Following instructions counts!

If you apply for jobs online, this is a must-read. (Though I know this probably — hopefully? — doesn’t apply to my readers.)

Following instructions counts. Yes, it certainly does, and it isn’t that difficult, really. Not only does it waste the potential employer’s time reading careless replies, but it also wastes YOUR time, since you’re the one taking the time to send the application/inquiry.

Whether you believe it or not, it does make a difference in whether you get the job or not. Careless efforts and not adhering to the instructions won’t get you the job.

Point: If you can’t follow (usually) simple instructions for applications, then the employer is going to assume that you cannot follow instructions to get the job done!

How to remedy this? Read the instructions thoroughly before replying.

As the editor of a growing writing website, I can attest to some of the issues listed in that article. I don’t ask a lot of contributing writers, but the least you can do is use proper grammar, not chat-speak, when corresponding with an editor.

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I'm a wife and mommy first, as well as a social media consultant/manager, editor, and writer. I'm also editor of Musical Reviewer and Houston Theatre Blog.

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6 comments on “Following instructions counts!
  1. Mihaela Lica says:

    Good points, Julia. This was criteria in selecting the writers for a site I develop for a client right now too. What a pitty you didn’t apply. The announcement was displayed for one week on my blog. But I know that the winner, Yvonne Russell, will do a great job. 🙂

  2. Dana says:

    I always double check my query e-mails for jobs before hitting the send. I re-read it and then compare it against the advertisement I’m applying to as a “just in case”.

    If you’re applying to several jobs in a row, it can be tempting to just quickly flip e-mails with a standard template but some ads really do ask for specific information to be included in your reply.

    Good post.


  3. Spell check is my friend. Maybe I have OCD, but I have a tendency to write my posts/blogs in a Word document and (after running spell check) then I’ll paste the information into the provided field. THEN, I use my FireFox Addon to spell check again.
    I also tend to either print out the necessary steps or keep it up in a separate window so that I can refer to it as needed.
    Great post.

  4. johno says:

    I have received CVs and Job Applications and have immediately discarded those where it’s obvious that the applicant has not read/followed the instructions for submission.
    It may appear harsh, but when you receive hundreds of applications for a single post, you need a way to reduce the number to something manageable.

    So, the above advice is very good advice.

  5. Lori says:

    AMEN! I had to hire someone to help me with overflow work last year. I saw firsthand why some people don’t get the job. I asked for a resume, samples and a brief note explaining the writer’s qualifications. I got one that said, “If you need me, drop me a note.” Another said, “Here’s my resume.” Still another didn’t even send a resume. Only one person followed the instructions. She got the job and she was amazing to work with.

    It costs you nothing to slow down and apply the way the employer wants you to apply. Give them at least that much!

  6. arthter says:

    Hello! Nice blog you have!
    I’ve posted the information from it to our Writers Club forum.
    You can view the link here:;msg467;boardseen#new

2 Pings/Trackbacks for "Following instructions counts!"
  1. […] If you’re taking part in this practice, chances are you really don’t have the confidence in your skills to believe that you could get the job, and you’re afraid of the competition. If you think you’re doing the employer a favor, you’re really not. If the employer wasn’t prepared to receive a multitude of applications, then he/she wouldn’t place the ad in the first place. And it’s likely that a lot of responses that would easily be rejected, considering the amazing number of people who can’t follow directions. […]

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