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Applying for a job? Make a connection

Jonathan Cogley: Registration forms: Breaking down the barriers between your Web visitor and your product

May 6th 2009 | Jonathan Cogley

Applying for a job? Make a connection.

I have posted about this before but we are in the run-up to our Summer Internship and the topic amazes me once again. If you clicked the link and read the posting, then congratulations – you probably got further than most applicants. Most applicants simply send a generic resume and maybe a generic cover letter.

Clearly they didn’t read the posting which requires applicants to send in their code solution and a cover letter which should explain why they want to join our company. These applicants are really easy to handle, we simply delete their emails.

This makes the process a lot easier since we only deal with candidates who make the effort to read the posting and send in their code (write some code for a coding position – what a novel idea!). But it still fascinates me . the logic behind the masses . once again, I haven’t kept score but it feels like one in three actually submits code. This means a huge number of applications get deleted.

Don’t get your application dismissed or deleted

What is behind this all too common strategy? It seems like it’s all down to quantity and numbers is their game but how does that work for something as time intensive as interviewing? Five interviews with the wrong companies could chew up two or three weeks of their time (scheduling, travel, etc).

Decide on the most important criteria for you. Money is probably assumed anywhere so focus on the intangibles and prioritize them – e.g. types of work, opportunities for growth, team environment, company philosophy.

It would be worth every second to:

  • Read the job posting thoroughly
  • Ensure that all their requirements are met
  • Do some research on the company
  • How was it started?
    • What makes it unique?
    • What is the work atmosphere like?
    • What is the leadership like?
    • Who works there, what do they do? (blogs, speaking, books, etc)
  • Decide if they line up with your criteria
  • Write a few sentences about why you want to work there – incorporate your research and tie it into your criteria, explain your logic and make it yours

If you do that, you might just connect, not be deleted, get an interview and even get hired at a job you might even enjoy. In this marketplace, heck! In any marketplace, you can’t afford to not stand out. Do your homework and put your best foot forward.

Jonathan Cogley is the CEO of Thycotic Software, an agile software consulting and product development company based in Washington DC. Secret Server is our flagship enterprise password management product.Are you on Twitter? Follow Jonathan

  1. August 18, 2009 at 3:44 pm

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