As an officer of my guild, I’m pretty actively involved in recruitment. Not only do I canvas the ‘net looking for candidates when we need them, it’s also my job to review the applications that come in and mark them up with my little red pen. Although sometimes even the ones that look good on paper don’t work out, if you have a bad application you’re not going to get a second glance.
You may not be applying to my guild (if you want to, e-mail me an armory link–ha!) but every guild has a gatekeeper; if you want the keys to the kingdom, you need to put your best face forward. Don’t worry, gentle reader, I’m here to tell you how.
Before you apply…
1. Do your homework.
How much do you know about the guild you’re applying to? Do you know the GM’s name? WowArmory will tell you that. Do you know how they rank on their server for progression? How far into current raid content are they? How long has it been since they had a new boss kill? Have they completed Sarth 3D? WowJutsu will tell you that. How long have they been around? WarcraftRealms will tell you that. Do they have a good reputation on their server? Make a level 1 alt and ask around.
This is more than just peace of mind when it comes to applying to a raid guild. Raid guilds have big egos, and if you can subtly stroke their ego by saying you’ve heard good things about them (assuming you have) or are impressed by their level of progression (assuming there is something to be impressed about) you’ll make a good impression. However, with that said… don’t go overboard. Most reviewers won’t be snowballed by vigorous blatant brown-nosing.
2. Dress to impress.
First, evaluate your gear. Is it on par with the level of content the guild is running, or are you a bit behind? Before you rush to the head of the line do whatever you can to improve your gear.
Sadly, Holy Priests cannot really use PvP/Arena gear to fill in gaps the way other classes/roles can because it is so weak when it comes to mana regen. Badge gear, however, is awesome and having even a few pieces of it if not all of it demonstrates to the review team that you’ve put considerable time into gearing up and are dedicated to improving your gear outside of raids.
Once your gear is in order it’s time to give it a little polish. You should have good enchants for your helm, shoulders, cloak, chest, bracers, gloves, pants, boots and weapon. Jov posted a great guide to enchants here: Jov sez: You’ve got the gear, now what? (Part 2)
When it comes to gems, use the best quality gems available. Right now, that means blue-quality gems. Do not ever apply to a raid guild with uncommon-quality (green) gems or empty sockets.
Jov posted a great guide for gems too! You can find it here: Jov sez: You’ve got the gear, now what?
3. Spec for PvE.
Don’t apply to a raid guild with a PvP spec. Talents like Martyrdom, Improved Mana Burn, Blessed Recovery/Resilience and Spell Warding really don’t belong in a raiding build.
If you routinely swap between specs for PvP, Raiding and Questing/Farming/Dailies, try to stick to your Raiding spec for at least a day or two after you submit your application. Alternately, instead of (or in addition to) linking directly to your armory profile, provide a link to your preferred raiding spec in the Talent Calculator of your choice.
With the advent of dual spec, if you frequently swap between specs you should definitely consider sending a link to a talent calculator build. Maybe even one for each spec in your arsenal!
When you apply…
1. Write a good application.
Answer questions as completely as you can. Use punctuation/capitalization. Avoid “133t speak.” Use carriage returns. Format your response so it is easy to distinguish your answers from the questions; don’t just put a space after the question and start typing your answer unless you’re going to use color tags to make your reply distinct.
Be sure you read through your answers after you are finished. Run it through a spell-checker. Make sure you didn’t skip any questions while you’re at it!
Don’t be afraid to toot your horn a little bit, but try not to come off as overly boastful/arrogant. Your application may be the only chance you have to sell yourself, so make it count.
Last, but not least, let your personality shine. Most guilds are looking for more than skill and gear; they also want to know if you will be a good fit for their guild culture.
2. Don’t pad your resume.
Most reviewers can smell bullshit a mile away. When listing your raid experience, don’t pretend you have more than you do. Avoid making blanket statements for instances you haven’t cleared–don’t claim “Naxx” if you PUG’d the spider wing once, or if your previous/current guild couldn’t get past Sapphiron. Reviewers appreciate your honesty and candor, so try to be specific. It’s also important to make a distinction between your 10-man raid experience and your 25-man raid experience.
Your gear will usually betray you if you embellish, and We do not appreciate it.
After you apply…
1. Log out in your PvE/Healing gear.
Once you’ve submitted your application, make sure you log out in your healing gear while your application is pending. Reviewers will be accessing the armory to look you up, probably several times, and they don’t really care about your DPS/PvP set or your RP clothes.
2. Follow up, but don’t turn into a stalker.
Different guilds have different review processes, but if you don’t hear anything at all for 3+ days after you submit your application you’ll probably want to follow up. The best way to do this is in-game via whisper to an Officer or via Private Message on the guild forums. Do not whisper an Officer or the GM during a raid! If you can’t seem to catch them outside raids, then PM (or even in-game mail) is probably the better way to go. When you do talk to them, see if you can find out how long the process usually takes and when you can expect to hear back. Beyond that, try not to make a nuisance of yourself after going through all the effort to make a good impression. These things do take time, and if you feel it is taking too much time (or if a better offer comes along) you can always retract your application.
Ok, so now you know what you can do to avoid looking like an idiot on your next raid application. You might be wondering what you can do to stand out from the pack–trust me, if you do all of these things (or even most of them) you WILL stand out. However, for the over-achievers among us, here is a brief list of things that will win you bonus points with reviewers of the T7+ variety:
- Exalted with Sons of Hodir.
- Possession of a 2m PvP trinket. (No, you need not log out in it, just mention it on your app somewhere.)
- Possession of a (maxed) crafting skill that gives you a significant stat bonus for raiding. (Inscription, Jewelcrafting, Enchanting and Tailoring all have self-only perks that are pretty spiffy.)
- Honesty. Got a weak spot in your gear? Own up to it, and say what you are doing to fix it.
Have any other tips to add? Horror (or success) stories to share? I’d love to hear them!
(Big thanks go out to all of the folks who commented on the original draft of this article back in TBC. Your feedback helped me to improve this version while I was updating it for Wrath!)