What are some marketing mistakes authors make

11 reasons why I ignored your application outright

Comments from the community

Dear Mr. Stahlmann,

Thanks for the interesting contribution. Since I am currently trying to gain a foothold in the field of online marketing, it is relevant for me. Most of all, it's frustrating. I praise those employers who still see their employees as individual individuals and take care of the hiring personally instead of hiring a recruiter for whom an applicant is just a pile of paper or a PDF file. An applicant is expected to have the highest esteem for the company, about which he should know everything as possible. Applicants, on the other hand, are seen more like annoying supplicants and are simply "deleted" based on superficial criteria. Sometimes as an applicant you just don't get an answer or an extremely insensitive letter of rejection. This is a pity. Especially when you consider that many HR professionals are psychologists who should be aware of the effects of such rejections on applicants.

Of course, I understand the concern that an applicant who has a thousand spelling and formatting errors in their application may not put too much effort into their later job. But typos do happen every now and then. No reason to reject a person because of it. One commenter gave the example of a dyslexic who probably had a lot of typing errors in his application, but that said nothing about his actual abilities. It also happens that non-native speakers apply to German companies, are they also screened out directly? When it comes to writing or editing positions, I understand that you are picky about mistakes like this. But why are these superficialities so important in a job where good ideas should count instead of good looks?

I also don't think that applicants can be asked to submit super-designed application documents. Unless it's about a job as a web designer or something similar. Shouldn't it be more important for an online marketing manager that he understands something about marketing, is informed about the latest trends, can think analytically and is problem-solving? In my training to become an online marketing manager, I learned that the motto “content is king” counts. Then why do you dwell on such superficialities? The applicant with the most beautiful application documents may have a knack for design. But what does that say about his marketing knowledge? It is probably the same in job interviews. Whoever slimes the most beautiful will be hired. I remember my school days very well, and it always worked well for the teachers. Those who could ramble a lot and well (regardless of the quality of what was said) got the best grades.

Regarding point 8 “You cannot be found on Google”. So you don't get a job if you don't publish your life on the internet? How sad!

To be honest, I find such articles by HR professionals outrageous and condescending. HR professionals should use their time to give applicants feedback on their applications so that they can learn from their mistakes. How should an applicant know whether he has been rejected due to a lack of qualifications or a typing error or because his application is "soo 1999-style"? They say the photo should be right. Modern international application guides say, however, that application photos are no longer up-to-date and only lead to discrimination (halo effect? ​​Racial bias? HR managers should perhaps still know vaguely from their psychology studies.) So what now? On the one hand, you should be super digital and modern and ideally a hobby web designer. On the other hand, you should stick to such dusty application rules and send a photo. In my opinion, you should also omit your date of birth and make the application gender-neutral (only the first letter instead of the full first name). about all this discrimination "female - oh no please not, afterwards she will still get pregnant" - "over 30 oh please not, you can no longer shape them and moreover did not grow up with the smartphone in the cradle" - "photo - och no, we only take blue-eyed ”.

Think about it….

With best regards


What nonsense, Gmail shows me that the candidate from data protection (which plays an essential role in online marketing) has not heard anything and simply entrusts all of his data to Google out of the tight-ness-is-cool mentality so that it can be read, analyzed and read can plow with advertising, even the first failure. AOL is not really up-to-date, just like T-Online, I definitely agree, but it is a mystery to me what speaks against Web.de, in particular GMX from the same company is not mentioned again.

Findability on Google, why? The candidate should market the company and not himself, and then also Twitter, hello, something from yesterday.

And while we're at it, of course, PDFs can be opened the same everywhere and in themselves a good idea, but especially with regard to compression, PDFs sometimes come out that a Mac preview, for example, cannot open, which is absolutely necessary the reader, a nogo for me. If the applicant wants to be hip, an RTF file would also be possible.



