We have recently been trying to fill our Research Associate position. We have what we believe to be a carefully worded job ad which I post at colleges and other places. There are a few, very specific, minimum requirements in the ad, for example, a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology or Sociology and statistical experience. I am blown away by the number of people who haphazardly apply for the job and do not even come close to meeting the minimum specs. Perhaps they are taking a pure “shotgun” approach, but it is incredibly time wasting for me to have to review these applications. I have never hired, or even interviewed, someone who doesn’t meet these criteria. And, rarely does anyone write a cover letter to say, “I don’t have exactly what you are looking for, but I believe my qualifications are unique and could help you in the following way…” My message is, don’t waste anyone’s time, yours or the employers. I am sure some people are desperate for jobs, but that desperation is going to be magnified when employers simply delete their resume and never respond; that is, the rejection rate will be much greater using a shotgun approach. I used to try to respond and say something tactful about the person not being a match. I no longer have time to do that given the tremendous number of unqualified applicants. In this case, if you don’t meet the qualifications, just don’t do it! Two more job hunting tips, write a customized cover letter and, send it as a .pdf file, not a Word or similar file. (If you have to ask why, don’t apply!)
I dislike wasting paper, thereby killing trees. Unfortunately, I have been wasting paper and killing trees, due to the fact David has received numerous resumes from people who should never have applied for the job we are advertising. For example, the job we are currently trying to fill specifies, as its absolute minimum requirement, someone who has earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology or sociology, as well as statistical experience. Even though all of the job ads we have placed state this, clearly, we have been inundated with applications from people with political science degrees, communications degrees, and no degree whatsoever, and the only thing there is to do with their application is to place it in the recycling bin. There is absolutely no way, ever, anyone without the proper credentials will be interviewed, not to mention hired, therefore, it is an utter waste of time and paper to apply. Reading skills may not be possessed by everyone, however, the ability to read a job posting is obviously a requirement to obtain a job, such that attention must be paid by the applicant to apply for a job that he/she is qualified to perform. Why would I, as the owner of a business, bother to hire anyone whom I know cannot perform the job I need him/her to perform? So, if you are reading this blog, make a note to yourself: You will never get a job if you waste your potential boss’ time and money, never.