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How to be a Good Recruit – Part 2

March 18, 2011

In Part 1 of this guide I covered some things that you can do or think about before applying to a new guild.  If you heeded my advice, you have now thought about the kind of guild you are looking for and what you bring to the table as a player.  You have shined and polished your gear until it could blind a murloc and now you want someone to send you a guild invite.  Read on, my stalwart hero!  For today I’m going to give you some tips about making a good first impression when you contact the new guilds you are interested in joining.

How to be a Good Recruit – Part 2: How to Make a Good Impression when Applying to a Guild.

There are two things that you are likely going to have to do in order to get a guild invite: talk to a recruiter and fill out a guild application.  You can do those two things in any order.  It’s also possible that the guild you’re applying to doesn’t have a formal application, especially if you are applying to a casual or social guild.  Whatever the particulars, the basic process is the same.  The new guild will be trying to determine if you are a good fit for their culture and needs, and you will be trying to determine if you will like the guild and will be able to achieve your gaming goals while a member of that guild.

Some of you might already be thinking that this process sounds like too much work.  After all, WoW is a game, right?  Why on earth should you have to fill out an application and impress people as if this were a job?  Well, think of it this way – the time you spend making sure the new guild is right for you will save you from all the time wasted if you make a bad decision.  Most guilds use their applications to screen out potential sources of guild drama.  No one likes guild drama.  It takes an emotional toll, strips the game of any enjoyment, and has the potential to destroy guilds.  You are much better off making the small investment of time up front to find a guild that’s right for you, especially now that guild reputation and rewards are part of the game, then you are jumping into a guild that ultimately doesn’t work out.

With that objection out of the way, let’s move on to the advice!

1. Some General Pointers

Here are some general tips that will serve you well at any stage of the application process.

  • Be honest.  Don’t say that you are available for any raid times you know you can’t make.  Don’t say you’re interested in PvP if you’re not.  Don’t say that you have more raid experience than you really do.
  • Don’t say mean things about former guilds or guild mates even if they’re true.  You can say that you didn’t like the guild drama.  You can say that you didn’t agree with certain policies, and even which ones they were.  But be careful how you do so.  It doesn’t make you look good if you bash former guilds, and it makes the recruiters wonder what you might say about their guild if you someday leave.
  • Write in full sentences.  Try to use proper spelling and grammar.  (Unless the people you’re talking to aren’t.  Then anything goes, I guess.)

2. Talking with a Guild Recruiter.

I’m going to assume that you’ve found a guild that you might be interested in joining.  Now you need to let them know you’re interested.  How do you start a conversation with someone you don’t know?

First, let me give you a couple of examples of opening lines you should not use.  These are both real examples from people who have contacted me about my recruiting ads.

“invite to guild pls” No.  Just… no.  This is such a bad idea.  The recruiter has no idea who you are and has no reason to invite you.  This isn’t polite.  It sounds immature.  The “pls” at the end doesn’t excuse the rudeness of this potential applicant.  Chances are, they aren’t going to be able to recover from this opener, and I doubt they’ll get an invite.  (Fun note: I once had the same guy whisper me this message three days in a row.  The first time I tried to find out more about him and he never responded.  The next two times I just said no.)

“What level is your guild?” To be honest, I deliberately leave our guild level out of most recruiting posts.  It’s a trap.  I’m waiting to see if someone will fall into it, and oh boy, a lot of people do.  This should not be the first thing you say to a recruiter.  It makes you look like someone who just wants guild perks.  It makes me think that you are going to be a freeloader.  To be fair, this is a legitimate concern.  I can understand that people don’t want to lose perks they have from their current guilds, and they may not want to be joining a brand new level one guild.  Fine, but ask this question later in the process.  Even better, tab out and look us up on the Armory or check the guild website if you can.  The guild level is right there.

