A while ago, I was speaking with Ben Bassey, the Editor-in-Chief of Pulse Nigeria. We spoke about a recent hire I made for the Social Media team. He asked me about a candidate he had referred for the role; the young man had been hounding him for an opportunity to work at Pulse. Unfortunately for him, I did not invite him to interview.
To be honest, during shortlisting; I actually don’t pay that much attention to the names of candidates. I review the experiences in their CVs; the content of their emails; and their cover letter, if attached.
In the last 4 years, in my role as a Marketing lead for Pulse, I have shortlisted several candidates, held many interviews, and hired some really really amazing guys; both for full time and Internship roles. I have also seen, emails from some lazy, careless, and downright annoying candidates. Below are my top five annoying reasons for not interviewing or giving jobs to any candidate.
1) Emails without Subject!
Like seriously???? How do you EVER send emails for job applications without ‘subject’? HOW? Despite how annoying and as unethical as this is, it’s very common amongst a lot of job seekers. I see this happen very frequently. If you've done this before, or are currently still doing this, please stop it; you can’t get invited to interview for any serious job.
Hiring managers and HRs get a lot of emails; they’re very busy people. They won’t open your email. They won’t invite you for the interview. They won’t give you the job. So please, add subjects to your emails; make sure it’s simple, clear, and very related to the position you’re applying for.
2) Emails without an impressive Body.
Most of the time, job seekers think the only thing hiring managers /HRs are interested in is their CVs. This is wrong. Actually, your interview begins from your first application email. Your email subject and body gives a fair idea of the quality of the candidate you are. It’s a major factor that determines whether the hiring manager would go ahead download your CVs for review or not.
The body of the email does not necessarily need to be too elaborate with many flashy grammars and buzz words. Simply state how you found out about the opening, and why you think you’re a good fit for the job.
3) Forwarding CVs in previously sent emails
Okay, I’m sure some of you would be wondering if this is actually happening; 100% Yes! I’ve seen this happen with every batch of applications I receive.
To me, this takes the cake as the most annoying things job applicants do. The only logical reason conclusion I can come up with for behaviors like this is: sheer laziness, and or disregard for the hiring managers. You will never get a serious by doing this.
4) Applying for the wrong job or position.
Let me clarify what I mean: The wrong job, is a job that you have no skill or experience for whatsoever. Even if you're applying to be an intern, having zero skills or experience makes you an unqualified candidate in my opinion. The only reason I would take an inexperienced candidate for an internship roll is: if he or she has shown a lot of interest and passion for that position of job. By this, the candidate should have taken, or should be currently taking a course related to the position or job; have a fairly strong understanding of what the job entails; from studying and listening to influencers and experts other experts in that field/industry.
The pressure of unemployment can sometimes lead us to apply for anything, and everything that’s available out there. I would strongly discourage you from doing this. Be deliberate about the kind of job you’re interested, and apply for those. It’s better to be unemployed, for a little while, than to be engaged in something that makes you bitter and unhappy.
5) Misplacing being confident by being arrogant.
Being confident, it’s a key factor for landing that dream job. However, you must be very careful to know when you’re crossing that line, as anything beyond confidence, could imply, or make you come off as being rude and arrogant.
A few months ago, Twitter was on fire; remember the job applicant who was complementing the HR manager who interviewed him on how she smelled? See screenshot.
I once received an application from a candidate who was logically threatening me to give him the job. In one of the paragraphs of his email, the candidate wrote; “Mr. George, I will pay you N100,000 if you’re not satisfied with my job after the first month.” Do you see anything wrong with this? Or is it just me? I’d really like to know your thoughts.
The first step to getting that job of your dreams, begins with getting the interview. Your first impression for the job starts with your application email; your CV, and what you say to the hiring manager in the body of your email.