Posts tagged ‘stupid applicant tricks’

Man Confidently Hits ‘Send’ On Worst Job Application Company Has Ever Seen

Resumes for DummiesAfter a quick yet confident once-over that unfortunately caught none of the rampant spelling errors, clunky prose, and overly casual language throughout his cover letter and résumé, job hopeful Mark Lopez hit “send” on the worst application California-based marketing firm Precision Intermedia has ever seen, sources confirmed Monday.

No – this isn’t from CTRN, or SHRM, but it could be. In another “ha ha fiction funny but true” article, America’s Finest News Source The Onion delivers a great example of How Not to Get a Job. This is spot on satire that many of my recruiter buddies could have written. Check out the entire insightful but brief piece here:,34716/

In this short masterpiece, the careless actions of applicant Mark Lopez result in a resume that becomes the one that HR says is “going up on the bulletin board.”

It could be that Lopez was practicing the NotJobs blog wisdom shared in last April’s popular infographic:

Or it could be that this applicant comes by these skills naturally. Many people do.


9 January 2014 at 1:00AM Leave a comment

How Not To Get A New Job In 2013: An 8-Step Plan

Susan Strayer LaMotte, SPHR is a consultant, recruiter, career coach, branding expert and the founder of exaqueo. She authored a good article that ran in Forbes a few months back. In How Not To Get A New Job In 2013: An 8-Step Plan, LaMotte

Every year in January I hear from hundreds of people ready to start a job search. They really want a new job. They’re eager to get started. And slowly but surely, they fail. It’s not a lack of talent, experience or desire. They’re just doing it wrong.

Yep. They’re doing it wrong. LaMotte provides some specific details on her 8-Step plan for avoiding employment:

How Not To Get A New Job In 2013: An 8-Step Plan

Are you ready for a new job? Here’s how not to be successful — guaranteed:

  1. Lack self-awareness and confidence.
  2. Don’t tell anyone.
  3. Cold-apply to as many jobs as possible.
  4. Let your resume speak for itself.
  5. Be inflexible.
  6. Ignore recruiters.
  7. Don’t ask for any help.
  8. Say “I got this.”

Many of these will be familiar to the regular readers of this blog. LaMotte does a great job of summarizing the common mistakes and common attitudes that ensure continued unemployment.

LaMotte’s full article deserves your full attention. See it here:

22 April 2013 at 12:28AM Leave a comment

How Not to Get a Job in PR (or other fields)

PR Expert Harry Hoover has some feedback for job seekers based on the submissions he’s been seeing:

If the resumes and emails I receive are any indication, neither your parents nor your teachers taught you how to properly look for a job. I frequently receive notes to my email address that are addressed “To Whom It May Concern”, or “Hiring Manager”, or even “Please pass this along to the appropriate person.” I guess since YOU are the one looking for a job, that I am supposed to help YOU find it. Because YOU are special. Your Baby Boomer parents have been telling YOU this all of your life, so it must be true.

It’s not. Welcome to the real world.

If you are looking for a PR job, it’s YOUR JOB to find it. You should have had intro to journalism at some point in your college career. Unless, of course, liberal educators have removed all job-related courses from the curriculum. But that is another posting.

From your journalism courses, you should know how to do a modicum of research to find out the proper person responsible for hiring. In 20 seconds on my website, my eight-year-old grandson could discover the name of a real person and also determine that My Creative Team doesn’t have employees, only freelancers.

And if you are going to be working with journalists, you need to know how to customize your story pitches. “To Whom It May Concern” sure gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. I’m sure a reporter would love to receive that in an email pitch.

Nowadays, tools like LinkedIn and ZoomInfo make the research much easier than back in the early ‘Oughts, when all we had was Google.

Hoover closes with specific suggestions:

Now, here’s a little more unsolicited advice. If you want to stand out from the crowd of job seekers, it is not hard. Send a letter and resume via snail mail. Address it to a real person that you have done a little research on. Include some references about the person’s history or career in your letter. If you really want a job, show why you should have it. Trust me, it is easy to separate yourself from the crowd. At least, based on my experience.

Sound advice from someone who sees a lot of paper.

