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On getting noticed for the right reasons when you ask about job availability

If someone takes the trouble to get in touch and ask about working for Well House Consultants, I'll take the trouble to reply to them. But much more often than not, the answer has to be "no, sorry ..."; we're a small and tight team, and we've learned to become a well oiled machine which hasn't needed major additions for quite a while, and is unlikely to need them in the foreseeable future. A word of caution here - it's often very hard to foresee ahead as far as I would like.

And, alas, 9 out of 10 enquiries fail to impress, and even if we were looking for additional help, that vast majority wouldn't make it anywhere near a second stage of selection; I recall advertising for staff 2 years ago (when we had a major change in our staffing) and from 20 applicants I ended up with a list that I entitled "52 ways to lessen your chance of getting a job"; there are some personal reasons in that list, and it's not something I can publish, but I am going one step further than usual in this article in giving some background as to what we, as employers, would look for - how to make that initial approach. Job applicants have taken the trouble to ask, and that's a significant step - if I can give them some hints to help in their next applications to others, why not?

* Use of English. I appreciate that English isn't everyone's first language, but we need our team to be able to communicate with customers, and within our team. Overlooking even the language, a single unpunctuated sentence asking about jobs, without a single capital letter, indicates someone who hasn't bothered to write properly, or doesn't know what "properly" is. And whilst we welcome people who need training, we're likely to pass (and so are other employers) on people who need their basic education completing.

* Research the company that you're asking, and make it clear in your letter of approach that you've done so. A letter that's addressed by name is a good step. A letter that comments about some interaction or knowledge of the company that you're approaching is two good steps. And a letter that asks about a job role in a field that quick research would tell you wasn't something that's even needed is an indication of how far off the mark you are in your application.

* Sell the benefits. What's going to make your approach special? It's going to be some of the features that make you especially suitable for the job, and it's worthwhile - even in an initial approach - raising one or two of those. Examples? - well, I'll leave it to you to think it through ;-)

* Be honest and realistic. We're six miles from Bradford-on-Avon. So saying you live just 3 miles away in an application letter tells me straight away that you're not being totally honest, and leaves me wondering what other "porkies" I'm being fed; you may not know that I know I'm being fed either.

* Don't be demanding. "Reply as soon as possible"; what a stupid demand; (a) I'll not be delaying needlessly and (b) you should have been polite. No thanks ...

* If you're calling, do so from a quiet environment, leave enough time for your call, and find out who you're talking to when you get through. Even if the answer you get is a firm "no" remain polite. I can recall rejecting one applicant - borderline decision - and getting such a nice response that I approached the same person when another requirement came up; I can also recall having someone under very strong consideration, but rejecting that person based on a series of rude and impatient follow ups.

* Show Enthusiasm. An enthusiastic and positive approach is worth far more than perfect English or strong research, for example.




OK - having written the above (as a result of looking through the various applications I've had over past months), I have to say "Sorry - we are NOT looking". We have a superb team at the moment, and I'm not seeing anything on the horizon to change that. Of course, I don't know what lies in wait over the horizon.

We are ... always ... wanting to help people on their first steps from education to work, and will happily let the right people who are taking these steps shadow one of our team and help for a shift or two. Bringing yourself to our attention as "one of the right people" is rather like following the suggestions above. I'm delighted to have had people shadow in this way in the past; some have decided our business is NOT the sort of line they want to get into, others may be following a career in our industries, and on one occasion we found we got on so well that a part time job has resulted.

Please feel free to revisit http://melksh.am/jobs - a short link where I'm (usually) providing a link to this page, but will be switched as and when our situation changes
(written 2012-09-26, updated 2012-11-04)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
M301 - The Well House Manor team
  [4227] Happy Christmas from the Well House Manor team - (2013-12-25)
  [4004] Annual Accounts - a big job for a small business - (2013-02-15)
  [3988] Three cheers for the staff at Well House Manor - (2013-01-24)
  [3425] Our National Autograss Champion, from Melksham - (2011-09-08)
  [3312] Are you cheerful, reliable and available on Saturday mornings? - (2011-05-30)
  [3201] A change to the Well House team - thank you and good luck, Chris - (2011-03-14)
  [2952] Concluding the interview process - (2010-09-10)
  [2946] Level playing fields, job vacancies, lemons and peaches - (2010-09-05)
  [2938] An opportunity to join our team! - (2010-08-28)
  [2924] Job applicants - wondering why they apply - (2010-08-16)
  [2037] The Interview and The Lift - (2009-02-12)
  [2027] Who sticks by you in the snow? - (2009-02-05)
  [2021] Short health and safety course - (2009-02-02)
  [1927] Team changes at Well House - looking forward - (2008-12-06)
  [1839] Job application - (2008-10-13)
  [1805] Carlisle High School - Class of 1973 Reunion - (2008-09-21)
  [1585] Well House Consultants / Manor - Staff - (2008-03-21)
  [1580] Congratulations, Martin and Marta - (2008-03-17)
  [1324] Well House Manor appoints a General Manager - (2007-08-28)
  [1083] Behind the scenes - (2007-02-17)
  [1065] Graham Ellis - an Introduction - (2007-02-05)
  [1002] Meet the neighbours - (2006-12-20)
  [972] Both one team and two - (2006-12-08)
  [895] Welcome, Martin - (2006-10-16)
  [849] Staff Meeting - (2006-08-30)


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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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