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Application of an apprentice: How brash can a cover letter be?

2021-10-12T18:15:42.523Z

"Hello, hello, I am applying :) mfg" This is how a young man applied as a computer science trainee to company boss Daniel Merkel. Is that bold or completely okay?



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How relaxed can applicants be?

Photo:

Andrew Bret Wallis / Digital Vision / Getty Images

SPIEGEL:

Mr. Merkel, you posted a rather unconventional email from an applicant on LinkedIn and thus started a discussion as to whether it is okay to respond to a job advertisement with: "Hello, hello, I am applying 😊 mfg".

In the comment column, the opinions range from "disrespectful, cancel immediately" to "brave and funny, invite immediately".

What did you reply to the sender?

Daniel Merkel:

I sent the young man a rejection, but not just because of the letter.

We are looking for someone who wants to do an apprenticeship as an IT specialist with us, and he had no previous knowledge, that would not have been right.

SPIEGEL:

So you didn't sort out his email right away, but looked at the attachments?

Merkel:

Yes, I always do that.

To be honest, I keep getting applications like this.

If I were to immediately sort out everyone who omitted the salutation, commas, and upper and lower case letters in the cover letter, not many would be left.

SPIEGEL: But

spelling says little about whether someone is good at programming, does it?

Merkel:

Yes, that's right, and I'm really not a spelling fetishist either.

But how I apply for a job, in my opinion, says something about how appreciative I am towards others.

At least "Hello Daniel" and "Greetings" should be something everyone should be able to do.

If someone wants a job, I expect him or she to make an effort with the resources he or she has at their disposal.

In that case I got the impression: It was just too comfortable to worry about.

SPIEGEL:

Have you ever given someone a chance with a lousy application?

Merkel:

Yes, absolutely.

And I have to say we have bitterly regretted it.

A single trainee can bring the mood down in an entire department.

SPIEGEL:

What happened?

Merkel:

Agreements were not kept and, for example, work was not done without which others could not continue working.

In the end, it stuck with the colleague on Friday evenings.

That kind of annoys everyone.

Since then, our IT manager has placed the greatest emphasis on soft skills among all of us.

SPIEGEL:

How do you test them?

Merkel:

If someone is chewing gum chewing on the armchair during the interview, you don't need any tests, then you can imagine how he will behave once he has arrived at the office.

SPIEGEL:

At companies like Facebook and Google, employees are also allowed to work from a hammock.

Merkel:

Times have changed, I don't want to contradict that.

I used to get upset myself when our parents' generation scolded "the boys".

It is not the young who have to change, but the old.

But there is a fine line between changing yourself and becoming unfaithful to yourself.

I think: There has to be a minimum of empathy, humanity and togetherness, otherwise teamwork cannot work, not even in backend development.

SPIEGEL:

You can also be empathetic in a hammock.

Merkel:

If someone is motivated and wants to do the job, I'll be the last person to make regulations.

For example, we once had a great guy as an employee who did a great job but never said hello in the morning.

At some point I approached him and it turned out that he hadn't even noticed.

From then on he said hello every morning in a friendly manner and of his own accord.

SPIEGEL:

So some just need a little tutoring?

Merkel:

I have the impression, yes.

We have been training for 20 years now, and it seems to me that a lot has been lost in human interaction in recent years.

Maybe it's because a lot of parents of my generation are more buddies than respected people to their children.

I have a son myself and am trying to set the course accordingly.

It must be possible to be friendly and relaxed with one another, but still treat others with respect.

And for me that also includes greeting, whether when entering a room or in an e-mail.

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-10-12

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