I hired an editor off Craigslist last week. About 3 hours after posting the job listing, I pulled it after finding who I wanted to work with.
You learn a lot being on the other side of the hiring process. For the last year and a half I received resumes that went to a general “support” email. Sturgeon’s Law applied – 90% of the resumes were awful.
What I’m about to criticize is something I’ve definitely been guilty of. But if you never get the feedback about this flaw, you’ll never be able to improve it and never get the job you really want.
What’s the common theme below?
“Have you found someone yet? If not, I would consider performing this on your timeline for $.01/word…
Let me know if you would be interested.”
“Let me know if you’re interested!”
“I hope you will consider me for this position and hire me. I can get started right away and my dependability means we can work together for a long time.”
“Please let me know and I look forward to hearing back from you.”
“Let me know if you still need someone.”
Theme: Hope and Desperation.
Again, I’ve signed off emails to potential employers just like this. Then one day someone gave me the brutally honest feedback I needed. They told me I was likely smart enough for the job, but there was too much doubt in my email. There was no confidence in my ability expressed. That completely opened my eyes.
Desperation rarely works when applying for jobs just like it rarely works when trying to attract a member of the opposite sex. No one wants to feel like they’re picking someone that would work with / date anyone. If they do, they feel cheap.
How to Fix This: Make the Prospect Qualify Themselves
Here is the sign-off from the editor I hired:
“If you require it I can give more details about me.
Please provide more information about the job.
I hope you respond soon.”
He still said he hoped I would respond soon, but he was the only person who made me qualify myself. He demanded more information from me. He wasn’t willing to work on just anything.
Though, the catch about making the prospect qualify themselves is that you have to give them a good reason. You have to first qualify that you’re someone worth putting in some effort for. Once you do that, then make the prospect validate that they would be worth your time. It’s amazing how not being immediately accessible to everyone increases your value.
If you want to learn more about this, I highly recommend reading the book Pitch Anything.