Many people, when applying for a job, believe that their time to “shine” starts at the interview. I regret to inform you that this is not so. Your time to shine, infact, starts from the time you submit your application and resume. Every communication you make with my office after that is also part of your interview process. That being said I have some suggestions to share with you so that you’ll make it to the actual interview.
First, make sure you spell check your resume and application. Yes, this may seem obvious, however this basic information seems to elude many.
Second, please follow the application instructions. For example, for whatever reason, the managers at my office request that you fax the application and resume with a cover letter. FAX. No email, no dropping the application off in person. No snail mail. And yes, I agree, this does seem a little absurd and lacking in logic. However, this is the line of thinking that governs my office. Welcome. I hope you enjoy your stay.
Also, please be advised that when you call to make inquiries regarding the application process, everything you say to your potential employers or coworkers is being graded.
For example: One applicant contacted me regarding her application. She wanted to email it to me. I advised her that emailed applications would not be accepted and that she would have to fax her application per the instructions listed.
Her response: “I don’t have access to a fax machine.”
Seriously? You’re applying for a position as an investigator. In general, it is expected that investigators will be resourceful and problem-solvers. Congratulations! You just told a prospective coworker that you are either lazy or incapable of finding a Fed-Ex Kinko’s or any other office supply store that has a fax available for public use. And no, I won’t keep information like that to myself. My supervisor will hear about it should you actually make it to the interview. Why? Because I don’t want to have to pick up your slack. This is a busy office and while we are more than willing to train people on-the-job, none of us have time to hold your hand through the entire process.
In this particular case, however, I agreed to let this applicant email her application to me. Why? I know what it’s like to start from the bottom and believe that everyone should have a fair chance. So yes, I broke the rules for her. The application was due by midnight on this particular night. I instructed her to email her application to me no later than midnight and I would submit it to my supervisor the next day. I was very, very clear to her when I explained this. In no uncertain terms I told her that if her application was so much as one minute late, it would not be accepted.
Twelve hours later (way the hell past the deadline), I received her application by email with a note that read:
Per our conversation, here is my application and resume. I sent it to you with in the time frame that you specified.
Liar! Liar! Pants on fire! Nice try though. I went ahead and gave it to my supervisor but not before I told him that she failed to submit it by the deadline. Dear Prospective Applicant: Your application landed inside of the recycle bin. Way to save a tree!
Finally, please demonstrate a little patience through this process. While our office is open 24/7. The managers (the people who actually get to look at your application) work Monday-Friday from 8 pm to 5 pm. Therefore, you should know that when you call the office at 10:30 pm to find out if your application was received, the investigator answering the phone will not be able to help. And no, we cannot break into the supervisor’s office to see if it’s on his desk. You’ll have to call back during normal business hours to find out. Sorry about your luck!
Wishing You the Best of Luck!
Someone who has been there and done that!
Because we run into this from time to time I would like to state for the record that you are applying for a position as a death investigator. Therefore, it is safe to assume that you will encounter dead people quite frequently in your career here. This also means that you will have to touch them, move them, undress them, photograph them, draw fluids from them and, in the event that it is a decomposed body or homeless person, tolerate extremely unpleasant odors. No! You cannot work here as an investigator and avoid any of the above.