Monday, August 23, 2010

How Not To Get a Job

Remember I advertised for an Executive Assistant last week?

Instead of emailing me the application, as instructed, one applicant has sent in his CV by post. Except he didn't send it to my office. He sent it to Dods, the owners of the House Magazine.

I think it is safe to say that he won't be getting an interview...

45 comments:

Tony Butcher said...

I work in a home for adults with Learning Disabilities and received an application with a covering letter stating that the candidate "has always wanted to be a funeral director"
Needless to say - no interview

Sean Haffey said...

I feel some sympathy for the applicant.

With dozens (sometimes hundreds) of people chasing every job, it's by no means uncommon to have a form application letter which then gets a bit of tailoring to make it fit.

A few years ago, my department received an application from a student which read, in part "I would really enjoy working for a successful company like HP". Except we weren't HP.

Bradley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Grim Reaper said...

So what style of management do you subscribe to, Iain?

Not the mobile phone throwing, laser printer smashing, swearing at switchboard operators sort, I hope?

Gallimaufry said...

Putting a positive spin on it, the lad knows how to leak information already. That's some knowledge of politics.

Scary Biscuits said...

Still worth a read. He's already got your attention.

Toque said...

Damn...Oh well, the commute from Lewes to Tunbridge Wells would probably have been too much for me anyway.

Andrew Denny said...

Even after 7 years of blogging I'm still amused at tje number of people who think that if I've written about a subject - something for rent or sale, or a job vacancy etc - then I somehow am responsible for it.

To be fair, I think, this is a new medium & it's taking society a while to catch on that a blog is not the mouthpiece or organ of whatever it writes about.

Still, bearing in mind the job at stake here, it's fair to say he hasn't solved the requisite number of clues in the crossword!

Ms Humphrey Cushion said...

I feel the applicant has had a lucky escape. You are already treating him with distain and publically humiliating him. Yes, I am aware you didnt publish his name but I am sure he is well aware of your blog and would be dismayed to read your petty, arrogant little post. That said, should he be a regular reader of your blog, it may have been enough to put him off applying.. *ponders the thought*..

The Purpleline said...

I think you are being rather horrid here Iain. This is tantamount to bullying the applicant or his friend and colleague who read it on here and passed on the information to him. I bet if the CV was from an Ethnic or member of GAY PRIDE YOU WOULD HAVE NOT POSTED THIS THREAD.

The fact you obviously received the CV means it is fate, I would give the person a chance, everybody deserves a chance.


P.s. My CV will reach you next week via the good Lord Ashcroft estate in Belize, I asked his Gardener to forward it to him at your office for that personal touch. Be seeing you

Osama the Nazarene said...

A he eh, wouldn't happen with a girl.

Iain Dale said...

Er, wrong. Read the post. He sent it to Dods. I haven't had it. Merely been told by Dods that they had been sent it.

I have no association with Dods so why on earth he sent it there is anyone's guess.

The Grim Reaper said...

The Purpleline said "I think you are being rather horrid here, Iain. This is tantamount to bullying the applicant or his friend and colleague who read it on here and passed on the information to him. I bet if the CV was from an Ethnic or member of GAY PRIDE YOU WOULD HAVE NOT POSTED THIS THREAD."

Why did you suddenly start typing IN CAPITAL LETTERS MID-SENTENCE?

Has no one ever told you that typing one half of a sentence in the correct way and THEN USING CAPITAL LETTERS FOR THE REST OF IT MAKES YOU COME ACROSS AS AN IDIOT?

No, thought not.

Sorry, that should be NO, THOUGHT NOT.

Iain Dale said...

Yeah, that's about the level of your argument isn't it?

I didn't name him, yet I have, er, humiliated him. How so?

If I were him I'd take it as a valuable lesson - to take more care when sending job applications.

Would you give any a serious consideration to someone who did this? Well would you?

boughton3 said...

@Bradley

W4MP does exist. It's just W4MP.org rather than .com

Looks like a typo rather than an attempt disinginuity.

the author said...

Mr Dale,

As you may be aware, when typing a reply to someone on the internet, they can't see what you're saying until you press "send". In that way, communicating online is unlike communicating in person, or on the telephone.

Therefore there is no need to follow a question immediately with "Well would you?". I appreciate that your average shouty fathead enjoys using this tactic when communicating in person as it disrupts the conversation by introducing a counter-intuitive little 'hiccup' into the rhythm of the dialogue, thereby potentially wrong-footing the other person. However, attempting to do this online just makes you look a bit of an arrogant tit.

Yours,
R. Howard

Disgustingly Vapid said...

"I didn't name him, yet I have, er, humiliated him. How so?"

Public humiliation isn't the only form of humiliation.

"Would you give any a serious consideration to someone who did this? Well would you?"

Probably not, but that doesn't give you license to blog about it.

This is a snide, arrogant and grotty little post from an equally snide, arrogant and grotty little man.

The Purpleline said...

