Living & Working in Great Places
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I remember when I first started looking for a job. I was young, fresh out of college, and needed some sort of income to get a place to live and provide for myself.
And I was desperate.
I have an enormous debt to pay in the form of tuition fees and money that had borrowed from countless people so I could eat.
As you know, desperation isn’t a great counselor, neither inexperience.
So what I did was to print out several copies of what I used to call my resume and just leave it in every single place I could find.
Eventually, I got a job, but it wasn’t a good one. Definitely not one that would help me to pay my debt.
Actually, took me ages to figure out what I was doing wrong, and then get a decent job.
But, I learned a lot from it about how to send a resume to employers. And I am going to share it with you.
Tip # 1 – Tailor every resume to each employer
My first mistake was to send the very same resume to each company I got myself a way in. And it didn’t help me to get a job, not even an interview, for the following reasons:
When someone is looking for a new person for their team, they have an ideal persona in mind. And to find it, they want you to answer some questions to check if you can meet that expectation. But a resume that was written addressed to everybody, and nobody, in particular, won’t accomplish it.
One thing that you probably have heard about a job search is that companies want to hire to people eager to join them specifically. And people who know what they are good at and confident enough to fight for a decent position. And when you send a pre-made resume, you are saying that you are just looking for any job anywhere - exactly the opposite.
If you have a lot to say about yourself, you will need to choose what you are going to add on your CV. It can’t be too long, as you know. But if you were capable of creating one single resume that can suit any job in any company, the message that you are delivering is that you probably got nothing else to say beyond it. Or worse, that you have no idea about what else you could offer to the company.
So, yes, edit your CV and make it shine on that particular employer’s eyes.
Tip # 2 – Find out the best way to deliver your resume
Nowadays, very few reputable people enjoy receiving print resumes. Most of them count with their own online system to archive them, so they can search them when necessary much more efficiently.
And you can be 100% sure that nobody will bother typing your CV out just because they think you are nice. So, before stopping by to drop your resume, give them a call and ask how they prefer to receive their CVs. If they still get it printed out, then go for it.
But if they want it online, there are two scenarios that you might be facing:
If you are prompted to send your CV to an e-mail, check the address before hanging the phone. Is it a general e-mail, such as email@example.com, or a firstname.lastname@example.org?
If so, try and ask them for the direct e-mail of the human resources department or whoever will be responsible for checking your resume. Make sure that you also have the person’s name and job title correctly and also ask which time the day is best to send it.
But if they don’t give it to you, ask them what you should write in the subject line, so your CV won’t be lost in the middle of several unrelated enquiries.
In the scenario where the company has their own recruitment system, they might tell you to access their website and find a Career or Work with Us section. There, you will fill a form, which will pretty much look like your CV and, possibly answer some questions.
In this case, you should be very conscious about your choice of words. When someone decides to have a look at the available resumes for a particular position, they will type some words in a search bar.
And it means that your form will be “read” by an applicant tracking software first, a type of search engines deal with keywords. And you can be sure that the one you will be dealing at the moment isn’t as smart as Google.
So make sure that you choose the right words when you are filling the form. Have a look at the company’s website and LinkedIn profile to find out how they call and describe what you do. It will give you insights about what they might type into that search bar.
And just one more thing: in any case, attach your resume as a PDF file. If you don’t have it, learn how to convert a doc file to a PDF, but don’t think that everybody uses Microsoft Office just because you do.
Tip # 3 – Remember to follow up
Last but not least, after sending your resume, remember to follow it up. You should ensure that it was received correctly and that it arrived in the hands of the right person. It will also give you an opportunity to prove how much you are interested in the job.
It is OK if you can’t talk to the person in charge. But you should try and chat to their personal assistant or secretary. You have no idea how much these people can influence the decision of an overwhelmed director nowadays.
Writing your resume is something that you put a lot of effort. So the same effort should be addressed to how you will deliver it. And here information is crucial.
So don’t be shy and call the company of your dreams. Ask them what you should do and how. Most of the time, you will get the help that you need. And if you don’t, it might be a good reason to start considering other job opportunities.