Dear Valued Applicant,
Let me tell you a few things about your hirability.
Firstly- your resume sucks. Almost all resumes are terrible and weak, so don’t worry, we won’t hold that against you (much). It isn’t the strength of your template, or the color of the paper or the font that really makes or breaks an opportunity- it is the level of management’s desperation to find a body to fill the position.
But, say we’re really hurting for a new sales associate; Let’s talk about first impressions.
Show up dressed appropriately for the workplace you’re applying to. For example- we are a liquor store. Your nails are almost as long as your heels are high and your boobs are trying to leap out of your top. Seriously. You expect us to believe you are capable of lugging 50lb boxes of booze around the store? Clean pants, suitable top, sensible shoes are fine.
Don’t come in and refuse to hand your resume to anyone other than the manager in person. Trust me, I may not be specifically in charge of hiring you, but if you’re a dick, I will make it my specific mission to make sure you are NOT hired. And if you insist, fine, but don’t stand there and pick your nose, or your ass, or do anything else rude or stupid while you’re waiting- I’m watching you.
About the wage… It’s crap. It’s a crap wage for a crap job- so if you’re not prepared to consider it, don’t bother coming in in the first place. Maybe you’re desperate, hey, we’ve all been there. But if you act like you’re too good to work here, you won’t be working here- take a hike
And now, back to your super duper Curriculum Vitae complete with cover letter, graduate level thesis and all the glowing references going back to the lady you cat-sit for when you were 12. You can take all that crap and murder it down to ONE PAGE. And maybe stop getting your mom to write it for you. Believe it or not, she’s sabotaging you very subtly. She’s not going to spell check it or edit it properly, and she’s going to throw a whole bunch of really useless B.S. in there which does nothing for your prospects and really just gives us something to make fun of you about the minute you leave. We don’t care that you like choir or horseback riding, or that you won the 4th grade spelling bee. We care whether you will show up on time and can do the job.
ONE PAGE! If you’ve had 15 jobs in the last 12 months don’t put them all on your damn resume! It makes you look like an unreliable shiftless carnie! Pick the best 3 or 4, preferably the ones most likely to give you any kind of reference worth having, and throw the rest out. And you’re applying to a beer store. Pick the ones that show relevant skills and experience. If all you have is “graphic design” and “nanny” on there, you won’t hear from us.
Finally, be honest and realistic. You’re applying for a crappy job with crappy pay and it requires nearly the minimum of skills. If you think you can hack it, say so. Advertise those abilities as best you can. “Can operate point of sale”, “Can lift”, “Great with people”, “Can follow instructions”. This is a job for “people people”. If you’re surly and don’t like working in retail, we will notice. The perks of this job are the people.
Assuming you make it to a call for an interview, try to be reachable. You might get one message, we won’t call again. Be available! If you are being interviewed for another job, say so. No, we aren’t looking to negotiate with you, but at least if we know you are likely going to take another job, we will cover our own butts and make some other calls.
At the interview- be honest. If you tell us you are available to work evenings and weekends, you will be scheduled for evenings and weekends. If you have your sister’s friend’s roomate’s cousin’s wedding in Cancun in 2 weeks, tell us NOW. If you have another job to work around/school/kids/transportation issues/sciatica, tell us NOW. We might just be able to fit you in. But if we hire you for 30hrs a week and then find out you can only work Mondays between 12 and 4, there’s going to be a problem.
Having said all of that- I don’t want to discourage you from applying. Not just with us, but anywhere you like. There are more jobs out there than advertised any day, and sometimes you luck out and interview for a “crap job” and it turns out to be one of the best places you ever worked- believe me, I know all about it. But if I tell you one thing, it certainly has never been my resume that won me the position.