The Grim Reaper Proper little pedant, it was obviously a fat finger job, but anyway who cares you complete waste of space.

What a pity your mother never went for the morning after pill.

Unsworth said...

@ Ms Humphrey Cushion

What's 'distain', let alone 'publically'? Presumably the candidate is well known to you ('I am sure he is well aware of your blog') and you can therefore speak on his behalf.

Given the large numbers of applicants for such jobs generally, this is one way of weeding some of the less suitable candidates out, is it not? I imagine that Iain might wish his Executive Assistant to exhibit substantial care and attention to detail - so lacking these days, one finds.

Doubtless the applicant could write a grovelling letter of apology to Iain, explaining his error, and asking that his CV and application be considered nonetheless. If such a letter arrived with me I'd certainly think about putting his application back into the pile - but it'd have to be a damn good letter.

trevorsden said...

Grow up Ms Cushion. If any humiliation has occurred its in private.

Sadly people DO (capitals for slight emphasis) demonstrate their lack of gumption in job applications - its a wise lesson to learn. Strangely you seek to ignore it.

P. Stable said...

My mum works for an organisation that provides support for carers. She gets letters from people who either want help with their careers or, better yet, would like to help other people with their careers on pretty much a weekly basis.

Dazzla said...

@The Grim Reaper
"Why did you suddenly start typing IN CAPITAL LETTERS MID-SENTENCE?"

Upper case is cruise control for cool, as any fule kno.

Thorpe said...

I'm afraid I don't have much sympathy for the applicant. Given that Iain wants someone who apart from anything else will be preparing briefs accuracy will be important - we can't have Iain going on air and saying something palpably wrong such as "only one country uses AV". If someone cannot either read instructions, or perhaps makes the error of putting two separate applications into the wrong envelope, then their ability to get other things right is suspect.

Westbury-on-Trym Lib Dems said...

I think this post was beneath you, Iain.

You haven't named the chap involved but he'll recognise himself from your rather snide remarks and feel deeply embarrassed. The (presumably) young man has made a mistake which has cost him the chance of a job. We all make mistakes and it's rather unnecessary and unseemly to broadcast his.

Perhaps, as somebody else here said, it's a fortunate escape for him if this reflects your attitude to employees.

The Grim Reaper said...

The Purpleline said "The Grim Reaper [ - what a] proper little pedant, it was obviously a fat finger job, but anyway who cares you complete waste of space. What a pity your mother never went for the morning after pill."

Aww, how sweet. Grammatical mistakes aplenty followed by a third-rate insult which proved my original point.

Still, at least you've got the keyboard fixed now. Or did you just nick another one from the computer shop?

Richard said...

I think you've rather misjudged this one Iain - you've come across as a bit sneering. Not nice.

Iain Dale said...

You make me laugh. Of course I was sneering. With a good bit of derision thrown in as well.

You seriously think I would consider employing someone who was incompetent enough to send the application to the wrong person in the wrong company? Come off it.

Dear oh dear. How standards have slipped.

Have you ever employed anyone?

Dave H said...

"This is a snide, arrogant and grotty little post from an equally snide, arrogant and grotty little man."

Now that's just downright untrue: from his photos, Iain Dale isn't particularly little. Nonetheless, although it isn't Post of the Year, Mr Dale does have a point. If the poor sap has been able to identified himself from this post, he could consider it useful feedback.

The advert asked for 'exceptional' organisational skills. Sending your application to completely the wrong address is rather ill-advised way of demonstrating this. Makes you look a plonker, in fact.

(Mind you, anyone genuinely meeting such a long list of exacting criteria really ought to go and find a much better job elswehere)

Iain Dale said...

You know, I hope he does. Because he won't do it again will he?

Maybe a valuable lesson learned.

Richard said...

Iain, Reference your comment to me, yes I have and do. But employing someone is different from sneering at applications from people who don't know better or who have made a mistake.

I'm a fan of your blog generally but in this instance I think you're being unfair towards someone who hasn't the power (or the competence, perhaps) to respond. And that's the issue for me.

Iain Dale said...

Richard, "people who don't know better"? For goodness sake, they have a degree. If they haven't got the 'competence to respond', why would I even consider employing them?

If the chap concerned got in touch with a real mea culpa, done in a humorous way, maybe he could rescue the situation. But as someone said above, it's have to be a damned good one!

our own correspondant said...

Purrrlese! This applicant's clearly an idiot! The very definition of the good PAs and EAs I've worked with is application, organisation and common sense.

This chap has none and couldn't follow instructions (paper based CV) nor did he use any common sense, he sent it to another company!!! This is pretty open and close - he horrendusly ill-suited to the requirements.

I've still to see a proper argument for this being mean or "sneering". This is a funny anecdote. Fuuny. Anecdote.

Back to wasting tax payers money (direct or indirect) in other ways town hall / quango trolls!

Richard said...

I concede.

Unsworth said...

@ Richard

"But employing someone is different from sneering at applications from people who don't know better or who have made a mistake."

