I have done a lot of recruiting in museums. I always encounter poor applications. Having just read through masses of job applications, I feel the need to provide some tips.
It is really frustrating to read applications from:
• applicants who appear to have no idea what the job actually is,
• applicants who appear to have no idea who we are,
• and worst of all,
• good applicants who send in really poor applications (often with some experience, lots of enthusiasm, and a clear desire for a museum career, they concentrate on their enthusiasm and forget their experience).
“I am interested in any vacancies” – we advertised a specific vacancy, apply for that.
“I would love to work for your company” – which company would that be? Generic applications do not get interviews.
“To whom it may concern” – one minute on Google and you could find my name or that of your prospective line manager. Do it.
Jobs in the museum sector are much sought after. Why do you want THIS job?
Show evidence that you have researched our museum. “I want to work for (name us!) because…”. Show you’re aware of our main activities and our latest news. If you really love what we do – say why clearly and simply – don’t get too frothy!
We provided a job description and person specification – please read them.
When assessing applications we have a copy of the person spec in a matrix. We score against each point. Something like:
• no experience = 0
• some experience = 1
• plenty of experience = 2.
Then we add it all up. Highest scores get interviews.
When you apply for a job. Do this →
• Copy the person spec headlines into the main body of the application form.
• Answer each point with details of your relevant experience.
If I have 50+ applications I will truly thank you for doing this. You have a much higher change of getting an interview because your experience is presented clearly against the person spec.
Don’t get me wrong. I will read badly presented applications (some people won’t). But the lack of clarity will not help either of us.
Only send your CV if asked. We don’t want more to read. Please tailor it to the job.
If you have no relevant experience at all you won’t get an interview. Sorry.
I’m guessing your careers advisor, school, college, university told you all this. They were right. Listen to them.
Oh. We can tell when “the job centre made me do it”. This is a waste of time, yours and ours. Shame. But we know it’s not your fault.
Finally, spell check.