Thursday, October 14, 2010

Job Search Advice from A Gatekeeper

I receive a ton of résumés every day at work because I manage the general inquiries e-mail at my company, and you wouldn't believe the kind of tonterías I witness on a daily basis. And as you all know, contrary to only child stereotypes, I firmly believe that sharing is caring, so I thought I'd pass on some career advice to all of you, from the position of the first person you have to get past to even nudge a toe in the door of a coveted position.

Some of these may seem totally obvious, but from experience I can tell that they may not be, so here goes:

1.) Don't send an initial e-mail to ask if there are any open positions or if you may send your résumé! Just send it in and if they have use for it they'll look at it!

2.) Write a cover letter!  No, really - many people don't even bother.  Customize it to the company you're writing to - you have to show your sincerity in wanting the job!  In it, explain succinctly why you want to apply for that position and why you'll be an asset to them

3.) Don't put your cover letter in a separate attachment.  No one's going to bother with opening it, especially if it might contain a virus - people can't be too careful these days.

4.) Don't send your résumé to multiple companies at once! That's so insincere and unprofessional. Also don't send your résumé to "undisclosed recipients." Keep both hands on the table, full transparency, and send your stuff to ONE COMPANY AT A TIME!

5.) Send your résumé (and any other documents you need to submit, like writing samples) in PDF format so they can't be fiddled with. You also can never be too careful.

6.) Proofread, proofread, proofread.  This one also seems like a no-brainer, but I've seen enough typos to re-iterate this.

7.) Put your name in your resume file name instead of just "resume."  If the HR person decides to save your résumé for future reference because it looks good but they don't need anyone just yet, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to be able to find it and distinguish it from all the other ones.

Those are the main, major, across-the-board things I can point out to everyone.  If you want any other questions or would like some advice, as always, I'm here for you 24/7 at thesoapheiress(at)!


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