Patria-Kaye Aarons | My babyfather is very interesting
Sweetie is hiring. I'm adding 10 full-time staff members to the team in April and I'm currently going through the shortlisting process. I'm looking for a very specific pool of people. No matter the position, they must be happy (because I honestly believe that if they're miserable, they'll make the candy taste bad).
I run a candy company, for heaven's sake. When you come through the doors, you should feel like you're really in a happy place, not just from bright wall colours and yummy smells, but also by looking at the faces of employees who appear glad to come to work and are pleasant to be around.
I placed the positions in the newspaper on February 1 and the responses are overwhelming. People want work. My inbox is flooded with well over 1,000 applications for the positions advertised, and it hasn't even been a week since the ads were posted.
Though there are some great applications in the batch, it has been disappointing to discover first-hand that many of our people are ill-prepared for the world of work. I got the clear indication that too many people don't know how to apply for jobs.
The title of this article was the declaration made to me by one woman seeking a job for the father of her child. The subject of the application email:
'My babyfather is very interesting.'
Nothing in the body of the email about what kind of job he's qualified to do. No rÈsumÈ. Just the pronouncement that her spouse was 'interesting' and wanted 'a work'.
Other email headings included:
'Lawd Jesus hire me', 'Where is this please' and a flood of emails with no subject or body, just a rÈsumÈ attached which my email filter assumed was spam.
Folks, I can't make these things up. Mi nuh so imaginative.
Going through my batch, I wondered if people would consider it rude if I reached out and pointed out where they had gone horribly wrong in their job-search approaches. I desperately want to highlight to them some things they should never, ever do again, in the hope they not be offended, but take the lesson and do better the next time around.
After starting the review processes, I feel compelled to appeal to HR practitioners to volunteer in our inner-city communities, once a month, and help with rÈsumÈ building. Teach people who want a job how to sell themselves on paper in a way that will get them past the first screening process.
Secondary institutions, knowing full well that many school-leavers transition immediately into the world of work, should also be helping kids to build great rÈsumÈs.
Get past the 'I have this many CXCs' and 'these are the places I have worked' to demonstrating on that piece of paper the value you will bring to a company. Highlight your specific accomplishments in past positions and how you can be of an asset to the new company.
One candidate insisted on including a hobby on her rÈsumÈ. The sole hobby: surfing the Web. That's a red flag for me. It says, "All I'm going to do all day is go on Facebook and play Candy Crush - and then collect my pay cheque." She's not making it to interviews.
This article is coming from a place of real concern. It has nothing to do with bright or not. You can't want a job if you can't write a rÈsumÈ. Period. You could be the best person for the position, but you must prove that on paper first.
We have a lot of work to do. Our people need help.