Confession time for me. I LOVE my job, but you know what I absolutely can't stand about it?
I think it is just plain awful when we have the "now hiring" banner on display.
It's good to have adequate staff so we're not all worked to death, but in an economy that still stinks, everyone and their mother is looking for a job. Any job. They see our sign and some sense of entitlement comes along and the embodiment of all my pet peeves ensues.
If you're looking for a job, do yourselves a favor and listen up. A lot of these tips are nothing new, but maybe they will help you in your pursuits Or, if you are happily employed, share in my misery and laugh at the insanity I am about to share with you. This is not polite, proper, or politically correct. It certainly isn't formal. But it is real. You are getting honesty here, and hopefully if you take this to heart, you can eventually get yourself a job:
- Do your research BEFORE contacting us: Yes, a sign saying "now hiring" is a bit vague. It is one of many methods we use to get the word out. All you have to do is find our website and read up on the positions we have listed. We even have an online application so you can apply right there! STOP calling us because you saw the sign and want to ask precisely what we are hiring for. If you are smart enough to find our phone number, I would hope you are smart enough to use the internet and get your own basic questions answered before tying up our phone lines.
- There IS such a thing as a stupid question: Oh, I could go for days on this one. The things I hear make me want to slap a "don't bother" post-it on your app faster than the door can hit you on your way out. THINK about what you are asking. Just some examples:
- "Will there be interviews?" (no, we call and say "you're hired!" if your name simply begins with the letter of the day!)
- "I saw the now hiring sign. Are you guys hiring?" (I can't make this stuff up, people!)
- Discretion, Discretion, Discretion: Oh, how I thought everyone knew this one. I guess not. Get rid of that AOL handle from junior high. Or at least pretend it doesn't exist when it comes to your job application. If your e-mail address contains the number 69, innuendo the words "cute," "kitten," "princess," "angel," or the like, congratulations, you have gotten yourself noticed! By noticed I mean we are all smirking and giggling that you actually put this down on your app. There are plenty of free e-mail options out there. You can make one just for job apps and still enjoy your personal....whatever in your off time!
- Do NOT bring your parents into this: Nothing puts up red flags quicker than helicopter mommies and daddies calling to volunteer as your employment reference. Or pick up and drop off your app. Or call to ask why you haven't been called for an interview yet. Or, my co-worker's personal favorite: "I'm dropping off my son's application. Can I have one for his girlfriend? It would be cute if they could work together." Anything really. If you are old enough to work, put your big kid panties on and go for it yourself! If your parents are interfering now, we can only imagine how much worse it would get should you somehow get hired.
- How you treat ALL staff matters: Before you ever get to a "hiring manager" (stop asking for one, really, most places get too many applications these days to deal with every single one of these inquiries), whether you call, e-mail, or stop by, you will be dealing with other staff members. In our case, the front desk staff. Which means yours truly. If you are rude with me, or I notices issues with any of the above, your chances of getting any further in this process just got shot down. Other front desk staff (or any) will agree. Remember, hopefully you are applying because you WANT the job, which means EVERYONE you speak to will be your co-workers. If you act in a way that makes us NOT want you as a co-worker, we will be very quick to let management know.
- Finally...Applying does not entitle you: This is a tough one for a generation used to earning trophies just for participating. The job market is competitive and an application is only step one. It doesn't necessarily lead to anything else. Learn that now. It is sad and it is tough, but it is life. Just because you applied does not mean you will get an interview. With the demand for jobs these days, it doesn't even mean you will get contacted. Someone actually yelled at my co-worker last hiring season, saying "it's rude of you not to give me the chance to even interview!" Well, no, it isn't. It's life. It isn't fair. It will do you a world of good to learn that now- especially since you just violated the last tip I mentioned and have now gotten yourself blacklisted.