This article was first published on Medium.
I’ve been involved in hiring for a few years now. I’ve had to hire people for businesses I’ve started, my consulting services, and the startups I’ve worked at. Ask anyone who’s posted a job online and they’ll tell you some pretty funny stories of failed job applicants.
I was reminded of some of my stories during our recent hiring round at Thinkific. Every time I see a cringe-worthy application, I think it can’t get worse than this.
Sadly, it can.
Sometimes I think they’re just trolling us. I mean there’s no possible way someone who’s serious about getting a job thinks that a blurry screenshot of a Facebook post qualifies as a writing sample. They have to be doing it on purpose!
So I’ve concluded that there are people out there who are trying hard to fail at applying to jobs, and I decided to write this post for them. Next time you see a job that you really don’t want, simply follow these steps while applying and you’re guaranteed to not make the cut!
1. Don’t bother finding out what the company does:
It’s simple. If you see a job posting online, apply to it right away. The idea is to get your application out as fast as possible.
Don’t waste time trying to find out what the company does. You can always do that when you unexpectedly show up at the company’s doorstep and demand an interview. After all, that’s what the Q&A section of the interview is for!
Interviewer: Do you have any questions for us?
Applicant: Yes. What exactly do you do here? Is it, like software things?
2. Mass apply to companies:
Again, speed is the name of the game. If you try to customize your application to each company, you’re only wasting time. If it takes you an hour to write a carefully worded, well-researched application for one company, you can only apply to 7-8 in a day. That means you need two weeks to hit 100!
On the other hand, you can create one generic application and then simultaneously apply to all 100 companies at once. Just collect the email addresses for each company, dump them into the cc field of your email for maximum fail, and then hit send.
1 email. 100 companies. 1 hour tops. Nailed it!
3. Address your cover letter to Sir/Madam:
Everyone knows that hiring managers are named Sir Slash Madam. It has been a basic requirement of the hiring industry for centuries. You just can’t become a hiring manager if that isn’t your name.
In fact, parents decide if they want their child to become hiring managers during the naming ceremony –
Mr. Madam: What should we name our child?
Mrs. Madam: I’ve always wanted a hiring manager in the family.
Mr. Madam: That settles it then. Our child shall be Sir Slash. Sir Slash Madam.
4. Use text speak. Grammar is for chumps.
This ties back to what I said earlier about speed. Typing out entire words is obviously time-consuming. To speed things up, go back to that valuable skill you picked up in high school. Text speak.
For example, let’s say that you want to convey to Sir/Madam that they should hire you because you’re awesome, which is a pretty valid reason to hire someone. You can either be grammatically correct, like this –
You should hire me because I’ve been awesome since I can remember.
Or you can use text speak, like this —
u shld hyr me bcoz i bn awesum sins i cn rmembr.
Which one do you think was faster to type? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Txt spk FTW!
5. Get Personal. Really, really, personal.
If you’re going to work with someone, they might as well know every little detail of your life. Now, while writing out a 19-page resume covering everything from your religious beliefs to your history of drug abuse or achievements in kindergarten will do the trick, it can take some time. And job applications are all about saving time.
Instead, use that ready-made repository of personal information called Facebook. Simply scroll back to your previous posts and take screenshots. You’ll have a good collection on deeply personal information in minutes.
Pro tip: This also doubles as a writing sample!
6. Send a creepy picture for added effect:
Nothing rounds out an epic job application better than a picture of yourself. Selfies may be all the rage but you really want to try and get your whole body in there, along with a background.
Remember, the creepier, the better.
7. Finally, get paid for your effort:
Ok, so you’ve minimized the time spent on your job applications, but no matter how advanced you are you’ll still spend at least a couple of minutes working on it. That is unacceptable. After all, you’re a busy person and time is money.
So why not ask to get paid for your effort. When you send out your mass applications, add a line about how important you are and that you should be compensated for such an epic application.
Every penny counts. Especially since you’re out of a job.