How To Get Hired Or Not Get Hired
The unemployment rate in both Canada and the US has been climbing the stratosphere since last year and there is no stopping.
So I figured hiring a part-time VA will be relatively easy. Wrong. Although my inbox was flooded with inquiries, CVs and resumes, only a handful showed any promise. All in all, I received exactly sixty seven responses to my online job posting.
I Was Disappointed
Fifty percent of the respondent didn’t even bother to say hello – just a blurb that said “see attached resume”. Do you think I would waste my time reading their resume? No. My immediate impression is this person didn’t care enough or too lazy. Who wants to employ such person?
Forty five percent sent me a form e-mail that started with “Dear sir/madam”. You know, the kind you normally send to a government agency. Add to that their glowing credentials and accomplishments but none of them referred to the skills I was looking for.
My ad specified that I needed someone skilled in wordpress, e-mail marketing and social media; yet only five of the respondents indicated they are familiar with these business tools. When I googled their names, only two have online profiles; one has a twitter account that was locked from public viewing. A secret profile I suppose.
How To Improve Your Chances Of Getting A Job
1. Create an online profile. In today’s world, if you don’t have an online profile, your chances of getting a job is limited. This is more important if the job you are applying for has anything to do with the internet, such as Virtual Assistant. So get your head off the sandbox and be social. Improve your chances of getting a job with an online profile. You know they are going to look you up online so you might as well add your social media handles in your cover letter.
2. Skip the form letter and be yourself – get real (authentic). A real person would normally use greetings in their e-mail; check their spellings, and use capital letters at the beginning of a sentence. Basic skills. And unless you are applying for a government position, don’t be so rigid as to use the proverbial “To whom it may concern” greeting. “Dear Hiring Manager” is professional and acceptable greeting. The person reading your application or e-mail is a human and while you might not know their job title, you can safely assume they are wearing the hat of a Hiring Manager.
3. Update Your Resume. Blindly sending your resume without updating it to show its relevance to the job you are applying for is lazy. Revising your resume and tailoring it to the particular job will help you get noticed.
4. Be relevant. Unless you are qualified, don’t waste your time (and theirs) sending your resume if you don’t have the skills necessary to perform the job. My ad specified that I needed someone proficient in wordpress and social media. WordPress is a specific business tool that requires time and money to learn. You can’t learn it on the job. You might have over 15 years of administrative experience; teachable etc., but do you know wordpress? Being proficient in accounting will not help an employer looking for someone to manage their social media.
5. Show – not tell. Several respondents said they have experience in social media; however, I couldn’t find their online profiles anywhere. They didn’t exist online. Why not impress your potential employer with your results and make it easy for them to hire you. Don’t wait for them to ask for samples of your work or portfolio.
6. Don’t be needy. Okay, so you need a job and you needed it yesterday. But don’t appear to beg. No one would hire someone desperate. It’s a turn off. Your future employer doesn’t need to know your life situations in a job application.
Just for good measures, here’s a letter I like:
Hiring Manager,Thank you for taking the time to review my application for the position of Virtual Assistant.I am currently assisting other companies part-time in a virtual assistance role, managing such tasks as online marketing (facebook, twitter, youtube), WordPress design and maintenance, SEO and SEM, as well as other administrative tasks. You can view my online portfolio and resume, including feedback scores, via XXXXX. I am available Monday to Friday and some weekends. I am reliable, trustworthy and versatile, enabling me to fill a number of different roles.I look forward to discussing the position in greater detail soon.With best regards,