New Rules: Applying to Job Postings

by Roberta

Debbie Mastel, from Devon Energy, literally lit up the Central Library during Strategic Networking during Stampede week. Her flashing red, rhinestone, cowgirl hat set the stage for some rousing discussions regarding recruiting trends. Debbie caused a stir when announced that the old rule of having 80% of the posted qualifications before applying for a job is no longer the standard. She stressed that applicants should have the qualifications from the first 1 - 2 bullets in the job posting before they consider applying. The employer wil usually rank qualifications in order of importance to the job. She suggested that one great way to highlight those skills is to use the T format cover letter, something she urged everyone to do. Here were a few more pointers:

  1. Don’t e-mail your network just to say “hi.” She spoke about the volumes of resumes, e-mails and phone calls that recruiters get and she used herself as an example. On her day “off” last week, she spent 13 hours straight answering e-mails. Make sure you have a point or question to your e-mail before sending it.
  2. Don’t ask to pick someone’s brain or ask for general advice. Recruiters aren’t career coaches. People need to do their homework before contacting recruiters. Asking a recruiter to review your resume and then tell you where you’d fit in to their organization is not a good strategy. Candidates need to take advantage of services offered by places like the library to figure out where they envision their next career move to be. It’s difficult for a recruiter who doesn’t know a candidates passion to make suggestions on where they would fit in an organization. Keep in mind that companies aren’t looking for people to fill jobs, companies are looking for candidates that are passionate about what they do as well as their interest in the company.
  3. Don’t be rude. This seems like an obvious one but when someone is under a lot of pressure from a job search, it can really start to show. Make sure when you’re starting to get frustrated to take breaks. During a job search, nobody is there to pat you on the back when you do a great job (like getting an interview) so you have to be your own cheerleader. Make sure to reward yourself often to keep yourself motivated.

Strategic Networking continues all summer, a particularly great time to get out and meet new people. Our group of rotating volunteers lead discussions that offer new strategies for job search and for making meaningful connections in our community. VisitCalgary recently created this list of Calgary events that will keep you motivated in a city brimming with activity.