Cut and Paste Job Hunters Discarded as Spam

April 05, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Media News
Online communication has created a lazy, “cut and paste” approach to job applications, where candidates make volume email applications literally spammed to multiple companies, rather than a bespoke, carefully-researched and well-written application. This is the key finding of technology PR agency Lighthouse PR’s analysis of applicants to the agency.

More than 75 per cent of the 245 direct applications to Lighthouse PR received during the last three months contained basic errors including spelling and grammatical mistakes, formatting blunders and, in the worst case, applications addressed to competitors.

Two thirds of those containing basic errors were from senior-level candidates commanding salaries in excess of £40,000. Less than a third of all applicants had bothered to include a covering letter.

Nearly half of applicants made multiple identical email applications, with the most prolific applicant submitting their CV nine times in a period of 13 days for the same role.

“Spam won’t get you a job, particularly if it’s error-ridden. Although we live and work in an era of digital communications, if you really want to get an employer’s attention send a neatly typed – and personalised - letter enclosing your CV,” said Louise Parkes, managing director, Lighthouse PR.

“This is basic stuff – proofing and grammar are fundamental skills to any PR professional. But, worryingly, Lighthouse PR found that the most senior applicants were the most likely to get it wrong. This points to a severe lack of quality, mid-level technology sector PR people presently active on the job market.”

Amongst the most bizarre applications received by Lighthouse PR are a podcast, soft porn photos of the applicant that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a lads’ magazine, and teaser campaigns where the candidate sent items of underwear over the course of a week. Four per cent of applicants admitted that the candidate had either faced disciplinary action or been sacked from a previous role. Peculiar pastimes cited included: ‘Wicka and Occult Magik’, ‘Nudity and Naturalism’, ‘Ferret-legging’ and ‘Cheese Rolling’.

Lighthouse PR launched a recruitment drive in November 2006 using online advertisements on the PR Week web site, with an average of four applications per day received in the first quarter of 2007. Applications from January to March 2007 inclusive were analysed in the study.

For further information and Lighthouse PR’s Top Ten Tips guide to PR job applications, visit:

Stuart Marks
Lighthouse PR
020 7494 6577