Reviewing 100+ Job Applications: This Much I Know

We are hiring.

There is a job description and an application process. Same old, same old. In it, though, is a link to a page full of drama and insight about the team and the role.

If you read it, you will definitely have an opinion – something like, “Cool! They seem weird and wonderful!”, or maybe, “What a bunch of idiots!” – who knows?

Still, it will create a memory, it will give you an insight. It will create a reaction, it will give you a viewpoint. Now, what do you do with that?

It seems simple to me: use it in your application process. Take a stand. Say something. Share with us what you connected with, why it created the call to action to apply for the job.

Doing so leads to one clear outcome: we will know you (a little better). You will be on the inside of the process, we will be connected.

Similarly, following us on our social channels, reaching out and connecting (LinkedIn included) – such a step seems so obvious to me. It draws you close(r).

We have received over 75 applications so far, and 95% of them have a cover letter. Perhaps three of those letters remarked on the process or drew reference to what they learned about us. We have had very little social interaction too. This is kinda pathetic.

We are giving you so much data to work with – we made a real effort. And what we have got back is a lot of generic applications. People who, I am led to suppose, are just applying for lots of jobs out there one by one. Well, good luck with that!

We are clearly stating, we want YOU! And we want someone who wants us. Yet so few people are giving themselves to us, so that we can say “Yes!” to them.

In the social age, this seems surprising and rather depressing. How do we survive and prosper in times of change and tumult? By standing out, by hustling hard, by differentiating our brand.

Now, there is risk involved in this. The more we know you, the more reasons we might have to say “No!”

But if you believe you are “the ideal candidate as you all say in your cover letter, then you should have the confidence and wherewithal to prove it out in the real world, and not rely on an applicant tracking tool to spit out your name to the hiring manager.

Here is some unsolicited advice to job seekers:

  • Produce a dedicated job-specific resume / CV that is clear, concise and well designed
  • Write a cover letter that guarantees “This will make a difference.” Be OK that the difference it might make is for people to say “No” to you.
  • Research the people, team, role. Ask people to help you. They may say “No” or ignore you, but what if they don’t?
  • Reach out and say “Hi!” directly. It creates a multi-channel radar of your existence. And it is free, and easy. C’mon!
  • (especially for MarComms people) Set up a free website that collates your social channels, design portfolio, blog, resume/CV etc. This will definitely put you into the 1%ers. Done and done.

I take the hiring process very seriously. I want the very best candidate to win, and to add tons of value to the team. I wish more applicants would do the same thing.

To all candidates looking for work, career change, new challenges, I wish for you the very best. Don’t despair, know that a huge percentage of the luck required to move on/ahead is within your power to create.


In a change of process, this was first posted on LinkedIn here.

More reflections on the hiring process here

←This Much We Know.→


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