Making Your Application Shine

If you want to raid, chances are you will have to go through the onerous task of filling out an application with a guild.  You can expect that more progressed or selective the guild, the more seriously they will take their guild application process.  Just like when applying for a job, a guild application is a way for guild’s to separate the good from the bad, and narrow down the number of candidates an officer has to spend talking to people in game to find the right fit for them.

So if you’re serious about wanting to enter a certain guild, make sure you follow these simple do’s and don’ts to ensure that you reach the next stage of the application process!

1.  Communicate Effectively

When filling out your application use complete sentences!  Avoid abbreviating unless you are using game specific, and generally accepted substitutions, such as OOM.  However, when reviewing an application, I much prefer Scourge Strike over SS at least the first time around — for all I know you may be thinking of Sinister Strike unless you tell me otherwise.

2. Display an Understanding of Your Class & Role

Yes, yes, I know, mages kill things and CC is dead practically dead — we all heard ^.^ However, what sets you apart from the 10 other mage applications I received this week with comparable gear, and perhaps, a longer record with the content?  One of the things that CAN set you apart is displaying that you know your class, and more importantly, how to integrate the class into a raiding role.  If you use the cookie cutter spec, talk about what gems benefit it.  If your class has a cookie cutter, but you have some “fun” points, explain why you put them there, and how they may benefit the raid.

If the application asks you to explain your talents or class role, saying EJ said so is a good way to get your application tossed, no matter how good the information from that site may be about your class.

3.  Do not claim you know a guild member unless you have a relationship

Talking briefly with a guild member does NOT a reference make.  Oftentimes, you will alienate the very person you listed as your reference, and they will flame your application on principle.  If you know that you have run content with a guild member be sure to explain it as such “I grouped with so-and-so for a VoA-25 pug.”  Just listing their name, however, is a bad idea unless 1) You run with them regularly (i.e. you are a pocket tank, dps or healer); 2) they recruited you specifically — if you sent them a pm and they sent you to the website DO NOT reference them.

4. Show some personality

Guild applications can trap you into yes/no answers without intending to.  Good guild applications will have open-ended questions, requiring more than a yes/no answer, but even if the application is bad, such as “Have you raided all current content?” try to avoid saying “Yes.”  Instead, list your current accomplishments.  Applications are more about skill — your prospective guild also wants to know about your personality, so make sure it shines through in a positive way.  Unless you are intentionally joining a known bunch of jerks (and even if you are) you probably want to avoid coming across as one yourself.

5.  Spell and Grammar Check

I’m just being nitpicky now, right?  Many guilds have unspoken age requirements.  If you come across as a 12 year old because you can’t spell or your grammar is atrocious, you may get your application squelched.  It rarely hurts to appear more astute and articulate.

6. Answer all the Questions

Guilds select their questions for a reason.  Sometimes that reason is too see if you’re dedicated enough to make it through their massive application.  Sometimes it’s to see if you have a personality, or are only about what you want from a guild.  Officers are often able to form generalized opinions about you based on your answers, and by not answering, you’re providing them with information — and it isn’t ever good.  Also avoid yes/no on questions you don’t want to answer — most likely they’re a test, and one you can’t pass by saying “Ya.”

7. Present Your Previous Breakup Without Anymosity

If you’re searching for a guild, its likely because you’re leaving a guild.  Some guilds still check references!  I’ve even rolled up alts on other characters to be able to talk to an applicant’s former guild leader who sounded to good to be true.  Being dishonest about why you left, or leaving your previous guild in a blaze of glory may come back to bite you on the ass.  However, if you are honest with your prospective guild about the who, what, why and how you may be able to salvage a little bit of respect and still garner an invite.  If you still have a canker of angst at a previous member, officer or guild master, please, keep it to yourself.  No one likes drama.

8. Check the Raid times

If you are applying to a raiding guild, they are going to expect you to raid at their posted raid times.  If you know you have a commitment every Thursday, be honest, and say so.  If it is not ok with the guild, it is better that you save both yourself and the guild some time by getting it out of the way up front.  If you do not mention any prior or conflicting long-term engagements, most likely, the guild will expect you to conform to their raid schedule, and you may find yourself looking for a guild again within your first week.  This will reflect poorly on you when you have to app with another guild and they pull up your one week stint.

9. Don’t forget the Tell Us About Yourself section

Yes, I already said to fill out every part of the application, but this is important, and the most skipped part of a raiding application.  No where else in a standard application do you get to display what a great asset you’ll be to your new guild than by showing your sparkly personality.  On my last application (which was very character driven) I used this space to explain my previous main was on another server, give her name, and basically summarize why I had a new character instead of a seasoned veteran.  I also made a point to state my love of pie… the pie really won me some brownie points.

You will likely need to do something very different in this area, but it is a great way to really make a connection to your prospective guild — be more than a name and some talent points — be a person.

10.  Check on Your Application

Once you have filled out your application, do not assume that your prospective guild mates will be so overcome with joy and awe at your application with them that they will come knocking on your door asking you to join.  Applications, for many guilds, is a multi-step process and involves the participation of multiple people in the guild.  Do not start bugging your prospective guild until 3 days have past.  If you still haven’t heard anything, send a tell to the GM or officer and ask for an update on your application.  If they cannot provide an answer, ask when you can contact them or the appropriate person again.  This shows that you’re interested, but keeps you from driving someone — who is likely busy — absolutely bonkers and causing your app to fall to the bottom of the pile.

Good luck on any future guild ventures!

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4 thoughts on “Making Your Application Shine

  1. Nothing I hate seeing more than a half-arsed attempt at a guild application. Doesn't hurt to spend 10 minutes or more actually thinking about your answers, showing the guild exactly what they're getting if they take you in. Of course an empty application shows that you may be hiding something, also shows that chances are if you can't be arsed to impress your guild with the application, you won't bring consumables, read tactics, keep up with your class, and so on. And also DON'T pester people. Constantly whispering people in the guild every 5 minutes will not fucking bolster your chances of an invite!
    Apologies, a few pet peeves of mine. Nice post 🙂

    • *nod, nod* I've been responsible for screening applicants in several guilds: as a class lead, officer or GM; one in particular I remember is a guy who every hour on the hour wanted to check the status of his application. I try to know a bit about every class, and my personal vote was *questionable* but I was waiting to talk to some of my guildmates about some of his rotation/gearing choices. However, after the "when will you invite me" bonanza fest of /tells I just put a "DENIED" stamp on his application and moved on.

  2. It always confuses me when I see a half-arsed attempt at an application. These are the people you'll have to put up with and who will have to put up with you for several hours a week. I mean, you want to do your best to make sure you're as good a fit as possible, no? Or maybe I just hate guild changing that much that I want to do it perfectly the first time.

    I kind of go the other way around, writing novels to each of the questions. I'm the same way with job applications in the real world. Then I constantly worry that I'm putting the reader to sleep or, worse, coming across as arrogant.

    • Well there is a point when you go overboard — and its generally when you start telling the guild where IT should stand. Otherwise, personal information in an app can ensure that you're actually getting matched up to a guild that will love you AND your deeps/tankage/healing love.

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