Insights and Tips From Job Applications We Received at El-Shai

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Ever felt like your job applications vanish without a trace? We get it. At El-Shai, we recently opened our doors to new talent and uncovered something big. Amidst the emails, we realized awesome candidates were slipping through – all because of one crucial thing: the job application itself.

I’m the founder of El-Shai, and I’ve seen my fair share of job applications – some fantastic, some forgettable, and some downright disastrous. It’s time to spill the tea on how to stand out in a sea of applicants and craft an email that won’t make me reach for the delete button.

After receiving hundreds of applications, it hit us hard that we can never check every single application. Some application, even if talented, give off the worst first iimpression, and we’re here to change that – right now.

Get ready for a guide that rescues your application from oblivion and adds that spark to catch our eye. Whether you’ve jumped into applications or are still testing waters, our tips are your guiding light.

These tips are not just about El-Shai – we’re here to equip you to conquer any creative job app, with us or elsewhere. So, let’s dive in.

1. Subject Line: Don’t Get Deleted Unread

Your email’s subject line is the first thing I see. If you don’t mention the job title, I’ll probably assume it’s another generic email and hit delete. Make it clear what position you’re applying for to grab my attention right away.

2. No Blank Emails: Show You’re Interested

An email without any content tells me you’re not even bothering to introduce yourself. Even if you’re keeping it casual, let me know why you’re reaching out. A quick line about why you’re excited for the role can make a world of difference.

3. Stand Out with Cover Letters: Ditch the Copy-Paste

I receive tons of applications, and many of the cover letters look identical. Some are literally the same ones.

To stand out, make your cover letter unique for each job. Show you’ve done your homework about our company and explain why you’re a great match. Generic cover letters just won’t cut it.

4. Attachments Speak Louder: Show Your Work

For creative roles, your previous work matters more than your CV. Don’t just attach a resume – include samples of your work that are relevant to the job. Where’s your cover letter?

Sending an email with just a CV attachment signals that you’re missing the point of a creative application.

5. Typos = Trouble: Proofread, Seriously

Details matter, especially in creative work. Typos and errors in your email don’t bode well for your attention to detail.

Show me you’re meticulous by proofreading your email multiple times. Sloppiness here could make me question your work quality.

6. Read, Understand, Apply: Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into

I’ve hidden hints in my job posts before to see if applicants are really paying attention. If they can’t even find or understand those hints, it makes me wonder if you’ll understand the tasks at the job.

While in our last post, we didn’t have a code, it’s still important to read the post once, twice, and thrice. Read the post thoroughly and make sure your application aligns with what’s being asked. Make sure YOU want this job.

7. Requirements Matter: Don’t Waste Time

If a job post asks for specific experience and you don’t have it, don’t waste your time by applying. It’s like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

If you’re unsure, shoot an email and ask about other positions.

Be honest about where you fit.

8. Relevant Portfolio, Always: Get the Hint

Your portfolio should reflect the kind of work we’re looking for. Don’t send irrelevant samples and hope for the best.

If your past work doesn’t match our needs, take the initiative to create samples that do.

9. Simplify the Portfolio: One Place, One Impression

Speaking of portfolios, always organize all your samples in one spot. Don’t send us on a wild goose chase through multiple links and attachments. Make it easy for us to see your brilliance in one go.

10. Name Game: Personalize It

If you see a name in the email address, you should address the by name. Generic greetings make you look like you’re sending out mass applications without any thought.

Use my name – it’s a small detail that shows you care about personalization.

11. Passion Rules: Care, Convey, Capture

Your enthusiasm for the job should shine through in your email. If you’re not excited about working with us, why should I be excited about hiring you? Communicate your passion for the role – it’s infectious and can tip the scales in your favor.

By following these specific steps, you’ll show whoever is hiring you that you’re not just another applicant sending out a sea of generic emails.

Each point addresses a crucial aspect of your application, from grabbing attention in the subject line to proving your dedication and enthusiasm. Whether you’re interested in joining our team or applying elsewhere, these insights will undoubtedly set you on the path to success.

Now if you’ve already applied and noticed you’ve done any of these mistakes, feel free to reapply.

What do you think?


Written by Raghda El-Sayed

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of and the crazy cat lady your mother warned you not to become!

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