Hello, Readers! Hooray for spare moments for blogging!
I feel this post is both timely and educational, as due to our unfortunate economic times, jobs are becoming scarce and there are a lot of new graduates out there. This is especially true in the library world.
To be more specific, I am in the middle of hiring for my department, and there are a lot of wack jobs out there. I wanted to share a list of dos-and-don'ts with you, in case you are a crackhead applying for jobs. Of course, I realize my readers know better than to make these errors when applying for positions, but this is still entertaining.
1. Do not submit an application that is entirely in bright blue, swirly font. It hurts my eyeballs, whose nerve endings are linked to the very finger I use to hit the "delete" button. If you are that obnoxious via pdf, I don't want to know you in person.
2. Please remember to read the job requirements. "Must have a library science degree" does not mean "...but it's ok if your entire work experience can be summed up in three letters." The three letters I am referring to in this particular case? KFC. Oh, how I wish I was making this up. Look, I know times are tough, guys, but even if I did have a soft spot for fryers of chicken (and believe me, I have a special place in my heart for them), my boss would shoot me if I hired someone like that and expected them to understand Boolean operators and database licensing agreements. Hey, you'd be a hit at the pot lucks, but let's be honest, it's just a complete waste of time for both of us.
3. It's a good idea to leave your political, religious and socially volatile views out of your cover letter. Funny, but I thought this was an obvious one.
4. If you do not know how to explain why you are interested in a job without sounding condescending to the potential new boss, get a good, honest friend to proofread your cover letters. And leave your ego at home.
5. There is NEVER a reason why your resume should be eleven pages long. Unless you are the leader of a G8 nation, keep it to 3 max.
6. Actually, no, it's not ok to say, "In lieu of a cover letter, I have expanded my resume with extra details. I hope this is ok." Especially not when the application instructions clearly state you have to submit a cover letter in addition to your resume.
7. Before you send in your references, double check to make sure they are not all personal friends. If they are, lie to me and say they are former coworkers.
8. Please do not call, email, then call, then email again, then call...and basically harass the crap out of me. It's annoying. Guess what kind of people I don't like working with.
9. Sending me an email apologizing for the spelling errors in your cover letter and resume will only convince me of your lack of attention to detail. They invented this thing called "spell check". Use it.
10. How the hell did your pdf pages end up out of order AND upside-down?? It was a word document to begin with! You are deleted, because I don't want to have to untangle your messes all the time.
11. If you went to Super Awesome Ivy League School, and you rest on your laurels for 35 years, yes, I will delete you. I don't care that you are smart and/or rich. I need someone who is active in the field and realizes that typewriters are as dead as dinosaurs. Who types their resume on a typewriter anymore????
12. That being said, there's the other side of the coin: if your resume looks like a train wreck, with a new job and/or career every six months, that does not bode well. I don't want to be your next experiment. Nor do I want to work with someone who can't get along with anyone. I could be wrong, but in my experience people with resumes like this either have no direction in life or they are very difficult to work with and are fired left and right.
13. If you are applying for the position I am offering, and accepting it means a massive pay cut and/or demotion in title and duties for you, this freaks me out. Hey, everyone has their dream job, but very few people want to go from being The Big Cheese to Bottom of the Totem Pole. This situation makes my warning bells go off. Something is not adding up right. Especially if you are still working at your old job. Fired or laid off, ok, I get it. But you're still the boss? And you want to volunteer for entry-level? Sounds suspicious.
14. If you have a question about the position, fine. That is understandable. (I personally go by the philosophy of, "Ok, I will just apply. If they like what they see, I will get to ask my questions in the interview.") But to hunt me down while I'm at work, then interrupt me while I am helping someone does NOT fly. Especially when you are wearing jeans and only want to know if the position is still open. Jeezus!!! You're applying to be a librarian. Someone who works with people. And guess what. People don't like being interrupted!!! Does the phrase "customer service" mean anything to you?
15. Speaking of what to wear, I am still young, and I consider myself laid-back and still relatively hip. I'm one of those people who doesn't care about small nose piercings, tattoos or black nailpolish. It's an art school. People are artsy. I get it. Just keep in mind that not everyone is like me. One of those people is my boss, who has ultimate veto power. And although the students wouldn't have a problem with it, some faculty members might. Guess how that reflects on me. Yeah.
I might have to add to this list if things keep going the way they are going! I had over 100 applications for my two positions, with more coming in every day. It's a long process, but at least it's an employer's market!