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Creating a Guild Application With Some Oomph

In my almost 4 years of playing WoW, I’ve had occasion to read a number of applications that had widely varying degrees of success in providing folks with a picture of who I am and what I am looking for in a guild. Too few of the applications got to many of the core considerations that help a guild – an guild members—determine what makes a good fit. But all it takes is a little bit of reflection and a few minutes of editing to give your guild application a makeover to help it better present what the guild is looking for while helping screen for guildies who are a good fit.

The Basics

At a minimum, an application should always include:

  • What is your main character’s name, class, spec and level? Nip future drama in the bud by having a permanent record of what role the applicant said they wanted to fill as well as who their main character is.
  • What are your professions and their level? A max level character without any professions trained smells like eBay. If the professions are confusing (tailoring on a plat wearer) or far from completion, it merits a follow-up to determine why (i.e. do they lack follow-through, they are confused about armor proficiencies, etc.)
  • Please provide your armory link. Yes, you could go search for it yourself. This is one of those ease of the reviewer questions that also gets to the applicant’s ability and willingess to follow instructions and do a little something extra for the officers.
  • Why are you leaving/why did you leave your last guild? People almost always lie on this question, or at least soften up their reasons, but there is usually a kernel of truth to it. If you know anyone in their most recent guild, send a tell to inquire about this person.
  • Who do you know in the Guild? Follow-up with those named to see if they personally endorse the application.
  • If you don’t know anyone in the guild, what is prompting your application? This question goes beyond tracking whether your guild forum or Live Journal or WoW Insider recruitment posts are working. If someone noticed your nicely geared 80s hovering at Krasus’ Landing on your drakes and app’d because they want to get them some, you may want to consider that motive and how it fits in with your guild environment.
  • What is your RL age? Or, are you over the age of 18/21? I personally hate the "how old are you" question, but some variation of it is good to see if the applicant is in the same age bracket as your other players, or if your guild has an adults only policy, to see that they are (or at least are pretending) to be old enough to join.

Applicant’s Personal Play Style and Expectations

  • What level of content have you completed on your main character (i.e. highest level raid, heroics, etc.)? Always good to see how they describe their playing background, and to see how it stacks up to their armory. Ask me about the applicant who said they had done "all the raids" and "knew all the bosses."
  • What is your level of interest in running heroics? 10-man raids? 25-man raids? And which instances? You want to see an interest level in line with their experience, i.e. not a brand new 80 without heroics wanting in on ToC.
  • In general, describe your perfect day of playing WoW. How would you ideally spend 8 hours of playtime? A getting to know you question to ferret out if their interests lie in instancing, PvP, alts or what have you.
  • What are you looking for a guild to provide you with? If the answer is free repairs, free enchants, and T9 and that's not how your guild rolls, at least you found out now. Setting expectations on what the guild will do for its members is crucial at the applciation stage.
  • What skills, accomplishments or other assets would you bring to the guild if invited? This is their chance to strut their stuff and share their strengths and experience with the guild.

Your Guild’s Raiding and/or Grouping Expectations

  • For our raids, we have minimum requirements you must meet before being invited. Those minimums are here [link]. Do you meet our minimums for the content in which you are interested in participating? If not, how do you plan to gear up to meet them? If someone is a new 80, and wanting to raid ToC 10, unless they are a missing link you are motivated to gear up in Ulduar to fill that spot, you'd like to see a realistic gearing up plan, involving badges and a serious heroic grind to get them.
  • We require the following mods and tools for our raids [list]. Is there any reason you would not be able to use them? This question is to identify the stubborn, those who will never be on Vent, and the folks who have 2fps in a raid.
  • Our raiding days are YYYDAY StartTime-EndTime. How often do you think you would ideally be able to attend at those days/times? Don't hide away this information -- let folks evaluate at the application stage if your raid days and times will work for them or not.
  • We use the Suicide Kings/DKP/Loot Council/Roll distribution system for loot in our raids and 1 epic/1blue/Roll in groups. Would you agree to abide by that? You rarely see loot rules on the application but a lot of loot drama happens from new recruits who don't like the loot system and seem to have not known what they were getting into.

Guild Flavor

Most of the guild applications I've seen excel in the flavor questions. What I like about them is it makes it pretty easy for me to see if a guild is a place I'd fit in well. For instance, if the application asks about the weirdest pace I've had sex, and that is question #1 on the application, well, it's probably not the place for me.

Since I don't know your guild, I can't give you sample questions, but I can give you some ideas on where to start:

  • If most of your guildies share some other commonality or interest, ask about it
  • If there is a running joke in your guild that involves an either/or/would you rather, put it in the application
  • Have a question that has to do with your guild's name
  • Do you have any infamous current or past members? Have a question on them to

If you build a strong guild application, that reflects what you and your guild are looking for in new members, you greatly increase your chances of recruiting members who are a good fit -- and who stick.

Other Guild Management Entries in this Blog