Over the last four years, I’ve recruited for around 50 positions at Reload, seen about 5000 resumes and conducted around 250 job interviews face-to-face, over the phone and even on Skype.
As a result, now’s probably a great time to summarise the key factors to landing a job at Reload. In fact, most of these will go for pretty much any job, not just at Reload.
These might seem pretty obvious but only about 5-10% of the applications we get address all these areas below. So by taking the time to read this post and ensure you cover each of these areas, you’re already in the top 10% of applicants.
Do Your Research
Seems pretty simple right? Apparently not. I’ve had people come to interviews telling us we operate in countries we’re not in, offer services we don’t offer or work for clients we don’t work for. All of that info is publicly available on our website, Facebook page, Twitter stream, etc, etc.
You should know who we are, what we do, how long we’ve been around and anything else relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Customise Your Application
To Whom it May Concern,
I would like to apply for the position of <position> at <company>. I have always had a passion for <industry field>.
90% of cover letters I read start the exact same way. Customising your resume is not about mindlessly filling in the blanks and it ties back to doing your research. Your cover letter should showcase how much you know about us and what you can specifically offer the role.
It’s also amazing how often I read a cover letter where the applicant has forgotten to change the cover letter from the previous job they applied for, and so the job title is completely wrong.
Every time we list a new job on Seek, I get about 3 applications in the first 10 minutes. I ignore them all as there’s no way those people could have possibly read and understood exactly what the position is about, done any research or customised their resume at all.
Don’t Be Boring!
At Reload, we sell exciting marketing services to our clients that test our creativity and innovative thinking on a daily basis, so if your resume is the standard Microsoft Word resume template (like 90% of them I get) I’m going to think you don’t have the creative nous to actually work here.
In fact, as a blanket rule, you should never send your resume or cover letter in Word format. The reason for this is the formatting tends to get majorly screwed up depending upon what it’s viewed in. When I’m reading 100 resumes in a row, I don’t bother opening each file in Microsoft Word, but will often be using the Outlook quick previewer or Google Doc view, both of which cause Word docs to look weird. If you are going to send a document, make it PDF.
Some of the best applications we’ve received have included videos of the candidates showcasing their skills, PowerPoints, Prezis, their own websites and resumes with fancy designs done in Photoshop (in PDF format!).
Most jobs we advertise for at Reload get over 100 applications, so if your resume doesn’t stand out, forget it.
Read the Job Ad
This is probably the easiest thing to get right and yet is hardly ever done well. In most of our job ads there will be specific instructions on how to apply, what skills we are looking for and what the role will be doing. Yet most applications completely ignore these requests.
If our job ad says that the candidate must have “a demonstrated understanding of XYZ” you need to demonstrate that you have an understanding of XYZ. Simple stuff that.
I would encourage the use of a resume section (right at the start) called ‘Position Relevant Skills’ where the specific skills asked for in the job ad are answered one by one.
The Final Word
Getting a job is a competitive process, where you are directly competing against 100 other people or more for one role. As a result, you have to stand out and be different.
At Reload, we’re an industry leader with a great culture and fantastic clients. We’re not going to hire someone who doesn’t reflect that…
If you’re now ready to apply for a job at Reload, please visit our Careers Page or apply through a current job ad on Seek.