OK, that's an interesting observation - care to elaborate, and care to explain how one is able to employ without looking at (and discarding, probably) many applications? I have employed many people from many different walks of life. In some cases it has been almost impossible not to sneer at their (misguided) attempts to impress - for a plethora of reasons.

I think a good point is made in your comment 'who don't know better'. One has to ask why this is so. True, they may be State Education Victims, but so what? Are we running businesses or charities for the incompetent and ill-educated?

Let's remember Blair and 'Education, education, education'. What a hollow promise that was. We need the very finest intellects and competencies if we're to survive and prosper. Our young people are truly admirable in many ways, but let's not kid ourselves as to their academic abilities. After all, why do Universities have to spend so much time carrying out remedial education of their under-graduates?

gawain said...

I'm with you Iain; theis displays complete lack of attention to detail and thus lack of either redaing skills, interest in the job or both. Unfortunately, as one who has had many of the same things and worse when advertising jobs, all-too-typical of the word-processor society and the laziness of the typical job applicant. It was much easier to get it right than do what the applicant did and still they got it wrong.

Mind you, I think your wage offer is poor for what you're seeking. And I suspect this person, like most, applies for each and every job going - guys, it SHOWS both in your application and the interview , if you get one - and may not even notice his error.

Salmondnet said...

I think the scathing tone is unwarranted.

Employers are in a seller's market. Those who wish to be employed, especially when young, generally have to send out many applications to have any hope of getting a job (leaving aside those who are hired as a result of networking). In these circumstances mistakes are not really surprising.

Add to that the fact that employers now write such demanding and unrealistic job criteria (usually far in excess of the actual needs of the job) that few can afford to make an entirely honest application and the main effect of Iain's post is to make me devoutly thankful that I am no longer in the employment market.

Ian's dismissiveness may have lost him a potentially excellent employee. I have to say, I rather hope so.

Iain Dale said...

Gawain, er, I haven't advertised a salary...

Victor, NW Kent said...

Poor Iain. What a lot of berks you have to contend with, and I don't mean the applicant.

If the young man, with a university degree of some sort, has not even the basic sagacity to send his application to the right person then what use would he be to you?

There is obviously no cause sufficiently undeserving not to have at least a handful of hearts to bleed for it.

PS I am fairly sure you did mention a salary for the post. Was it not about £1800 a month?

aseeryl said...

This is a bit cruel on the face of it.The poor lad/ladette. We've all been there, making daft statements. A sensitive person might write back and point out a few shortcomings.

What do you think he/she would feel like to be publicly used as a butt of your,unusually, PC sense of humour.
Next time your on sky press preview I'll look out for your mistakes.

Charles said...

@Unsworth

"care to elaborate, and care to explain how one is able to employ without looking at (and discarding, probably) many applications?"

Of course you review and discard many. The firm I work for gets upwards of 200 applications for every post. That said I do remember a funny story about a former colleague (at a different firm) who was given a pile of applications, removed the top half and threw them away saying "I want my employees to be lucky..."


"I have employed many people from many different walks of life. In some cases it has been almost impossible not to sneer at their (misguided) attempts to impress - for a plethora of reasons."

I think this is Richard's point. (And I agree with him). You can view someone as being unsuitable for a post or even unemployable. That doesn't mean you should sneer at him.

Sneering/Derision/Humiliation are ALWAYS unpleasant actions - more about the demonstration of power/superiority than fair commentary.

@Iain

This guy clearly has made a mistake. Perhaps he is incompetent, perhaps he just scr*wed up. Either way you shouldn't hire him. Doesn't change this fact that you come across as being fairly nasty in this post.

Bradley said...

When doing my a-levels I wrote to my then MP, Derek Conway, asking for an internship. He wrote back, saying that I should re-apply when I reached an age at which I was able to work. WTF! Err, on my CV I had put my DOB as 1988, which was the year I was writing in rather than the year I was born in.

I've never made the same mistake again.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Well, I have employed people, lots of people, and the way to do it is to encourage and nurture, not humiliate. Especially if you are dealing with young people, as you seem to want.

The advert was arrogant, badly written tosh to start with. Now all you have done is compound the original bit of wankerage with more drizzle from the pizzle pipe.

God help the "successful" applicant.

gawain said...

My apologies. I was thinking of the TP job salary. I hope you plan to pay more than that?

DespairingLiberal said...

What a sneery, nasty-minded posting.

And I was going to apply too, but now I won't be for sure. I wouldn't want to work for you now I've found out how you treat potential employees.

Yes, it's all new to all of us, this type of conduct by you Iain. I for one had totally forgotten for example your outing of that young guy who was so foolishly involved in protesting outside the House during his lunch break to his employer.

It really comes as a shock to see you behaving in this way. I have torn up my letter of application in disgust. I am also jumping up and down on a print-out of your webpage.

Goodwin said...

"For goodness sake, they have a degree." Unfortunately reading, writing and comprehension are no longer prerequisites.