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Thoughts from Cuckoo HQ
18
Apr 15

How One Job Seeker Got It So Wrong But So Right

This person has done themselves a HUGE disservice in the way they're gone about trying to secure work here. It's a real pity too.

I put together a blog post a while back entitled Some Real CV Advice From People Who Hire People

For that blog post I included input and feedback from loads of people so it wouldn't just be about MY personal preferences and how I think it should be done. ONLY points on which there was unanimous or near-unanimous agreement made their way into the post. This approach means there's great value in the advice that's in there as it's universally accepted among those who contributed. 

SO wrong. . . 

We get so many emails and approaches in here from people looking from work. 

We always respond to mails etc., we're always polite and we always try to give advice or feedback and be constructive when we can.

We recently received an email from someone looking for work that looked like this:

Here are my issues with this as an email looking for work:

  1. 'Dear Mr/Ms' - this is one of the worst ways to address a mail like this. This or 'Dear Sir / Madam' or any variation must be avoided. It's impersonal and it gives the impression that you've done no research on the business you're contacting. This actually becomes even more awful if it subsequently turns out you HAD done some research on the business. . . 
  2. Chuckoo Events - they've changed the name of our business there. They've added a 'h' for some reason. An innocent mistake, in fairness, but very likely to annoy a business owner who loves their brand and takes it seriously. 
  3. It tells me nothing - the email tells me nothing about the person who wrote it. It gives me NO incentive to open the CV attached. It actually gives me 2 very strong reasons to immediately hit 'delete', as outlined above. 

As initial emails go this is one of the worst I've gotten and I've gotten thousands at this stage. 

It's short, impersonal and spells our business name wrong. 

No business owner is going to open your CV after that. . . 

. . . but I did. I did open the CV.

. . . but SO right

I opened it as I wanted to see if the additional 'h' in Cuckoo was continued inside or if it was a once-off mistake. I was curious.

Page 1 of their CV file looked like this:

So Chuckoo Events appears twice here in quick succession with the extra 'h' so at least they're consistent there. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

MUCH more importantly I see something very impressive. 

This person HAS spent time on our website. They HAVE researched us and what we do. Despite the fact that nothing in their super short email gave us that impression, we now know that they spent significant time on our website. 

We know that because the format and headings used in that highlighted green area are the same as we use on our website on our Our Team page.

Ours looks like this:

That's so clever. It really is. I'm surprised others haven't done it before.

It shows this person put time and effort in to sussing us out.

Here's the problem - I ONLY opened their CV out of sheer curiosity about that 'h'.

I firmly believe 99% of employers will simply have deleted that email. 

In that instance this person's extremely clever mimicking of our website will have been wasted.

The bottom line

The initial email is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

No matter how good your CV is, it won't get opened* unless your initial email is impressive, grabs the attention and gives the employer a reason to open it. 

I sent this person a fairly in-depth response,  outlining what I've said above. Hopefully it'll help them. 

I've a feeling our paths may cross at some point. 

UPDATE - since I initially published the post the person who sent the mail has been in touch again. They're nice. They see how the 'h' issue will have not done them any favours. They accepted the advice I gave and engaged and asked further questions. They're clearly a decent person who is willing to learn, even from small mistakes. 

*Yeah, yeah I opened it. I'm special though.

 
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Hi there! We don't really operate as Cuckoo Events any longer.

The majority of our work now is done as Safe Events. This website is still live as there are a LOT of resources on here - particularly in our Blog section - that people still access very regularly. If that's why you're here, carry on!

If you're looking to maybe speak with us about working with you on your event, then click below and come see us at Safe Events.