10 tips on getting your foot in the door.
Hello potential new friend / employee.
As the year draws to a close and peeps start graduating from uni or planning a new career move, we start to receive a lot of applications from aspiring Eskimos at Igloo. As the Studio Manager I am the first point of contact. I see a lot of applications, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Unfortunately most of them fall into the latter category, so I thought I’d share my top ten tips (and rants) on how to get your foot in the door of the ‘gloo.
1. NO RECRUITERS - Our preference at Igloo will always be to employ you directly, unless we have specifically engaged a recruiter for a role. Recruiters charge LARGE fees to place candidates and this may be a factor when negotiating your pay. Applying to Igloo directly shows that you have initiative and courage. We love both initiative and courage!
2. KEEP YOUR COMMUNICATION CONCISE - I don’t have time to read your life history. A short email is a good email.
3. PROOF READ. PROOF READ. PROOF READ. - Call me old fashioned (yes, I learned to type in that mythical time before computers) but seriously people, what do you learn in schools these days?
I am put off immediately, as in, I WILL NOT READ ANOTHER WORD OF YOUR APPLICATION, if you have not bothered to capitalise the word “I” when referring to yourself, have used sloppy punctuation, bad grammar and left in spelling mistakes.* You have the MAGIC of computers to fix all of this. Spell check! Spell check! Spell check!
While I am on this rant…. The internet is a fabulous land of resource that includes how to write good and shiz. Seek it out, learn how to write a killer cover letter and CV. We heart ace writing skills.
* Please note using the “Royal We” or referring to yourself using a company name is just as bad.
4. PERSONALISE - I understand you want everyone to know who you are and that you are in the market place, but sending a bulk email to every digital agency in Australia gives me the impression you don’t care who you work for, and I want you to care! Take it a step further and address your application to me personally… say my name, say my name….
Which leads me to my next point…
5. RESEARCH - I’ll say it again, the internet is a MAGICAL FOUNTAIN OF KNOWLEDGE and we are definitely not secret squirrels here at Igloo. Spend some time looking at our site and reading our blog. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter and for heaven’s sake Google us. The more you know about us the better. Demonstrating that you have done your research shows me you are keen to work here. Get to know us.
6. MAKE YOUR APPLICATION RELEVANT AND ACCURATE - The Flaming Lips once sang “Is it overwhelming, to use a crane to crush a fly?” and the answer to that is YES!
Assuming you have done step 5 above, you should have an idea of who we are and what we do, so make sure you show us the best of your skills in this realm. Don’t bombard us with every single project you have done EVER.
Make sure all details are accurate. Ensure all attachments or links are functional. (If I have made it this far and am actually reading your email then, CLICK! the folio does not work…. you had better have kept me entertained for me to email you requesting it, worse still if I try to ring you and your phone number is wrong)
You should be aspiring to be as precise and accurate in your application as Mr Miyagi catching flies with chopsticks in the Karate Kid.
7. HONESTY - We’ve all been there…. How do I make myself sound AMAZING and irresistible to potential employers? There is only one way my friends – honesty. I can sniff out a dodgy CV a mile away and it makes me reject your application faster than my mother used to tear band aids from my knee (that’s fast folks – I’m from a household of tough love).
Don’t talk up your experience way beyond your ability, everyone has to start somewhere and we love to nurture new talent. Overstating your skills and experience is bound to bite you in the rear at some point. And remember, the industry is small, we are all connected and have probably worked with your past employers. Tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth
8. WHAT CAN YOU BRING TO THE TABLE? - Now, if I haven’t already, I am going to sound quite mean on this one. We receive a lot of applications that talk about what a great opportunity working for Igloo will be for the applicant.
Here comes the mean bit…. I know what a great opportunity it will be for you. I already work here and am the one offering the opportunity.
What I want to know is what is the opportunity you are offering us? What will you bring to the table? Why are you too good to pass up? Now, admittedly its a fine line to tread between awesomeness and arrogance, but if you can sell yourself to me rather than sell the job I am offering back to me, the world will be in the right order! Sell, sell, sell!
9. PERSONALITY - Cultural fit is important to us at Igloo and we love to see what makes you tick. Listing your interests as “internet” is kinda redundant, we know that, that’s why you are here. Worse still is listing no interests or the DREADED “reading, movies”.
Do you have a crazy collection of snow globes? Do you only read Mills & Boon novels and own 5673 of them? Do you only watch black and white mystery movies form the 1930’s? Are you taking ninja lessons and have achieved the distinguished title of “still-totally-visible-must-try-harder-ninja”. THAT’S where your interests lie. Don’t tell us what you think we want to hear to get the job. Tells us what puts fire in your belly.
10. DON’T HARRASS US - Once we have received your application, it can take a while for things to happen. It’s a good idea to follow up after a week or so if you want to be 100% sure we received everything ok. (and again this shows us you are keen) but sometimes we are not able to look at your application for a while.
We may not need your skills at that very moment, but we really do keep things on file (this is not a line we throw out to get rid of you) and if it was a great application you will stay in our memories, to be called in at a later date.
Once you know we have received your details you need to let it be.
And to recap, follow these tips and I imagine I will be shaking your hand hello in the very near future
1. Show initiative, be brave (no recruiters!)
2. A short email is a good email
3. We heart ace writing skills
4. Say my name say my name…
6. Catch flies with chopsticks – incredible accuracy!
7. Tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth
8. Sell yourself to me
9. Tell us what puts fire in your belly
10. Let it be