The Hurricane Mop approach to job seeking

Spam emails are annoying, aren’t they?  Same old rubbish, every day.  Last year it was the Hurricane Mop – so convinced were the spammers that I needed the Hurricane Mop in my life that they sometimes emailed me 15-20 times a day.  Then, just as the Hurricane Mop emails started to dry up, I was hit with a similar volume of emails about a product called an Eggstractor, which promises to revolutionise the way humankind peels eggs.  Apparently we’ve been doing it in a really inefficient way.

I’ve got to the point where I think even if I find myself suddenly in dire need of an Eggstractor or a Hurricane Mop, on principle I would buy them from a different source than the company that has been spamming me.  It got me thinking though, not least because one of my friends actually has a Hurricane Mop and it is flipping brilliant. It glides across surfaces, it gets into corners, it has an adjustable head; there is literally nothing (floor cleaning-related) that it can’t do.  So, I wondered, why is a product that’s actually rather good being sold in such a rubbish way?

Incidentally, I’m less convinced by the Eggstractor, whose key selling point is ‘peel eggs 10x faster than by hand’.  I reckon I can peel an egg in about 20 seconds – what sort of egg-related emergency would require me to knock 18 seconds off my personal best?  More alarmingly, the current offer on the Eggstractor is ‘buy one get one free’.  Who on earth would require two Eggstractors, each one outperforming the traditional approach to egg peeling by a ratio of 10:1?

Maybe someone who has an Eggstractor can tell me the answers.  And if there is anyone out there who has one, I’d also be interested to know how they came to purchase it – did they seek it out because they had an egg-related emergency that required swift peeling, or did the sheer weight of spam eventually weight them down?  Or was it the BOGOF that swayed it?

Anyway.  Like I said, it got me thinking.  And here’s what it got me thinking…

If what you’re selling isn’t crap, why would you package it up as if it is?!

I’m a recruiter.  I started recruiting in 2005.  Only a few years before I started, recruiters were still placing ads in magazines, then waiting for applications to arrive by post.  Since then, the digital age has blessed us with all the tools to swiftly apply for jobs at the click of a button.  We don’t have to handwrite cover letters, or even buy a stamp.  In fact, advancements in mobile technology mean we don’t even need to get our backsides off the couch and sit at a PC.  But you can bang out more applications than ever before.  And the more applications you send out, the more likely you are to get a few calls, right?

Wrong.  All in all, technology has made us very, very lazy.  We’ve become the spammers we detest.

Jobseekers – don’t be a Hurricane Mop.  Your CV is not spam, and your personal brand is worth more than just a ‘see what sticks’ approach.  If you are looking for a new role, try spending an hour filling out your LinkedIn profile – use it as an extra tool to sell yourself to employers.  (Trust me, they will check.) Each time you apply for a job spend a few minutes tweaking your CV to show you’ve got the right experience.  Write a short covering letter explaining why you are a good candidate.  It really won’t take long.  Read the advert properly, and make sure you have followed the correct instructions for applying.  It will save you time in the long run that you would have wasted sending out weak applications.

And if you think you don’t have the time to spare, I’ve heard about a device that can save you so much time on egg peeling that you’ll be kicking yourself for all the time you’ve wasted peeling them by hand.

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