I Want You to Get the Job
About a thousand years ago, I was a teacher. It seemed to me there were two types of teachers: authoritative ones and supportive ones. Authoritative teachers seemed to delight in finding kids' errors while supportive teachers cringed to see their students do poorly. I am the supportive teacher here, wearing this recruiting/hiring hat at Viget. Let me assure you, I WANT YOU TO GET THE JOB.
I don't want to catch your typos or poke holes in your thin, vague, and poorly structured sentences about your qualifications for a position. That brings me no joy. What makes my day is when you send me awesome emails and beautifully formatted, strongly edited resumes. The designers and developers around me are throwing high-fives at each other all day long as they delight in their collective awesomeness (ok, that's not actually true), whereas I mostly work as a team of one. You know what gets me up from my desk to find a willing high-five partner? When you are awesome and you make it easy for me to see upon first glance that you’d be a great hire.
So, here are eight ways to help me help you get the job:
- Write a cover email. Forget the "letter" part of “cover letter,” ESPECIALLY if you don't know how to format an actual letter. Please don't paste an email into a Word document and call it a letter. It's 2011. We're a web company. Just send me an error-free email (as polished as you might write to a client, let's say) and introduce yourself.
- When you write that email, do what every blog post and article ever written has said about writing a cover letter: specify the position, describe your qualifications, say something specific that shows you've researched Viget, demonstrate a little bit of personality or a sense of humor, and have someone proofread before you hit send. (If any of this is new to you, you should do a lot more than read this blog post before applying.)
- Unless you are trying to replace Brian or Andy, I think your resume could probably fit onto one page. I don't feel strongly about this, but I believe most resumes could be shorter and, if they were shorter, I'd have an easier time making sense of them. I challenge you: make a one-pager.
- Just send me the links, don't make me google you. Where are you online? Send me the links! You are nowhere? I don't think you'll fit in here. Oh, and if you have the same name as a serial killer or a world famous MMA fighter, I think it would be fun if you would say, "By the way, this is not me."
- Name your salary request. Acknowledge if you are out of state (and give a hint to your plans/timing). Provide a phone number. Basic stuff, right? It’s not that hard to make an awesome first impression!
- Give your resume a file name other than "resume." A classic option would be something like "Bloom-Emily-Resume."
- Read the other recruiting-related posts on this blog and take them to heart!
- Brace yourself. Here’s the cold hard truth... Ultimately, our decision is going to hinge on how talented you are. For designers and developers, your talent should be apparent in your portfolio or your code. Let us see those things -- share them eagerly and with enthusiasm. And, if your talent is not apparent in those things, no amount of explanation will solve the problem. I'm sorry.
I want you to get the job. If you are in fact talented, qualified, and excited about the opportunity, I want you to communicate that in a way that will swiftly move us to the next step*. Make my job easier, won’t you? Be the high-five of my day today! We're hiring.
* Next week I'll post some thoughts on those next steps and why it will take more than three days to land a job at Viget.