn't realize how much the people you are interacting with take away from every interaction you have with them. 

What he did right:
  • He listed an employee who referred him. We always look at referrals before anyone else.  They know a current employee, that means they know the job and the company. It also means that they don't want to embarrass the person referring them or burn that bridge by screwing up at work.
  • He explained how he knew our company and that he had worked on-site through a contractor.  This means he knows our work site, procedures and employees.  This can also be a problem since there are some contractors that will not allow their employees to be hired by companies they work for but you have to divulge this information better up front than later. 
  • He did not badmouth his employer or tell me personal information that has nothing to do with his job. I receive more than a few cover letters and emails that explain that "I need a job to get money to pay for..." my daughter, or my stupid brother's drug habit, or my wife lost her job so you have to hire me.  We all need a job and have bills, I want to know why you want to work for us specifically or why this job is the best fit for you and you are the best fit for us.
  • He wrote back and said thank you.

    I was impressed that he wrote back and said thank you.  I was really hoping he was going to redeem himself.  Even if I don't have an opening now you never know when I will have one or what other HR professionals I know that I would refer you to if you impress me.

    I hope you find this helpful.  I know a lot of people are looking to move jobs now that the economy seems to be getting better and more employers are hiring.  If you are looking good luck in your job search.

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