So you want to apply for a vacancy that you have seen advertised and want to know from an employers perspective (just mine really, I can’t speak for anyone else), what I look for and how to get your CV & cover letter/email to stand out from the crowd? A ‘no holds barred’ look at hiring from a kennel owners view (that means I might swear or you might think pfft).
Working with dogs is immensely rewarding, please read on and hopefully, you can take some snippets of information and put it to good use.
So how do you get that job?
In the sea of applicants, you risk your CV being just another one to the employer. Here are some big no no’s for your application –
- Talk BS. Write how you would speak (in good English not slang). Honestly, I see some crap and all I can see is BS. Be honest, what are you really like?
- Don’t put “I can work on my own and in a team”. Oh? I’ve not seen that sentence before? <sighs> Find another way to write the same thing. Are you really a team player or can’t you stand the sight of another person? Do you work better on your own and not so well with others, put that in an eloquent way and the person reading it will respect you.
- If applying for an animal job, don’t put in ‘other interests’, likes snowboarding, bondage and playing with my boyfriend’s hair when you are applying for a job working with dogs, if its a job working with dogs, come on, ‘dogs’ do need to be an interest!!
- Don’t put ‘ultimately I want to be a hairdresser’. Really, so how long do you plan to stay then if you really want to do something else?
- Don’t be rude to a potential employer, even if you think they have been a dick, you will definitely be remembered – for the wrong reasons.
- Don’t bother them out of hours and turning up at their house if it’s a business like a kennels where they live – is a massive no no. Take the time to look up their hours of business or assume after 5 pm is closing time.
- Don’t put references on your CV but have them readily available and call the referees to let them know they may expect a call from so and so.
- Whatever you do, do not be late for an interview. If it is out of your control, do one of the following – call to say you are going to be late, email to say and if they fail, when you arrive, beg for their forgiveness! And say SORRY!!! Do not just pole up without apologising, it’s just downright rude.
- Don’t, just don’t EVER lie on your CV or in an interview. Employers are clever. The chances are they’ve done this before and for many years. This happened to me this week. Someone’s CV didn’t tie up with their application form, in fact, the content of the CV contradicted the app form and it was confirmed in the interview (yes I interviewed her, at that point, I didn’t know she had lied). It was so obvious in the end that when I called her out on it, it became even more obvious and somewhat confirmed.
- Don’t bad mouth another business. It tells the employer that you might do that to them too.
- Find out the name of the person you are addressing. It’s not that difficult in this day and age. My name is on my Facebook and on my website, it shows you’ve taken the time to find out. Shows you care.
- If you really can’t find or are unsure of the persons name then just be polite and address them, “hello my name is” or more formally “dear sir or madam”. You can always call and ask to whom an application should be addressed to.
- Write a personal email rather than the standard suggested application process – In my case Indeed.com, you will then be seen to be slightly different and will be more likely to be remembered.
- Phone the company and ask to chat with the hiring manager. Plan what you will say and write it down, always be polite and say thank you.
- Do you have a middle name? Use it, the more unusual the better. It really works, and I owe this one to my fiancé – Sebastian Tobias Truswell. Oh, jolly hockey sticks n all that. Sounds a bit pretentious but in the cutthroat world of IT, he needs to stand out amongst other contractors.
- Keep your CV simple. They say all on one sheet, I’d say 2 sides but 3 maximum. Don’t try too hard to make your CV look fancy, it won’t help you.
- Here’s a biggy, if you get the dreaded ‘we’re sorry, but you have been unsuccessful this time’… EMAIL BACK SAYING THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!
- Email back a week later asking if you have been considered or not. Remember if your application was not successful, the rejection emails go out last.
- Do try again another time. You might even be remembered and that will look favourable.
- Always check and check again for spelling mistakes and typos on your CV, cover letter/email. One good piece of advice I read about was looking through your application LOOKING FOR ERRORS, there’s one in there somewhere!
- Study the employers’ website so you know a bit about them, it shows you’re keen and that you’ve made an effort to research the company and job you hope to get.
- Take the time to drive to your interview before the day. Make sure you know where you are going and how long it is likely to take you. Be familiar with where parking might be.
- Be appropriately dressed. Dressing up like a dolly bird or at the other end of the spectrum, like a tramp is not appropriate for kennels, so wear something smart casual.
- Check the details of the job, employers aren’t happy when you waste their time because you didn’t check the specifics of the vacancy, for example, the hours’ aren’t enough.
- Take a copy of your CV and any application form you may have filled out along with any certificates you might have. A portfolio is impressive.
Here’s a biggy, if you get the dreaded ‘we’re sorry but you have been unsuccessful this time’… EMAIL BACK SAYING THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!
Good luck with the above suggestions. From my own personal experience, some applicants just jump out at you and I personally work on gut feeling and it just ‘clicking’, some companies might just look at what you say on paper and to some extent, you have to, so take the time to stand out from the crowd with my suggestions.
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~ Sarah Gleave