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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

How to lose a job in 10 ways

Recently, I posted an ad online, looking for a babysitter for McKenna. I was clear in my requirements, as well as the hours and rate of pay. I received a large volume of emails in response to the ad; most of them went something like this:

"wen do u want someone?"

"what is the pay i might be quitting my job so maybe i could work for you until i find something else"

"i don't have first aid but i been around lot of kids"

or my favourite

"call me. 736-7628"

Seriously!? Is this really the best you can do? While I did not specifically advertise for an English professor, I do expect a certain level of proficiency in the language. Moreover, I expect a certain level of professionalism when inquiring about a potential job. To make things easier, I have compiled a list of things that I expect of a job candidate - whether I am hiring someone to mow my lawn, clean up dog poop, or watch my precious child. While I don't expect that any of the applicants I rejected will ever read this maybe someone, somewhere, will read this and learn something from it.

1. It's common courtesy to start an email with a greeting. And it's so simple - "hi" is only two letters long.
2. It's really not that difficult to capitalize proper nouns. So do it. It makes you seem much more literate.
3. Don't ask questions that are already covered in the advertisement. If I specify that the rate of pay is $10 an hour, then it is $10 an hour, even for you.
4. Take the extra three seconds and spell out the entire word. It might be alright to use "lol' or "u" when texting a friend, but when emailing a potential employer it looks sloppy and lazy. If you are really that short on time, what are you doing applying for another job?
5. Along those same lines, use spell check if needed. It's okay to ask for help.
6. Don't offer to come work for me until something better comes along. We have all been there - waiting to land our dream job, and working crappy jobs in the meantime. But at least pretend that you want to work for me.
7. Ask questions. Show that you actually read the advertisement and put some thought into your reply. You could even inquire about the child that you would be caring for. Again, pretend that you want to work for me.
8. Don't just leave me your name and phone number. I will not call you, I can promise you that.
9. If you don't meet the specified criteria, move on. Chances are you will find a job that you are suited for if you keep looking. But if I have asked for First Aid and CPR, it is for a reason. I don't care that you spent every summer playing with your younger cousins from Wisconsin if you can't help my child when she's choking.
10. I can't stress this enough - be professional. There'll be plenty of time to joke around and talk in slang once we get to know each other. Hell, I might even txt u.