photo by Thomas HawkAt job fair time we receive a large amount of resumes for our resume CD, that we give to employers. It is filled with resumes from job seekers that cannot be present at the event for whatever reason - from already employed to lack of transportation, to those out of town or looking to relocate. In getting these resume I cannot help myself look at them from the prospect of an employer receiving resumes for an open position.
In this quick post I wanted to point out some major red flags and some ways to make your resume more memorable before they even open it to see your great credentials.
The email address.
By now you would think you would have registered a free email with Google (even Yahoo or Hotmail) that consisted of your firstname.lastname@example.org or some combination. Yet more than half of the resumes come from emails like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (both made up emails). Your first impression is not when you meet someone in person, it is the first time your digital footprint comes into their view. So go, right now, and register for a free gmail account that represents you and your brand the best that it can.
Many people working at a desk job receive plenty of email everyday. More than half is junk, from coupons to newsletters to SPAM. The quickest way to end up getting looked over is to have a poor subject line, or no subject line at all. The subject line is there to serve one purpose - get the attention of the recipient so they open it. For you guys, get right to the point - John Smith's Resume for XYZ Position.
This one gets me the most, so I am sure HR directors just skip these types of resumes. On the job posting, in the ad or when talking to someone, there was at some point directions to follow when submitting your resume. Some are more direct than others. For our resume CD we ask for resumes is MS Word. When I see resumes come in from HTML, .txt or just copied into the body of the email I can tell that the person didn't take the extra time to read the directions. This sounds minimal, but when employers receive 100+ resumes for one position, the first to go are the ones that don't follow their instructions. If you do not follow instructions before you get the job, how can they expect you to follow them once you are in that position?
Not being personal.
Much like the last point, employers want to see that you are doing at least some minimal homework before you hit the apply button. This can be as easy as addressing them by name (my name is part of my email address), by company, position or other unique feature. Again you are trying to get their attention and stay top of mind.
As you look at the time you are spending looking for an applying for jobs, really ask yourself how much time and detail you are putting into the process. Your reward will be much higher if you put in the effort.
I look forward to seeing a bunch of you next Tuesday at the Orlando Job Fair and I hope you come by one of my presentations on the Internet and Social Media to enhance your job search. If you have any questions at all, feel free to shoot them over and we will do whatever it takes to put you in a position to land that next job!
P.S. If you want to be on that resume CD, please send a MS Word copy of your resume to email@example.com and I'll be sure to find a spot for you!
P.P.S. To register for the Orlando job fair, check out http://orlandojobfair.eventbrite.com