Five Things I Learned This Week: Episode 2

For the last couple of weeks we have been in the process of hiring a new program coordinator, I got the lucky job of screening all 67 applicants and recommending a handful of them for interview. In that light, this is all about what NOT to do when submitting an application for employment.

  1. When listing your “Special Skills” for a job that is NOT based on social media, please do not list ALL of the following: WordPress, Blogspot, Twitter, Pinterest, Etsy, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, MySpace. Saying “social media” would probably suffice. Now that I know you are specially skilled in MySpace and Pinterest, um, you probably won’t be hired for a position where you cannot spend hours per day on either of those (blocked) sites.
  2. It should go without saying that correct spelling and grammar are essential in resumes and cover letters. When you misspell a major company’s name, or our company’s name, you are showing you probably cannot be trusted for basic communications.
  3. When the only phone number you provide is your current work number and work email, do not get upset that I call you at work. In fact, the half-whispered half-angry “Why did you call this number?! I can’t talk about this right now!” does not make me feel great about you as a potential candidate.
  4. Most employers will not give you negative marks if you have served time as a missionary for a religious organization. In fact, many find that kind of humanitarian service commendable. However, do not list it in your employment history with a giant paragraph of responsibilities and under the salary portion state “blessing in heaven.”
  5. For the love, when you come to interview, please do not bring your pet chihuahua in a blinged out hot pink carrying case. Just don’t.

Did you learn anything spectacular this week? (Or last week?)

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0 thoughts on “Five Things I Learned This Week: Episode 2

  1. Steph

    1. The missionary bit was encouraging, as I always wonder if I should mention it. (NOT the salary part! ;))
    3. I am in the process of applying for jobs, so all of this was very relevant/humorous.

    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      1. Yes, mention a missionary experience. It helps account for a large gap in schooling or employment history, and most employers see it as a beneficial addition to your life experience. BUT DON’T MAKE IT OUT TO BE SOMETHING IT’S NOT!
      2. I didn’t see anything about a service dog on the bag, which normally they do. It COULD have been, I guess (are chihuahua’s service dogs?) but if so it was definitely not clear, or mentioned when I scheduled the interview.
      3. Check out this link, I saw it today and thought it had a lot of good info:


  2. alimison

    So, I’ve got something to add from my personal experience… stupidly, I was the one who did something that should not be done.

    Don’t apply for a job without finding out what the company does. 🙂

    I quickly adapted a cover letter and whooooosh, the email was gone – I knew I was applying to help edit a New Zealand magazine…. unfortunately I had never seen the magazine in question and had no idea what it was about! Literally five minutes later I got the call – and had to admit I had no idea what I was talking about.

    BAD LOOK!!!! I advise against it!!

    1. Feisty Harriet Post author

      We’ve got a few of those, but in my head it’s more forgivable somehow? I dunno. I get that people copy-paste often for cover letters, and sometimes they apply for something they absolutely don’t fit into or really get, and while I may roll my eyes at their lack of research, my eyes don’t bug out of my head because they listed “blessings in heaven” as their compensation. 😉



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