Have you finished polishing your clean slate yet? Happy
2014, I mean 2015 (ugh, I’ll be doing that for at least another two months). It’s no secret this time of year rings in resolutions and refreshed motivation. So what’s on your goals list? If finding a fulfilling, fantastic new job is top priority, this post is for you.
As Michelle wrote in my favorite post of hers yet (who doesn’t love getting showered with compliments?), Reputation Ink is in hiring mode, on the hunt for a full-time position marketing and public relations account executive. You can see the full job description here.
Job applications have been flooding Michelle’s inbox over the past few weeks and, understandably, she can’t respond to all of them—or even open all of them. It’s so, so crucial for job applicants to stick out in today’s age of saturated inboxes and jam-packed schedules. While every employer is different in his or her preferences, here’s what Reputation Ink is (and isn’t) looking for:
Hello! Pay Attention
Read the job posting—all the way through. Take note of the listed desired skills and expertise, responsibilities and next steps for applying (this includes the name of the person who is hiring).
If you’re asked to “email a cover letter, resume and writing samples,” do just that. Ensure you send over everything the hiring manager is asking for, and show you can follow directions. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot before you even get in the door.
The Cover Letter: Short, Sweet and to the Point
Your cover letter is your pitch. If you can’t pitch yourself, how will you pitch our clients to the media? Show us what you got.
Start with your subject line. Capture attention in the inbox so your application isn’t sent straight to the trash. The body of your cover letter should be well written, direct and transparent, detailing:
Why are you looking for a job?
Why are you available?
What’s your situation?
Why are you interested in this position?
It’s key to be transparent and answer these questions so the hiring manager doesn’t have to sift around to find the answers herself. For example, if you’re in Alaska applying for a job in Florida, are you really willing to move? What’s your motive for this opportunity? If you’re looking to move closer to your family in Jacksonville, say that. Alleviate any assumptions.
Again, hiring managers get tons of applications and are pressed for time. You need to be able to tell your story quickly, pulling the most important, relevant pieces from your resume so they don’t have to hunt around. Save your hiring manager as much time as possible. Don’t make them do the work—that’s your job to get the job.
The Resume: No, You Don’t Need an Objective
Speaking of your resume… you don’t need an objective. It’s cool. We know your objective is getting hired.
Your resume should, of course, be error-free, void of grammar and spelling mistakes. Just like the cover letter, the wording should be clear. Don’t simply paste your old job description. Write what it was you actually did—no flowery language. If your experience is with small, niche companies with unfamiliar names, take a moment to explain the company.
Show, Don’t Tell
At Reputation Ink, we’re communicators. We’re persuaders. Job applicants should show they are, too. Like I said before, your cover letter is your pitch. That, along with your resume, is another writing sample for us to look at. Can you write concisely? Can you spell well? Do you use proper grammar?
If you are asked to move onto the next stage of the hiring process (in our case, taking a writing test), how do you correspond with us? Are your emails professional and polite? Can you turn around emails quickly?
Also keep in mind that employers fill jobs based on factors that go beyond skills. It’s about fit.
We’re a tight-knit family here at Reputation Ink. We don’t compete, we support and lift one another up. We work hard for our clients and for each other. Our team cherishes our Wine-Down Fridays, good humor and flexible work environment. Michelle recently told me she wants us to “work our job around our lives, not our lives around our job.” It’s truly an amazing place to work. We’re looking for someone we can welcome into all of that.
If you think you’d be a fit for your family, we’d love to hear from you. After reading the job description, please email your cover letter, resume and writing samples to Michelle King at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Must love dogs.)