marketing + web
Recently, I had the opportunity to help a client with their search for a Project Manager. In doing so, I fielded dozens of resumes, and interacted with close to a hundred interested parties. Drawing from that experience, I’ve come up with a few tips to help job seekers differentiate themselves from the pack.
I can’t stress this enough. If you are only applying for work in one specific position, your resume is probably fine. If, like the other 99% of job seekers you’re looking at more than one industry or role, create a custom resume for each position. While your experiences might stay the same, your impact and the relevance of your experiences can be highlighted differently for each potential employer. Read the job listing, consider how your experiences color your skills and perspective, and craft a resume for each major job type you are considering. This might mean having three resumes, it might mean having ten. Either way, it is important to recognize that while your history doesn’t change, the way that you portray your experiences can deeply impact how your resume is received. This brings me to my next point…
I can’t tell you how many files I received named “Resume.pdf” or something similar. This does not work. If I have 20 resumes in my Downloads folder, and five of them are named Resume.doc, I am going to be frustrated. While I’m a great guy, and of course take the time to append names to each file, a lesser HR monkey might not do the same. Name you files something like “John Q Genius – Resume.pdf”. Adding a date in gets you extra brownie points too, at least with me. If you happen to follow Tip #1, don’t also include the style of the resume you wrote in the filename. Don’t send “Suzy Social’s ResumeForCrappyMarketingJobs.pdf”.
If you don’t tell me when you’re available, I either have to send you an email to ask about it and then append it to your resume and make a note somewhere, or I can just not ask, and not care, and never review it or call you. One of these choices is way easier than the other. When you’re getting dozens of emails a day that need responses, easy just feels right.
This absolutely kills me. If you email me your resume in plain text in the body of an email, what do you expect me to do with that? Should I print the email and put it in the stack of printed resumes which doesn’t exist because it is 2012? Perhaps you would rather me copy/paste it into a document for you. Would you like me to format it as well? Could I interest you in some sauteed summer squash from my garden while you wait? Not happening, buster brown. Send a file, and if it isn’t .doc or .pdf, save your effort. I guess .rtf is okay, but if you send me a .txt file, a .jpg, a .tiff, or a .somecrazyApplefileformat I will not open it.
Don’t ask questions that are answered in the description, and don’t ask for information that is publicly available on the company’s web site. It isn’t that I’m mean, it’s that I’m lazy and busy, a terrible combo. If you want to know who the President of the company is, use some internet skills and figure it out. Don’t worry, I’ll respond to your questions, but you’re more likely to get something like this than an actual answer.
That’s it. We’ve addressed some resume and interview stuff here before, and will continue to do so. We believe it is important for those of us fortunate enough to have jobs in this economy to help others find their dream job too. As always, feel free to contact me or anyone else at Baby Robot with your questions, and we’ll be more than glad to keep our ears to the ground for an opportunity that could work for you.