As the owner of Bay Area Graphics & Marketing in Tampa, I often post openings for website design jobs that occasionally come open within my firm. The most recent request for resumes produced a great number of submissions, indicating to me that Tampa web designers and coders are eager and looking for work.
Or so I thought.
Blame it on my age or experience perhaps, but I thought when one submits a resume or is job hunting, they should at the very least try to be on their best behavior? This includes using proper English and would begin at the very first point of contact. Should I blame it on the fact that job-seekers have become lazy or have we crossed over into a place that I am not aware of; a place where it is now acceptable to write and send a resume in text message or IM format?
One such submission that came directly to my inbox looked (exactly) like this:
to whom this may concern, very interested with regards to your webiste designer position that you posted–i have experience and would want a chance to work for you. my experience is good and you can check out my links. please give me a chance to look at your job and i will get back to you.
REALLY? All I could say to myself was, “Oh dear.”
Now, I understand that there are geniuses who just can’t spell. My brother was an English major and is a published writer and he can’t spell– He said he would be lost and unemployed without spell-checker. But come on! You should be able to spell what you do? And, some people just don’t know how to construct a basic cover letter or resume either and I totally understand. But here’s my point; There are tools out there to help you do all of these things; spell, write a resume, cover letter and just about anything else you need to do. Not taking the initiative to find and use these tools shows me, the person that is doing the hiring, that the only initiative you have is to construct an email message, in “instant message” format.
I’ve noticed that some of the younger, highly talented website designers and developers, those who are right out of college seem to lack understanding of the one crucial element of providing a service— The “business” element. In other words, you are providing a business with your service– for a company that you work for. It’s not all about your genius. We know you can create the best in the world, most awesome website, app or software program. We get it. But you have to communicate–with me at the very least. I implore those who truly wish to succeed in the field of design and technology — or any field for that matter, to take an in-depth business course or possibly even a business refresher course. Maybe even spend some time with a seasoned professional or a small business owner to learn what it means to be in business, to learn the various needs of consumers, why it’s important to be able to communicate your abilities, skills or lack of either to your boss– Because you have to learn the importance of quality, deadlines, finances–etc.,etc.. With that understanding, you become a better candidate and a great employee —OR even a business owner! (Yay!)
But at the VERY LEAST…..
Never, EVER forget to use spell-check when sending your credentials or introducing yourself via “email.” Although spell check is not 100% fool-proof, it can sure help the fool who knows they can’t spell but who usually does nothing about it. (Help me, help you.) This alone could increase your earning power just by virtue of the fact that you’ll have a better chance of getting one foot in the door of a reputable website design firm if the hiring coordinator can understand exactly what it is you are wanting to convey to us. Once you do get your foot in the door, please bring your voice, some words, your great personality ( I know it’s in there!). And don’t forget your listening ears. I add this because it appears that communication problems when hiring is not limited to those “resumes” in an employer’s in-box. I have heard some pretty fantastic interview stories.
Out of 30 resumes I received, what I witnessed was the inability of the MAJORITY to construct an acceptable cover letter that communicated their skill or intent. When I hire a website designer or graphic designer, that person must be able to communicate effectively, respectfully and properly with our customers– You know the customers, those people who in short, pay your salary? Most firms, whether large or small will expect the same– I hope. Unless it’s a firm who intends on shoving their developer away in a dark room somewhere with no access to customers. Even so, your token genius will still have to communicate with the boss, right? (smile)
An even scarier thought–
IS this becoming more acceptable in the fields of technology and design or in general? Do companies accept and overlook the fact that this is just the way young people have been taught to communicate? I sure hope not. But truthfully, resume writing has been the subject of jokes, criticism and critiquing for as long as I can remember. Just check out the book Resumes From Hell. — I’m clearly not alone. Don’t they teach this stuff in kindergarten yet?
Had I posted a request for resumes to be submitted in only slang, chat or text messaging format, in this instance there were some tough competitors. So kids and adults alike– brush up on your communication skills, don’t be complacent — CARE. Because it really does matter in the long run. You won’t get ahead on genius alone. Not forever anyways.
Finally, for those who may be thinking, wow, she’s not nice or too tough on those job seekers! It’s not true! I just expect some initiative and basic common sense… Given that, I will publicly respond to the above submission:
(Pfffffffffffffff and LOLOLOL)
Sorry, I just HAD to do it.