See the full article from Mr. Hoover here:

28 August 2012 at 1:42AM Leave a comment

An Actual Cover Letter (unedited)

It pays to be careful with your cover letter. Included below is an actual and complete text of a cover letter received a while back by a recruiter friend who does not work for a school district or educational concern. Only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Don’t do this.

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is FIRSTNAME LASTNAME and I am an educator with 15 years experience. I have experience as a Spanish Translator, a Tutor and an ESL Assistant. I have lived, worked and studied in Spain , Honduras , Guatemala , Ecuador and Mexico . My passions are education, working with students/children of all ages/grades and languages. I have an very compassionate, bubbly and outgoing personality. I would be an great access to your school district.

Thank you,


24 August 2012 at 12:52AM Leave a comment

The Job Interview From Hell

“I wasn’t throwing you out the door before, but now I am.”

That phrase, spoken at the end of an interview, is not a message that indicates a successful conversation. But – that phrase was part of a real interview that happened in a high-tech company. The details came out when author David Zax of FastCompany talked with CEO Matthew Bellows of Yesware about the worst job interview he ever conducted. (The quotes herein are taken directly from the article.)

“The last thing I wanted to do was waste any more time with this guy who couldn’t be bothered to spend five minutes of his time [doing research] before the interview.”

Bellows is a 21st century CEO dealing with a shortage of critical talent. When the candidate approached him about a job, Bellows invited him in. (Bellows gets high marks for sourcing the candidate, but none for screening.)

“For me, though, the final straw was when he started talking about another company. He’s going on and on about how great they are and how much money they’ve raised.”

Face-to-face interviewing may have problems, but it can help identify applicants with bad attitudes that can could ruin the project.

What are the lessons learned?

For applicants, the obvious one is: Do your homework.

Yep. The  key is to be prepared.

On the interviewer’s side, maybe I could have detected the arrogance earlier, if I hadn’t really been hoping it would work out.

Hoping for a good turnout instead of trusting what you see generally doesn’t work out well.

See the whole article here:

2 August 2012 at 12:21AM Leave a comment

NotJobs: “Take This Job And Shove It”

1937 TelephoneBeth Smith at A-List Interviews has an intriguing blog. A-List Interviews is the name of Beth’s company; she offers a systematic interviewing process to assist with selection and other recruiting services. It looks like a good model.

Blogger Beth has several things going for her – for one, she’s a local, and for two, she uses WordPress. Plus – in a recent post she also touches on one of the more useless features of modern telecommunications, the obnoxious and meaningless addition of music and delay to a telephone call. In particular, Beth learned something important about a candidate. Actions speak louder than words.

Here is Beth’s post (in full):

I placed a call to a candidate to invite her in for an interview. The message said “Please enjoy the music while your party is reached!” Then, I heard the song “Take this job and shove it.” Need I say more? Listen to the clues that people give you before, during and after the interview. You will be amazed at what you will learn.

Truth (at many levels.)

Thanks, Beth!

16 December 2011 at 12:10AM Leave a comment

The Origin of Job Interviews

From the Armstrong and Miller Show:

Interview question: “Where you see yourself in fifty moons time?”
Interview answer: “Hunting… maybe gathering.”

It going to be long day people!

Thanks to Max for the tip!

27 May 2011 at 12:10AM Leave a comment

Older Posts

My Core Ideas

1. "I can't tell you the best way to get a job - because there is no one best way. After 21 years of recruiting, I CAN share things I've seen candidates do to guarantee they DIDN'T get the job."

2. "Most companies don't realize how their recruiting process impacts their candidate pool, and their business. Attention to simple things will result in big improvements."

About the Author

Troy Bettinger, SPHR is a Denver Recruiter, Public Speaker, HR Metrics Analyst and Human Resources Leader who has been recruiting in corporate and municipal environments since 1991.

He specializes in the complete hiring process: defining, sourcing, recruiting, testing, interviewing, offering and orienting new hires. He's also well versed in strategic human resources, college recruiting, diversity recruiting, AAP, EEO, ATS integration, recruiting metrics, social media, recruiting leadership, training and employment branding.


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