Lots of people around the blogosphere have been talking about guildfoo lately, from guild management to structure to how to find the best guild for you; there must be something in the water lately. But here’s the thing: do you know what to do once you’ve found that perfect guild, built exactly the way you want, looking for exactly the things you need from the game? In my experience, a whole awful lot of people do not, and this is sad and also tragic. Even if you are absolutely the best #insertclasshere there is, no one will ever know it if you can’t get your foot in the door. And how do you do that? A stellar application.
Recruiting is really hard right now. I know it. You know it. Your dog knows it and your dog doesn’t even play. However, even with the dearth of good applicants, top-end guilds are still maintaining their standards. Some guilds are more accommodating than others and are happy to lead you down the primrose kindergarten path of This Is The Right Answer, but still: your application is often the first impression you’re giving to these people you want to kill internet dragons with, and it behooves you to do it well.
1. Research research research.
Even though this was (should’ve been) part of your Finding A Guild In The First Place process, do it again before you fill out your app. Read everything available to you on their site, on the forums, anything. It doesn’t have to be in-depth, but cursory skims to get the general feel of attitudes and how people present themselves in text gives you an absolutely invaluable reference point for how you should present yourself to them. This can range from the easy and obvious of not dropping curse words into an app for a guild that bills itself as all-ages, to the slightly more esoteric of helping you determine whether you should be all Srs!Bsns! in your app or throw in some Funny for color. Still unconvinced that you need to be doing yet more reading? Cursory research can help you avoid awkward social pitfalls like applying for a hardmode guild run by a woman when you labor under the misapprehension that Girls Can’t Play WoW, which never ends well for anyone.
1a. Corollary: the Eccentricity Credit
You should aim to allow something of your personality to come through in your application, but beware. You want to show them who you are, to present yourself as the kind of person they want to spend X hours a night melting face with, but watch carefully the line between “fun-loving dragonkiller” and “rabid crazed weasel on crack.” This involves what a friend of mine refers to as the Eccentricity Credit, and it keeping it in mind can serve you well in more facets of your life than just WoW: FIRST you convince them that you are hard-working and well-spoken and good at your job, THEN you can go off on tirades about real beer and lore inconsistencies and spammy pictures of stuff on your cats.
….Not that I speak from experience or anything.
2. Read and follow directions.
I know there are probably many words in there. I know this. But trust me, READ ALL OF THEM. More than once. Look, if you can’t follow directions in filling out your application, how are this guild’s leaders supposed to believe that you will successfully follow directions at raid time? They don’t. And, more importantly, they won’t. So reread your application before you submit it and make sure you haven’t missed anything, like say half of the required questions.
Some people have told me in the past that grammar and spelling do not matter on the internets, but oh my friend please allow me to tell you that that is a filthy disgusting lie. Even if someone tells you it doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t really matter to them, it should still matter to you. Don’t get me wrong, no one cares about a typo here and there, or something that’s written in a language not native to you, or anything else — but if you don’t know the difference between “there”, “they’re”, and “their,”
then you are a bad person who should feel bad it would serve you well to learn that difference and use that to show off how amazingly detail-oriented you are and how that reflects well on you as #insertclasshere.
4. Take your time.
Very little is more offensive to me as an application reviewer than an app that has obviously taken five minutes to fill out, or ten on the very outside. Look, reviews take a lot of time: studying your parses, studying your gear, studying you. So please, please please, do every reviewer in the world the courtesy of making your app WORTH that time. Use complete sentences and coherent thoughts. Think about what they’re asking you and why. In my experience, every guild in the world has some kind of personality question; in Apotheosis, it’s the following: There are four players, one each at the corner of a square, labelled A, B, C and D. Given identical latency and FPS, which player catches who first and why? Really, it’s that “and why” that should spring out at you. There is probably a question like this on every application in the world, and to me it’s one of the most important bits of information you can give. So, for god’s sake, think about the damn thing before you answer it. I know that you want to get your app in as soon as possible, especially if the guild’s app section is super-competitive, but taking a couple of hours to make sure you’re putting your best face forward will NOT hurt you. I absolutely solemnly promise you this.
And above all, the best advice I can give you is to find someone you trust and send your app to them to look over before you submit it. They’ll think of things you haven’t, and if they have clarifications, when they already know you, you’ll know what to add or remove to help strangers understand you better — and all of that will contribute to your success in getting this guild to take a look at you and what you offer.
Looking for a raiding guild? Apotheosis is currently seeking a retribution paladin, 1-2 hunters, an elemental shaman and a DPS *or prot* warrior. Are you awesome? We are awesome. Let’s kill some internet dragons together.