Thank You For Your Attention.
Your parents have taken great pride in raising you to have excellent manners.
Inadvertently, they may also have raised you to be a little bit snobby too. “Make sure you say thank you, Daniel.” “Don’t you have any cleaner friends than Clive that can come round to play?” Where the line is drawn when it comes to etiquette can be vague, especially when approaching the job market.
When you are on the outside, looking in, the rules are very simple. Mind your p’s and q’s at all times. Even the most belligerent of people in normal life know that a prospective employer will not take kindly to poor manners when you approach them. Yosser Hughes barking “Giz a job” in the 1980’s might have provided entertainment, but that approach probably won’t land you the International SEO And Brand Manager role you have your eye on.
It’s more simple to apply for work these days than it used to be. The times of posting out typed out detailed cover letters and perfectly drawn up CV’s are dwindling to some degree. In many cases, you can cut and paste, select drop down boxes and click “apply” in the time it takes to lick a stamp. It’s often the preferred method for many companies as they seek to ensure that every application strictly adheres to their templated guidelines, thereby avoiding any opportunity to show a creative or individual nature. But what happens then?
Applying for jobs these days feels a lot like trying to dry Tupperware boxes with a tea towel. You know it will make no difference but you have to try to do it anyway. And this is where the snobbery comes in.
The people with the opportunity to give you the job you long for hold all the cards. I’m sure that being inundated with hundreds of carbon copy pleas for favour is as welcome as a cat yawn in the face, but common manners would insist that the wielders of power treat every application with respect and a degree of sympathy. All too often, this is not the case.
Those looking to find work, increasingly find themselves shouting politely into the etiquette abyss. Carefully worded invitations to avail of your impressive (and possibly largely elaborated!) skills are swallowed up by the firewalls of companies who feel no obligation, moral or otherwise, to reply. Slightly less criminal are the automated “We will not be progressing your application” replies. All too often the job advertisement is removed without any communication about how you faired at all.
Assuming that the people who hold the keys to your dream job were brought up with a similar ethos as you, surely they owe your efforts more than frustrating, deafening silence? Alas, don’t hold your breath.
There is no advice to offer except keep going and remember our manners when we are the ones with the cards in our hands.
Footnote of doom.
I wrote the above as an entry for a small blogging competition. I didn’t really want to win, but I had the time and figured it might be fun. The blog had rules…. It had to be about jobs, careers, unemployment, finding work…that kind of thing. It had to try to offer advice too. (I know mine didn’t really, but knowing there was no suitable advice is kind of sage advice in itself). The piece had a word limit of 500 words too.
I didn’t win and I am genuinely not bothered about that. The winning entry was about categorising your pyjamas. Nothing about the required subject matter and not offering any advice. It also was 750 words long, 33% longer than allowed. Silly me for editing to meet the rules of the competition. But the most annoying(and funny) thing was this.
They didn’t even have the courtesy to acknowledge my entry.