So what are some good openers?  How about these:

  • “Hi, I heard your guild is recruiting” or “Hi, I heard that your guild is recruiting a _____.”
  • “Hello, I saw your recruiting thread on the realm forums.  Are you still looking for a _____?”
  • “Hi, I’d be interested in joining your guild.”
  • “Hi, I saw that you’re looking for a _____ or a _____.  Would you be willing to take a _____ instead?”
  • “Hello, I was wondering if you’re recruiting at the moment?”
  • “Hi, I saw that you’re recruiting and I was wondering if I could have more information on your raid times?”  (Or whatever else you want more info about.)

You might notice that all my suggestions include a polite greeting and either a statement of interest or a question about the guild.  That’s all you need, so feel free to make up your own.  A nice, polite whisper will give a good first impression and open the door for more discussion.

If you don’t get a response right away, just be patient.  They may be afk, in a dungeon, engaged in combat/PvP, or just busy with other whispers.  Wait 5 or 10 minutes and try again.  If they tell you that they are busy and ask you to wait a moment then just say “ok” or “sorry – whenever you’re available is fine”, and then wait.  If it’s taking a long time and you want to leave or switch toons, let them know you’ll contact them again later.

Once you are talking to the recruiter you can tell them a little about yourself and what you’re looking for in a guild.  You can ask any questions you may have.  (This is why it’s helpful to do some thinking about what you want before you apply.)  Listen to what the recruiter tells you and answer any questions they might have about you.  Be positive and friendly.  If it seems that the guild is not going to be right for you, for whatever reason, thank them for their time and try again with another guild.  But if all goes well, you may just get a guild invite, or be asked to go fill out an application.

3. Filling Out a Guild Application

Most guilds have a guild website.  Some guilds have very active websites that are always being updated, some might not have been updated in a long time but are still used for application purposes.  Spend a few minutes browsing around. Read any descriptions about the guild and guild policies.  Check to see if there are any instructions posted for applicants.  Instructions may be located on the front page, in a special section for applicants, or on the guild forums.  Read the instructions and follow them!  It will show that you are literate and at least a little bit serious about your application.  You don’t want to be denied just because you missed one of the instructions.

Most guild applications are a kind of form that you fill out online.  You’ll probably have to sign up for an account with the hosting service or log into a previous account in order to access the application.  When filling out the form, follow the general pointers I gave earlier.  Read the questions carefully.  Make sure you are answering the questions asked.  True story: Our guild application has one question asking “What resource(s) do you primarily use for information on boss encounters, class mechanics, etc.”  One of the answers we received was “i bring int food and mana pots and flask for spirit”.  The application was denied (for several reasons).  Now it’s a running joke that our food and beverages tell us all we need to know about the game!  Don’t let your answers become running jokes.

Also, a warning: Some guilds post any received applications to their member or public forums.  You don’t know who might be able to read your application, so be polite!  If you are concerned that someone from your current guild might find out you are applying to new guilds, make sure the application won’t be made public before you hit that “Submit” button.

There you go!  You’ve applied to a guild.  Now you sit back and wait for a response.  You may be contacted in game for more information or for a guild invite.  You may receive an email to whatever email address you used to sign up with.  If you don’t hear back within a day or two, send them a whisper and ask if they received your application.    If you are declined, try again with another guild.  The right guild is out there!  If you are accepted, then grats!  Tune in next time for tips on how to make your new guild thankful that they found you.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. sp1ky permalink
    March 27, 2011 6:36 pm

    “It makes you look like someone who just wants guild perks. It makes me think that you are going to be a freeloader.”

    That’s not being realistic. People don’t join guilds they know nothing about out of love. Guild recruitment messages spam the chat channels. It’s not feasible for someone to alt-tab out for every guild, when most guild recruitment messages include their level anyway.

    • March 27, 2011 8:45 pm

      I said that it’s a legitimate question; however, I don’t think it’s the first question you should ever ask a potential guild. If retaining guild perks is someone’s top priority – over the quality of the people, guild atmosphere, or the level of progression – then they are probably not the kind of person that we’re looking for. My guild is not hard-core, but we are selective about our membership and take quality over quantity.

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