Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How to not apply for a job

There is a private expat mailing list with nearly 1000 members, and one was offering a job in a web company, creative stuff and client services.

This was one reply on the list (XXX is done by me to anonymise it)

I have over 12 years of experience in (Digital) Marketing,
communication and sales. I have a master in web usability as well and
realized start ups as XXXXXX,XXXXXXX developed the strategy for XXXXXX and much more. Please give me you e-mail address and I
can send you my CV.


Ok. First of all, what the hell is a Master in Web Usability? I am using the web since 20 years, but no certificate yet.

More serious is that someone with this skills replies in public on the list, and, and that's really unbelievable, ask for the email address. First of all it was mentioned in the original posting. Second, the company name may lead you to a website. Finally, you can reply to the author on this list.

So, I think this guy won't get the job.


Ella & Minnie said...

Guess what. Me too!

riina said...

my thoughts when reading the thread just minutes ago...

Ella & Minnie said...


When I posted the job, I stated that in general I would prefer to hire a well qualified local applicant for this job and that an expat would have to give me a very impressive reason to hire them. One lady immediately wrote back to me and said I was being unfair to the expat community and that it was incredibly frustrating for expats to try to find work here etc. I explained that after eighteen years in SE Asia I have my reasons for preferring a local hire.

Here's a summary of the responses I got to my posting:

7 people have followed up so far today. Of these, 4 were foreigners.

One lady wrote me a 2 line email in "Comic Sans" font with a little smiley face attached (but no cover letter or CV) and told me that she would bring along her CV if I agreed to interview her.

Another chap claimed to have a degree in "web usability" - no such qualification exists to my knowledge, and despite his proclaimed internet skills he replied to the entire APN group and could not locate my business email address which was included in the body of my message.

Another gentleman sent me a completely blank email, and when I wrote back to him asking why he sent me his wife's resume (attachment only, no text or heading whatsoever in the email) - which told me that she has been doing a job for the last 4 years which I happen to know was held by someone else for that entire period!

One was a potential winner - a lady with actual design industry experience (albeit in furniture, not graphics).

Of the three Vietnamese who responded, all managed to find the correct email address to respond to, all attached a clean, current CV and all addressed me professionally and politely. Guess who's going to get the interviews!

Eighteen years of giving foreigners chances, and I would say my initial statement stands - An expat would have to give me a very good reason indeed to hire them over a motivated local.


Thomas Wanhoff said...

Matt this whole story and your comment made my day :-)