Thursday, 13 March 2008

Note to all those who apply for work experience

It's ironic. A few months ago I was desperately seeking work, applying on endless websites for work experience - and now it's me choosing who gets to wedge their stubby little feet in the media production door.
People apply in their hundreds each month, submitting their answers to questions such as "Explain your reasons for choosing this placement, referring to experience you have had" and "How do you think this placement will benefit you". The answer is clearly "because it will look bloody marvellous on my CV", but it's amazing - people come out with all manner of bollocks. I found my own application whilst browsing through the file here and was stunned that I'd put my blog address down in the "interests or activities which support your application" section. I mean bloody hell, can you imagine? "Look at this one Marvin...she hates Uggs, wishes people would shut the hell up on their mobiles, buckles under stress and can't stand arrogant people with egos. Let's give her a job in telly". Luckily my predecessor had been so unenthusiastic about the job, she went no further than to note the phone number on the application and offer a placement to whoever came her way. This, as you will appreciate, worked out wonderfully for me (I have subsequently scrubbed a hole in my application where the blog web address used to be - can never be too careful). I, however, am slightly more picky about who I choose.
You'd be surprised how many people send in really crap applications, I mean this place is a big deal - so at least bother to check your spelling and err, that you've given the right phone number. And address. There was the girl who listed her address and town as places in England, but then under city she wrote Bangalore and under country, India, then gave a British postcode. Woorrddddd? Also, I wish people would make sure their reasons for wanting the work are specific to what they're applying for, e.g. another girl said that the role would benefit her because she "liked talking to people" and wanted a job "to get out of bed for". And that was it. Talk about laid back. Another finished off every single section with "Thank you for your concern". Love, you're applying for a job, not a replying to a sympathy card. They all got filed under 'Not keen' (referring to both me and them) and never got the call.
Quite often, my feelings after reading their application are strengthened after I've spoken to the person on the phone. They say first impressions count and as I learnt, this doesn't always mean face-to-face. One girl, convinced that she had the placement in the bag after speaking to HR, assumed my phone call was merely confirmation rather than the initial offer itself. As such, she'd made a catalogue of arrangements with dates she'd arranged with, err, her. Rather than with me. Clearly perturbed on hearing that actually, those dates were fully booked and the next week would be better for us, she was rude, presumptive and pushy over the phone to the point where I had to remind her that look, this is a really big opportunity for you and I'm offering you a place, you might want to be more flexible. "But I've already made arrangements for those dates" and then came the clincher "..and I don't see why I can't do it, three girls from my course are there that week". After that, I got a red pen, credited her ten points for stupidity and said I'd get back to her. I did - to tell her the placement was no longer available. Over email, to save me the earache.
And err, if you're going for a job where you'll be on TV - you might want to tone down the bleach blonde / green hair tint and remove the peircings. Just an idea.


Robbie said...

Oh o, I think someone might be drunk on power here :D

Next stop? Ruler of the Universe!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Come onnnn...someone wants a placement because their friends are there - and actually tells you that - and you'd give them a job? You'd have a studio full of chattering gossips...

Boy said...

When I was applying for my placement, and job, I was really worried about my CV and impression and stuff. I think this bode well for me, as it turns out most people who apply for jobs do so in a retarded fashion, which I've discovered looking over applicants myself and seeing things like this.

Seriously, some people just don't want jobs!!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

That's the thing...I wrote this because I've been really surprised how slack some people are when asking for a placement. I obviously can't say where or what exactly it is, but it's prime time stuff here and there's alot of influential people about. It's amazing how many people don't do the research into what they're applying for. It's not about being on a power trip, its about making sure you don't have a load of absolute numpties hanging about!

China Blue said...

Most people who apply for jobs couldn't find their arses with both hands and a detailed map, and then wonder why they're perenially unemployed and unemployable. If I sound bitter and jaded, this is what 4 years of being in recruitment has taught me, having looked at a lot of CVs, application forms and spoken to candidates (and that's not even being directly involved in the process).

The odd bright and articulate person, who's not an arrogant arsehole, is the kind of person recruiters will bend over backwards for.

surviving myself said...

hahaha - you put your blog on your application??? that is awesome!

Clarissa said...

People really are stupid.

OH! I thought of you yesterday as I descended the escalators in Holborn station: just in front of me a woman in Uggs (or Uggs-imitation)that had collapsed on themselves. Identical to your photo!

arbyn said...

I love it! I hope to have a list of "what not to do when applying for..." in the future.

I hope you're at least having fun making fun.

Miss Understood said...

I asked a girl at an interview once what her strengths were. She stared into her lap, biting her bottom lip, pulling on the buttons of her baggy brown cardigan, and a cold wind swept through the place.

It was for a sales job.

What the hell are some people thinking?

London-Lass said...

I have every sympathy for those that get nervous/tongue-tied in interviews. Although I actually quite enjoy talking about myself (yes, I am that annoying) I can understand why a lot of folk would find this a painful process. Particularly those ones where you have to face a panel. I remember going for an admin job at the tender age of 18 (when I wasnt quite so keen on talking about me) with English Heritage and I had to face a team of 9 interviewers. To say I kacked me pants & made a right ruddy fool of meself would be an understatement. But to apply crappily ..? I've never understood this. Applying is the easy peasy bright green & breezy part - why are there so many losers out there?

J-Money said...

I would like to be a British television personality. Please hire me, even though I would have approximately a 2,700 mile commute.

theperpetualspiral said...

I know exactly what you mean.

Last year when I was recruiting for a part time admin person, I put an advert in the local paper asking for a CV and covering letter by email.

Of the 20 odd responses that we got, half just sent their CV with no covering email, so they were ruled out. Of the remaining ones, almost half of them had spelling mistakes in their covering email / CV, so they were ignored.

A couple of the CV's that were left still had "Insert name here" in them, where they'd been downloaded and filled in.

That left me with four that I decided to interview. One of them was a part time pole dancer, that clinched her getting the job!!!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

china - I dread to think what horrors a recruitment consultant discovers while trying to employ people. The lack of sense is amazing.

surviving - Yeah, not the greatest advertising plan ever.

clarissa - I hope you struck her with a large stick!

arbyn - That I am, that I am.

miss understood - Even I know the answer to that: SELLING!

LLass - Exactly, face to face is nerve racking stuff. But to mess up when you've got all the time in the world? excuses.

J-Money - You're hired. I don't have to pay you, do I?

Perpetual - Amazing. It sounds like a lot were applying out of boredom rather than actually wanting the job. And thank god they messed up at that stage, rather than by the time you'd taken the time to interview them.

Robbie said...

Have you ever sent a reply like this


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