9 April 2008

Following Instructions and Job Hunting...

Does it matter if you ignore instructions when applying for a job? I found a good example of that on this blog. This person was looking for an administrative assistant and asked for resumes to be faxed to her, but people e-mailed them instead. Here is what she had to say:

“What was surprising to me with some of the people who applied for this assistant position is that despite my request to have people fax over their resumes, the majority chose to email me. Even after I added in the ad, no emails. I guess we’re living in a techno world where faxes will soon be obsolete, but still - give me what I asked for the first time and no one gets hurt.

That basic lack of following instructions made me realize that either my fax isn’t working (not the case), or people just weren’t good at following directions. In my line of work, I can’t take the time to repeat instructions more than once and used this as a way of weeding out people. So, if you haven’t heard back and sent me an email, sorry.”1

I would also suggest if you are applying for a job, not to send the fax from your office. It is too easy to leave a paper trail and there is not enough privacy while sending. There are off-site places you can go to send faxes for a small fee.

When using e-mail to send a resume (of course after checking the instructions), I have on occasion sent it from my work e-mail account, but it would be wiser to use your home account. Here is a post by the Brazen Careerist who thinks it doesn’t matter if we job hunt from our current job, but I think it is risky.

1 http://thejoywriterpr.wordpress.com/2008/04/04/the-joy-writer-pr-marketing-business-updates/


Jodith said...

I agree...always follow instructions, especially if this is for an administrative support job.

I also agree about not sending faxes from work. Unless you have the time to stand on top of it while it faxes (or tries three times if it isn't going through) to grab the confirmation when it comes off the fax and you are the person who receives the fax transmission log, I wouldn't risk it, especially if you don't want your current employer to know you are looking.

I also would not use my work e-mail to e-mail a resume. It's very easy to get a free net e-mail from yahoo or google to send documents.

Not only is it a matter of not giving yourself away, you may look bad to the prospective employer, who will wonder if you will look for your next job on their time if they hire you.

Patricia Robb said...

Hi Jodith,

Good point about the prospective employer. If I was the one doing the hiring I would take that into consideration.

I also thought the person I quoted had a good point. If you weren't following the instructions in the job posting, how much of an attention-to-detail person were you? As you know an assistant definitely has to pay attention to the little things. She was smart weeding the people out like she did.

I enjoy your blog by the way Jodith.