After A Morning of Job-Surfing

Dear Human Resources* People:

I’d like to work for you, I would. But given that first impressions are everything, that first impression kinda cuts both ways — starting with your help-wanted ad.

If you’re not getting the really awesome people applying for you, maybe you might want to make sure you’re not writing ads that include the following, and here’s why:

1. You want a “rockstar.” Give that I’m not really a fan of doing cocaine off hookers’ bellies on bathroom counters, I’m not sure I have what you’re looking for. Keith Richards, maybe he’s your deal.

2. You’re looking for someone who can create “viral” content. If one KNEW how to make viral content, do you know what they wouldn’t be doing? Applying for your job. No offense. Anyone who consistently create “viral” content is the next producer of the year, okay, and not a $20-an-hour employee. If you want well-circulated web content, though, I can do that. That’s realistic, and it’s something you can ask for, and is what I’d deliver.

3. You want a “guru.” Sorry, but I’m still learning social media, and I guarantee you that anyone worth their salt is, too. Social media ain’t OVER, it’s still evolving, and we’re all on this ride together. Some of us are intent to be students and don’t think we’ll ever be masters — just highly consistent and always awesome. It’s not about where your “guru” is today, it’s what kind of an online community they’ve built for the long-term, because staying power is HARD on the web today. Some of us, though, epitomise it.

4. You’re using super-hip lingo buried in long paragraphs of uber-corporate jargon. You’re hip or you’re corporate, so decide which type of person you want on-board, because one isn’t the other, and you don’t seem to know which you are.

I can’t tell you how many jobs are written with the above styles, and they’re selling what they’re unlikely to deliver, because they’re overwriting and overselling.

This does you, and me as the job-seeker, a huge disservice.

Make sure your job posting reflects who you are and what you’re really looking for. Buzzwords might give you the impression you’re attracting those who are “a cut above,” but you might just be isolating more than those you’re attracting, because it doesn’t sound sincere.

I want to work for you. But, based on your advertisement, I can’t.

I’m a great communicator, a fun team-player, loyal as the day is long, and always thinking forward, not backward. I say exactly what I mean, and don’t need to oversell things, because quality sells itself.

When it comes to writing movies, books, stories, and songs — less is more. It’s true also of job advertisements.

Until we get to salaries.

Let’s be realistic — for most of us, the world revolves around money, and in Vancouver, there are a lot of folks who won’t apply if you don’t list a salary range. (I’m not necessarily one, but I certainly look for that information.)

We’re not expecting you to nail a number down, or to have you promise us the world, but we need to know if our financial responsibilities can be met with your position. If not, then let’s spare both of us some time.

We all know it’s not just about the paycheque. We all want to be valued, and find the right place. Know the job you offer, and who you want.

We don’t need to be oversold on our jobs. We just want to work someplace we fit into, and your job advertisement is where that relationship begins. Please think twice before posting.

Love Steff.

*Mostly PR, marketing, communications, writing, and editing jobs are what I’ve been surfing, obviously. Got solid part-time work? Maybe I’m your girl.