How to Apply for a Job at SXS
This page has been written to help you understand how to apply for a job with SXS. The guidance here will apply to most companies in most industries.
Written by Johnny Palmer, Founder and Managing Director of SXS.
Today I checked the company inbox and found over twenty emails from people looking for work in the events industry. This is just a few days worth of CVs. I would say that on average we get around 50 such letters a week.
Every time I look at these emails I feel frustrated and disappointed at how badly people approach prospective employers. The emails and CVs are so bad that the vast majority get deleted within a few seconds. This is frustrating for a few reasons:
1. Amongst all these people there probably are some talented and enthusiastic individuals who would make a perfect addition to our team
2. The things that people are doing wrong are so easily fixed
3. I feel bad deleting these letters from people hoping for a new job
This article is going to cover a few of the most common mistakes I see and how to work around them:
This is the most common problem. If I see a single spelling or grammatical error in a cover email or CV your letter will be deleted instantly. I do not care how talented you are, or how hard working you are if you cannot be bothered to draft a legible email. Why should a prospective employer invest their time in you if you cannot be bothered to write a decent letter?
A lot of people would use the excuse of poor education, dyslexia etc for not being able to write properly. This is NO EXCUSE as everyone knows someone that will gladly proof read a cover letter and email. Also there are numerous spell checkers available that will sort out spelling issues.
'To Whom It May Concern'
Some emails start with 'To Whom It May Concern'
While this may be what is taught at schools as to how to approach a prospective employer, it is absolutely not how it should be done. To use this phase is disrespectful and shows a general dis-interest in the company or the work. By using it you are demonstrating that you have made no effort to research the company with whom you wish to work. In the modern day it is very easy to find out who looks after recruitment and HR in a company. All it takes is a phone call to the company's office and ask who you should send your info to and what their email address is. If you wish to take it a step further you could even look on site like LinkedIn to find out who the key people are in the company.
So when you write an introductory email start it with a personal introduction. Also use the subject line to make it clear what your email is about.
We get a lot people writing long involved emails telling us all about their ability, what their hobbies were as children, what modules they enjoyed at university, how much initiative they have etc. When I read these emails I find myself wondering if I have accidently been sent somebody's memoirs.
These emails lead me to think that the sender is egocentric, boring and has no regard for the value of the time of the person reading it.
For all business communication you need to start an email with a 'statement of purpose'. So in the case of your email to approach for work start with "I am writing because I am looking for a job" or something similar.
Your Email Address
Have a look at your email address and ask yourself "What does this say about me?". An address like email@example.com does not inspire me with confidence about how seriously you take your career or yourself. Get a real address and keep it simple such as firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Email Display Name
When you send an email the person receiving it will see the display name set against your email account. Send yourself an email and see what this is. Ensure that the display name is presented properly like "Johnny Palmer", not "johnnypalmer2000" or "personal email"
I will instantly delete an email if the content of it looks irrelevant. If you are approaching a production company do not devote your entire email to the catering work you have done (having said this, do mention it as it is relevant).
It is OK to approach lots of companies for work but make sure what you send is relevant to them.
Find out the company's recruitment process
Most professionally-managed companies will have a clear recruitment process. This means that they will have certain ways of finding new staff and trying them out. If you phone such a company they will usually be very happy to explain what their process is.
Pick up the phone and you will be able to find out a lot.
Read the Company's Website
Earlier I said that the majority of emails get deleted. This was being gentle. We actually delete over 90% of the emails we get from people looking for work.
Why? Because 90% of them do not even bother reading the recruitment page of our website! On this page we make it very clear that you must do certain things in your cover letter. By not doing these things it shows that you have not even bothered to see what jobs we have on offer, or what we are looking for in new staff.
Why should a company invest time and effort into a new staff member that does not even make the effort to read the most obvious page on their website?
Research the Company
Most good companies will give a lot of information about their culture, experience, heritage and policies on their website. You need to make yourself familiar with this on any prospective employer's websites.
Work with SXS
Before you approach SXS for a job, you need to read the following articles or your email will be deleted.
Article 1 - How To Get a Job With SXS
Article 2 - How to Get Into Events
Article 3 - How to Succeed at SXS