So, I work in a small program within a large international NGO. We had a job opening recently - a very minor opening. Truly a modest job, just one day a week, work can be done from home. Very modest wages too (though that admittedly depends on where you live -a pittance if you're a Londoner, but possibly not bad at all if you're from Tirana).
Considering the minor status of the job, we received a fair number of applications - over fifty. Comes with the territory, also - the name of the organization usually guarantees a healthy interest (for privacy reasons, please don't name the organisation if you know).
Reading through the applications, I have the usual two reactions. On the one hand, reading all these CVs is a truly humbling experience. There are a lot of good people in there, this time especially. I mean, this person will basically be the assistant to my assistant - and yet, the way I see it, there's more than a few people in there who are better qualified than I am. And just one of them will get the job. It's definitely a good exercise in gratitude. <nods>
On the other hand though - I mean, it's not as bad as with the open applications we receive, some of which are baffling - but still, going through these letters and CVs, and seeing the kind of things people write, also really puts things into perspective. I mean, you'd be surprised. Well, I was. If you ever felt insecure about your own application letters, and assumed that the competition must be far more professional, and must know all the tricks and conventions that elude you, then you should spend a day or two reading through application letters some time. People just do
If I could, seriously, I'd write some of them back and warn them. Like, please - mister, miss - I can tell that you're good people, and that you're sincerely interested, or that you do have some valuable experience there - but if you want to get a job, in this sector at least - can I just make a suggestion for your next letter?
That won't do of course. So they'll just get a standard rejection letter and move on to the next application. Instead, then, I'll satisfy my urge in this thread here while reading this batch of letters, and any future letters we get.
Of course, I can only talk from a non-profit/NGO type perspective - and a European one, at that. I know conventions vary wildly from one country and sector to the next, so what will totally fail here might be a winner in another place. So folks, if you want to chime in from your own perspective, please do, who knows, perhaps we'll get some do's and don'ts that might be useful for people.