We see our share of resumés and applications. The Craft Beverage Jobs board works in such a way that when someone applies for a position, we get notified first before having the application then forwarded to the employer. The reason for this is so that we can stop any spam bots that try to push their way into our little ecosystem. We don’t get many spam applications, but it is just a level of precaution we like to take. We also don’t want our employers to receive spam. That’s bad mojo we don’t want in our business.
I gotta tell you though, that I am sometimes left scratching my head when we receive applications for certain positions. A job seeker needs to register to use our service, so there is a little up front work one needs to do in order to start applying. And we assume that if someone applies, they probably would be pretty stoked to get a call-back. Unfortunately, some of the things that job seekers do (or some of the things they don’t do…) prevents them from being considered seriously.
We want to help our craft beverage job seekers out. The following no-no’s are curated from actual CBJ applications. We really, really adore our job seeking community, and we care too much about each and every one of you to see you make these fatal application errors.
What NOT to do when applying for a job
- Don’t Include a Resumé
This may seem obvious, but some need this little reminder. Including some form of job history document is a crucial first step in getting an employer to consider you for a job. Even if your job history is lacking, or you are trying to change careers and don’t think your job history is relevant, it really is. An employer needs to see what you’ve done leading up to this point.
We had a recent job inquiry where the applicant very briefly introduced themselves and interest in the position, and invited the employer to contact them back for more information. Sadly, I don’t think this applicant will be receiving that inquiry from the employer.
For those with little job history, creating a compelling resumé around what little experience you do have actually can be used as an asset in your job search. Use your resumé (and strong cover letter) to sell the employer on your potential.
- Don’t Include a Cover Letter
I’m going to be very real here. Applying for a job without submitting a thoughtful and unique cover letter is a half-ass attempt, and it communicates that you really don’t care if you hear back at all.
I actually assume that when we receive applications with no cover letters, that the applicant is likely on unemployment and is just going through the motion to apply in order to have proof of an active job search, which is required to maintain good standing and continuing benefits.
While we feel for each and every person out there who is unemployed, our goal here is to help people actually find work. We are starting to moderate the applications more closely and will be banning job seeker accounts whose intention are not genuine.
We understand the cover letter process can be intimidating. You need to be clear, communicate your strengths, sell yourself, and sound personable all within a few paragraphs. Because cover letters are not easy, we’ve created this FREE Ebook to help you Write an Irresistible Cover Letter.
- No explanation of intention when applying for a position in a different city/state.
I hate when I see this, and I see it often. It’s when someone applies for a position, but they live in a different part of the country than the employer and they don’t address this glaring barrier to getting hired right away in their cover letter. Unless you address this issue within your cover letter, your application will likely be rejected.
All you have to say is “I am willing to relocate”, or “I have intentions to relocate to your area”. Unless you disclose this, the employer will be confused and turned off.
It may also be safe to assume that you may have to work a little harder at selling yourself in your cover letter if you really are looking to get a job in a different location. There are complexities and costs associated with hiring someone who is not local. Prove you’re worth it.
Things you SHOULD do when applying for a job
It’s not all doom and gloom. The vast majority of the applications we filter are from passionate and articulate craft beverage job seekers. The following tips are here to reinforce what you’re already doing well and to give you a little more ammo when your goal is to get a call back on a job application:
- Attach your resumé and cover letter as a PDF document
Unless specified in the job description, attach your resumé and cover letters as PDF documents. This is preferred over word or other file formats. Most software includes an option to save/export to PDF – even free Google Docs if you don’t have a word processing program on your computer.
- Include some sort of summary or introduction in the text editor section of the Craft Beverage Jobs application process.
You can paste your cover letter rather than attach it as a PDF if you wish, but if you attach your cover letter as a PDF, you should also add in a brief and personable note when you submit your resumé through our system. This makes your application a little more inviting and personal, and likely to be read as the employer will read this intro when they see your application come through via email.
- Invite the employer to connect with you on LinkedIn, follow you on Twitter and/or on other social networks.