With the best will in the world, I can't imagine that this article is meant to be serious.
Feedback in the order of the "suggestions" (because there are no printed laws):

1. "You are using an AOL or WEB.de email address"
The choice of Gmail is already evident from the other postings: Google / Alphabet is behind it as a US company, and has a blatant lack of data protection in Germany. Of course, I can also use Gmail and have an unsuitable email address, such as "[email protected]", corresponds to YOUR scheme, because Gmail is not professional enough. What about your own mail servers? Do they fail even faster because it is an "unknown" provider?

2. "You are using the * .docx file format"
You haven't looked at other job postings for a long time, huh? Personally, I also prefer PDF as the file format, but the tenders seem to require something different. It may be because IT sets different requirements than its wishful thinking.

3. "You are sending files that are way too large"
I can understand that there are limitations for the inbox, but on the one hand these will not come through your own restrictions anyway (if the admin slept anyway), and on the other hand the mail providers also have a size limit, which is right from the start does not allow more than 25 MB. You also have to be able to slim down, with the indication that you can deliver more if necessary, if it cannot already be done at a meeting on site.

4. "You're making a mistake in formatting"
I find it very picky, especially because some tools zoom the PDFs incorrectly and 110% have misrepresentations themselves. Formal mistakes will result in unemployment for you, which is very sad. Have you ever looked at people instead of just looking at paper?

5. "You can't copy & paste"
What the hell does that have to do with copy and paste? Exactly: nothing at all! It is about the correct addressing, and not about "from the browser, into my document".

6. "You are using an unprofessional photo"
Okay, this shows that YOU live in the past, it has been proven that photos discriminate. Please find out how you really value people.

7. "You are using a font that is too playful"
Who determines what is "simple, modern and easy to read"? The only decision criterion should be "serifs" or "without serifs", otherwise it always depends on the taste of the HR manager what is "good". In general, it shouldn't be too playful, I agree with you.

8. "You cannot be found on Google"
What are you looking for exactly? And why, of all things, with the result-personalizing search engine Google? And who confirms that the entry is really from the applicant? What happens if the name is the same as another known person? Perhaps you can do it out of curiosity, but not use it as an evaluation criterion.

9. "You are sending 1000 pages of attachment"
A better heading could be chosen here: current documents, discarding outdated ones

10. "You are using a design from another century"
Not only do they discriminate against people who have no knack for optics, they let the form dazzle you again. It's unbelievable how inhumanly they propagate their approaches in the form of this article.

11. "You make spelling mistakes"
Mistakes happen everywhere, and even spelling mistakes cannot be excluded immediately because a comma is missing.

All in all, this advice was not worth my time, only points 3, 7 and 11 (and with a different title also the 9) are IMHO noteworthy. There is also a lack of very important criteria such as "which profession" you are applying for, after all, there are different areas of focus here. When applying for a carpenter, it is certainly not as important to master the design of applications perfectly as when applying for an advertising designer.

11 points, of which only 3 can be used -> not a great rate


Dear Mr. Strahlmann,

I have read your article carefully and I agree with you that special attention should be paid to the preparation of the application. Unfortunately, however, with your article you provide the recipient of the respective application with a certificate stating that they have excellent expertise in the German language as well as the latest "formatting standards". Unfortunately, I have had to make other experiences in this regard that there is no such thing as standardized personnel officers, clerks or similar.

It also takes a lot of luck to hit the nerve of the respective recipient in the same way as a good advertising campaign can with its specific target group.

In this context, I would like to note that despite having a completely wrong contact person in the subject line (reason: copy & paste), I was still given the opportunity for an interview. According to your article, this is completely excluded.

I agree with you to exercise the appropriate care, but in the end far more factors have to apply than just your points, for example whether a company is only publicly advertising for formal legal reasons and it is already clear in advance who is allowed to accompany this position. Definitely not one of the applicants.

Since your article should be viewed more as a personal experience report, I recommend that applicants in the supervisory board not view this as a general lesson. There are a few helpful suggestions that do not necessarily have to be posted on Facebook & Co.

With this in mind, I wish the employers the best of luck in their selection of applicants and the best of luck to the applicants.