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How NOT to apply for a Flex job

Posted: May 20, 2011

Recently, we ran an article on writing your resume after a career break, with some very useful tips gleaned from HR and recruitment consultants. If you haven’t read that yet, you should. We’re also been covering at Women’s Web the rising interest in flexible work opportunities that allow people to build their work in a way compatible with their personal needs. Mothers are at the forefront of this trend.

But, in the quest for flexibility, it’s important not to forget that no job is just about Flex. Every job is ultimately about matching your skills and abilities to do something that an organisation needs – whether it is answering the telephone or making million-dollar deals.

Recently, I advertised to hire Women’s Web’s first employee (well, second actually, the first being me!) and the specs made it clear that the job would be on fairly flexible terms. With no offense to anyone who applied, it was sad to see the number of women who applied simply stating that they needed a flex job.

But here’s the thing. What I need is a talented writer. What I need is someone passionate about helping women. What I need is someone fascinated by social media. Flexibility is just something the role happens to offer – that is not what it is defined by.

Unfortunately, I’ve received one cover letter and resume after another telling me very little about any of these skills or interests, but stating that the applicant needs a flexible job in order to care for her children. Please don’t get me wrong – I am not one of those who believe that women ought to hide their motherhood to get ahead in their careers. Not at all. I applaud every woman who does a fantastic job of this dual responsibility.

But ladies, do remember – even if you’re looking out for a flex job, it’s still a job. With responsibilities just like a “regular job” – except that you may not have to sit at a desk 9 to 5.  Companies will hire you only if they see what you bring to them. Don’t tell the employer why you need the job – show them why they need you!

p.s. For all who applied with relevant credentials and work samples, we’ll be getting back to you soon – thank you.

Founder & Chief Editor of Women's Web, Aparna believes in the power of ideas

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How To Combine Career With Motherhood

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