It is safe to assume that if you’re seriously considered for a position, the employer is probably going to Google your name and/or look you up on various social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIN.
This is not required by any means, and if you keep a low-profile online, that is fine. If you’re out there, however, make the employer’s job easier and invite them to connect with you on the networks you’re open to connecting on.
Note: make sure that your privacy settings on Facebook are how you’d like them. If you don’t want a prospective craft beer employer seeing that photo of you doing keg stands of Bud Light, make sure your privacy settings prevent 3rd parties from viewing your profile.
- Check your spelling and grammar!
Make sure you look over your application and keep it free from grammatical and spelling errors. Have someone else go over it for you if you need to. Most applications will have a spell-checker function; use them! Also, we recommend adding Grammarly to your browser. It’s a little grammar fairy that will help you when writing emails, posting on Facebook, etc.
- Follow instructions!
This is my favorite tip. So often, employers leave little instructions in their job descriptions that applicants often overlook. It could be something as simple as what to put in your email subject line or it could be a specific question that they want you to answer in your cover letter. When applications flood in, many employers only consider the ones that followed their instructions to a T.
Make it easy for the employer to consider you a candidate
Everything outlined above really boils down to making things easy.
Make it easy on yourself and increase your chances of being considered by making it easy for the employer. If an employer lists an open position, it means that they are busy and they need help. Give them what they’re asking for, send them your resumé and cover letter in PDF, check your spelling, and communicate clearly that you’d like to work with them.
Words You Should NEVER Use In Your Application Or Interview
When going through any job application and interview process, there are common questions you can count on being asked. For example, you may be asked, “What are you strength’s?” or “What are your goals?”. Perhaps the most common question is, “What are three words you would use to describe yourself?”.
The words you use to answer these questions can determine success or failure. Here are examples of words you should NEVER use when describing yourself:
1. I’m Intelligent
Hey, thanks! We have been looking for someone who is intelligent! This is a big FAIL. The word intelligent is something you want other people to say about you, not something you say of yourself. Rather, use words like “fast learner,” or “logical”. These are more objective terms rather than self-proclomations.
Hint: Include in your paperwork recommendations from others who refer to you as intelligent. This is much more powerful coming from someone else.
2. I’m a People-person
The problem with using the term “people-person” to describe yourself is that it is so difficult to support with examples. (“I say Goodmorning to everyone, smile all the time, and I tell funny jokes.”) Choose words like “team player,” or “enthusiastic”. You can support these descriptions much easier giving positive examples of your interaction with clients and fellow workers.
3. I’m Successful
General statements such as “I’m successful”, are difficult for employers to apply to job qualifications. Instead of saying your “successful”, focus your statements to specific skills you excel in. Give examples of your success in specific circumstances or experiences. Allow these examples to speak to your success rather than proclaiming it with a general statement.
If your confused about what terms to use, remember this, “actions speak louder than words.” Any descriptive term you use for yourself, be prepared to back it up with specific and relatable examples.
What Employers Don’t Want To Know About You
With all the applications we view on a daily basis here at Craft Beverage Jobs, you would think we have seen it all. Well, we are still surprised from time to time at some of the things job seekers share with potential employers.
A good rule of thumb is to share your value. What value can you bring to a company. NOT, what value a company can bring to your own resume, personal business or networking.
Here is an introduction from a recent applicant that caused a few eye-rolls around the office,
Currently, I am working a part-time job to pay my bills while I run my own company. My goal is to find a better paying job so that I can afford to incorporate my company. I want to work for a company that I will be happy to work several years while juggling my own.
… I have no problem traveling. Traveling gives me a chance to meet more people.
This is huge application FAIL. No employer wants to hear that working for them will be a stepping stone to grow your personal business. If you see a job opportunity that will benefit your personal skills and help you grow as an entrepreneur, that’s great! However, sharing this information ends any chance of a phone call or successful interview.
More Helpful Tips …
More helpful job seeker tips can be found in our FAQ section.
Got any application tips for your fellow Craft Beverage job seekers? Leave in the comments below!
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