Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dear Job Seekers, A Word of Advice...

I have a small family owned business.  I'm not looking to hire because I have a daughter who works for gas money and a son who works for video games.  If I'm in a bind I have a neighbor who works for books and very good friends who works for lunch and the occasional gossip fest.  I also have my Sunday girl who just likes to work with books as an escape from real life which involves a full-time job, school and motherhood.  I'm pretty set.  For the moment anyway.  If I was hiring however, these are a few of the things that would hurt your chances.

1.  I know I own a small used bookstore.  And I know that bookstore owners have a bit of a reputation for being a little on the relaxed side.  I would still encourage you to be fully dressed and bathed when stopping in to ask if we are hiring.  If I can smell you, and if I can see parts of you that one normally doesn't see in a professional setting, than I am not going to hire you.  Now or in the future.  The smelling you part also pertains to alcohol and marijuana.  What you do in your private time is what you do in your private time.  But if you don't even respect potential employers enough to dress, bathe and be clean and sober when dropping off your resume and asking for an application, than you will never respect them or their customers after you get the job. 

2.  Know your environment.  If I have to lock up the store cat in order for you to approach the counter to hand me your resume because you are afraid of cats, than chances are you will not work out as an employee of this establishment.  Many small businesses have unique quirks that make them stand out a bit from everyone else.  If that quirk is not something you are comfortable with than don't hand in your resume there. 

3.  That meltdown you just had in front of my counter because you've been looking for a job for months and no one will hire you??  Clue-I'm not going to hire you either.  Your little fit did not change my mind, make me feel guilty or make you look like a sympathetic individual in need of employment.  As a matter of fact, that little display made me happy to see the back of you and also made me totally understand why you are not employed already. 

4.  When I ask you what you like to read and you inform me that you hate reading chances are you would be a bad fit in this store.  Think about it.  If you're smart you'll figure it out.  Of course if you hate reading than you'll never see this anyway so it's a moot point. 

5.  And this ties in to point 1.  Look and act like you want to be gainfully employed.  Find out a little bit about the business before walking in and asking about a postition.  Stopping in after you tan (still holding your bottle of lotion in your hand) and asking if we are hiring (after asking if we are a book store [no-we're a tire shop]) tells me that I'm an afterthought.  And if trying to find a job is an afterthought than keeping one is going to be an afterthought too.

6.  Take "no" gracefully.  I know you are tired of looking.  I know you're frustrated.  But guess what??  I'm not hiring today. I probably won't be hiring tomorrow.  But...I may be hiring sometime down the road.  You glaring at me as you're walking out the door and than flipping off my store on the way to your car is going to guarantee that IF I am hiring in the future the person I'm hiring will not be you. 

These types of scenarios used to happen occasionally.  Once in a while I would get a job seeker in that would make me scratch my head and wince a little.  Now this appears to be normal behavior.  I can't speak for other business owners, but I will gladly work all the hours in my store by myself before I will hire someone who doesn't try to bring 110% to the interview process.  Walking into a business to ask for an application or submit a resume is part of the interview process.  It is when you set your first impression.  When you step into a small business such as mine there is more than a fleeting chance that the owner is the person you will be handing your resume to or asking for an application from.  Even if your first source of contact is not the owner, please be aware the owner is most likely on the premises.  And if the owner is not on the premises than the person who you had first contact with is going to give the owner a full report of your appearance and general attitude.  After all, this person has to work with you if you get hired.  And any good owner who values their employees is not going to hire someone an established employee had a problem with before the initial interview. 

Hope this helps. 


Someone who may one day may be hiring.


greg said...

Stumbled upon you and am impressed. My own brick and mortar went the way of many due to the increased cost of doing business. I still sell a few books online but miss the store. I do have a blog and would love to feature you and your shop on it - check out the Heavenly post for my first book seller profile. New GFC follower - catch me at blogtheeclectic.blogspot.com.


thebookladi said...

Thank you Greg. I'll be "stopping by" tomorrow when I'm on my computer and not on my phone. Thanks for reading.