All too often prospective seasonal employees find themselves in a waiting game after they apply. There are a few reasons for this. First, employers often have a lot of applications to work through. When I work an application I look through the application, contact the applicant, set up an interview, spend 45 minutes to an hour interviewing them, and then have to decide if the person is a good fit for the positions I have available. Hiring is the most important part of my job year after year. If you find the right people your season can be great, but if you hire poorly you will spend the entire season trying to find replacements. As I write this blog, I have over 150 applications for my lodge, and it isn’t even New Year’s yet. That means if you are one of those 150 people it might be a week or two or three before your interview happens.
If you are like me, waiting 3 weeks when you don’t have a job can be an eternity. So what can you do to make your application stand out from the other 150 to 200 applications in my inbox? Lucky for you I am here to give you some tips. These won’t guarantee you a job, but they should help you to get an answer about your job prospects.
Many employers now send applicants an e-mail upon receipt of their application. These e-mails usually have some basic information and are a pre-written copy. Employers want you to know that they have your application and that they will contact you at some point in the future, but they probably have not spent a ton of time on your application yet. The most important thing about these e-mails is the name at the bottom. Hold on to the name because they are your ticket to the front of the pack. Always respond to these form e-mails with a simple “thank you” for receiving my application and let them know you are looking forward to future contact. I created a special folder in my e-mail for these response e-mails from applicants. When I start hiring I pull up those e-mails and they are the first to get contacted. I do this because their response e-mail tells me 2 very important things: they want a job and I have a reliable way to contact them. You’d be amazed how many applicants don’t get interviews because I cannot get a hold of them via their application contact info. Sometimes hiring is like fishing, and when someone e-mails back I know I have a bite, otherwise you are just a fish swimming unseen.
One thing trumps the response e-mail, and that is the response telephone call. About a week after you send in your application, try giving your employer contact a phone call. Make sure you call during regular business hours for the employer, and I would suggest a Tuesday. Bad days to call are Mondays and Fridays. I have had several applicants give me a call and before the phone was hung up we had completed an interview and made significant headway toward a job offer. A big part of seasonal employers hiring is calling people all over the country and playing time zone games, so when they can get an excited applicant on the phone they will often try to do an interview right then and there. The time parameters and day of the week suggestions are important as well. I’ve had applicants contact me on a Friday afternoon or a Monday morning when an interview just wasn’t possible. Mondays are busy because employers are catching up from the weekends, and nobody wants to stay at the office longer on a Friday. But a Tuesday is usually a little slower and a great time to knock out some interviews. And if you cannot complete an interview during that phone call, try to set up an interview for later in that week. Get a day and time you can both agree on from that initial phone call.
One last tip, don’t stop trying to upgrade your application after you hit the send button. One of the best things you can do is talk to your friends after you apply. If you can talk them in to applying, make sure your employer knows that if they hire you, you can bring along a friend or two. Employers love employees who make their job easier, and when they can hire 3 employees at once (meaning you and your 2 friends) they are going to do it. Also, if your information changes, especially your available work dates, let the employer know. If I have an applicant who is working hard to get a job, I am going to work hard to find a job for them. Make sure your employer knows you really want the job. I’ve done many interviews where the applicant doesn’t really seem to care if they get hired or not. I’m not going to hire that person. Let you enthusiasm make up for any shortcomings you might have.
I hope you find the right job to apply for and your seasonally hopes come true. And hopefully this blog helps you in your quest for an interview.