As you may know, we’re recruiting! We’ve already had dozens of applicants — some of whom look extremely promising. However, we’ve also had a lot of applications that have made us bang our heads on our desks. We thought we’d help out some of the more enterprising applicants now and in the future by writing up some tips.
If you’re applying for a job at Gloo, or elsewhere, here’s a few basic things that we think you should do.
1. Include a covering letter
This is the number-one failing of most of the applications we received. It’s your job to persuade us to hire you — that’s what your covering letter is supposed to do. So when you just send a generic CV (particularly one that says you want to be in retail, an architect or a fashion designer — and yes, we had all three), it’s making us work hard to see how you’re relevant to our vacancy, and calling into question your desire to work for us. We’ll simply move on.
A covering letter should state:
- Why you want the job, especially why agency-side if you haven’t done it before.
- Why you think you can do the job, what skills and experience you can bring.
- Whether you’re local or are willing to relocate.
- What your notice period and availability for interview are.
- What your salary expectations are.
Use a readable font — hard to believe, but we had several CVs in elaborate handwriting typefaces and an application to be a designer in Comic Sans.
2. Think what objections we might have and answer them
Are you lacking specific skills or experience that we’re asking for? Tell us why we should still interview you.
Switching from being a freelancer? Explain why. Great freelancers have loyal clients, complete control of their working lives, the joy of working from home — and they can make tons of money. If you’re as good at what you do as you say you are, why do you want to go back to working for somebody else?
Keep jobs in a logical (ideally reverse chronological) order, with title and dates clearly bolded out, so we can find them when scanning.
3. If you include a Twitter account, you’d better be using it
We’ve had applications from people claiming to be a social media expert, but their Twitter feed has been gathering dust for months. Only include social media accounts if you’re talking about a relevant subject, or if you’re using them to show us something about you. We’re not interested in pictures of your cat.
If we’re interested we will check you out online — even if you don’t include a URL. Unless you’re in the Klan you haven’t got anything to worry about, we won’t hold a few drunken photos against you, but research is in our blood.
4. Read our website and our blog
When a candidate mentions an article we wrote in their application or interview it shows us that they’re really interested in us and in the job. And it smacks of lack of commitment when an applicant clearly hasn’t checked us out.
5. Don’t just tell us, show us
If you’re a designer, make your CV the first part of your portfolio. If you’re a writer, show that you can use the common tools of our trade properly — use styles, bullets, bold, headers and boxes to make your CV striking, and PDF it to make sure it renders properly.
Send samples, or explain why you haven’t got any. Tell us a little bit about them — what kind of brief you got, what your involvement was, and what you’d change about them in an ideal world. Choose your samples to reflect the kind of work we do… in our case, B2B IT.
Pretty colours and fancy backgrounds are all well and good, but remember that we’re likely to print it out in black and white.
6. Get to the point
It’s a cliché, but your CV really should be no longer than two sides of A4.
We’re not interested in things that won’t affect your ability to do the job. You’re married with children; congratulations, and? You like watching cricket; are you hoping that we’re fans too and we can discuss the offside rule? You worked for a local newspaper when we were still wearing short trousers and watching Knightmare; you know that nobody says DTP anymore, don’t you?
We may have a dozen CVs to review each day, alongside the day job. We don’t have time to solve the mystery, tell us what makes you different.
You’re a great team player, but work well own your own too, are self-starting, have brilliant attention to detail, love to read, and your greatest weakness is being a perfectionist. You and everybody else that’s read How to write a CV.
Seriously guys, we work in marketing. We’ve seen our fair share of bullshit. Our clients hire us to cut through that and explain what they do powerfully and distinctively. Show us that you can, too.
7. Check it, and check it again
Double-check for typos and inconsistencies, particularly if you’ve made a big deal of your attention to detail. You’d be amazed how many mistakes we see, big and small.
The more time and effort you put in to applying for a job, the more you’ll get out of it — and the more likely you’ll land an interview. So it’s definitely worth doing properly.