This is the letter I send to almost all applicants to help them improve their applications. This will increase the chance that the employer will take the time to read the applications and increase the possibility that they might get hired:
Thank you for applying to work for Alpine Trail Ridge Inn. We are closed during the winter, and will open May 1, 2012. J1 Applicants: For some years, we had good luck hiring J-1 Visa applicants. However, in the past several years, many things have changed and our attempt at hiring students with J-1 Visas has not been a positive experience on the whole. Therefore, our main attention in 2012 will be directed at hiring local people who can start when we open up and stay through the time we close, or as close to it as possible. Please see our employment information.
I would like to share some comments from my viewpoint as an employer's standpoint to help you make your application stand out from all the other ones that employers get. Realize that in past years when we hired more J-1 employees, I handled over 3,000 applications for up to 9 positions, so the time I can spend on each application is very small.
I send you this reply not as a criticism of your application, but only as suggestions on how you can improve your chances of being hired by anyone you send your application. I have had many people email me back telling me that after following my suggestions, they received job offers the next week, where before they were not even getting any responses.
99% of you are using the stock forms from the Agencies issuing your Visas, with perhaps a cover letter, and then attachments with your C.V. and sometimes an employment offer form. I can tell very little about you from data only, and because of viruses, I rarely open attachments. Virus and spam filters often take out attachments, also, and I never see them. It also takes too much time to go through layers of attachments or follow links to web pages. If you don't make a positive impression on me in 10 seconds, I send you this reply and move to the next one.
Legally, we cannot ask for your picture. However, your odds go up much higher if you voluntarily include a nice picture of yourself. For us, it gives us an idea of your personality, whether you fit our grooming standards, and whether or not you are physically fit enough to do the hard work of housekeeping. Save the picture so that it is not a large file. Best placement is a small picture up near the top of the email, so that your smiling face is one of the first things the potential employer sees.
What makes me stop and really study an application is an application which has the picture, initial letter, and CV all within the body of the email, with no attachments. Indicate your earliest and latest dates of availability.
You need to be a person of integrity and honesty, and that your spoken and written word is good. If it is a portion of your culture to not always be honest, but to say what you think the employer wants to hear, this is not the property for you to work. Always be honest in your answers. Dishonesty or incomplete information will always be discovered, and then the employer cannot trust you. For ourselves, we need to know if you are a smoker, because our property and our employee housing are both non-smoking. If you are a smoker, please do not apply. Even though a smoker is planning on quitting, in 30 years of doing this, we have not had one smoker who complied completely with the non-smoking rules for the property and housing, even though they promised with all their heart.
For the employment application form, include a link to a website for the organization which has the .pdf files. Or, you can email one when the employer contacts you with an interest in hiring you. Don't send a large .pdf or .jpg file initially.
Realize that because of the current situations in the world, Visas are harder to get and take longer to process. Don't wait until the last minute to apply, and keep a good contact with the person who is working with you on your Visa paperwork. Many of the people we initially hired in past years were not able to make their initial arrival date and we had to hire other people instead.
The overall economy has not been as good in the past several years, and workers are having a much harder time getting second evening jobs. You do need to not commit to a second job before 5 pm, though, because we can have some long days, as busy as we are. Therefore, you need to make your application stand out above all the other more generic applications those employers receive. Don't just give them facts -- let some of your personality show through in your answers.
Finally, send yourself a test email of your application so that you can see that it is received in the proper form and that the pictures are not too large and load quickly. I get some that take much too long to load, and sometime I get applications that
have nothing in them.
If you structure your application along these lines, I think you will see a much more positive response to your application to any employer. If you meet the above criteria, and would like to re-structure your application and re-send it, please do it.
Jay Grooters, Mgr
Alpine Trail Ridge Inn
Estes Park, CO, USA