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Jun 30

Sending Your Resume Via Email

Posted in Career Article, Recruitment, Tips & Tricks at 10:46 am

It used to be, back in the day, that the main mode of submitting your resume was the good old postal service.  Now, one of the most common ways job seekers are sending their resume is via email and why not, email is quick, convenient, and universal.  While this is an immediate way to respond to job postings and get your resume in front of hiring managers, there are a few things to keep in mind before hitting send.

 

Not all systems and programs are created equal and you never know what will be at the receiving end of your resume.  I’m sure you’ve spent a lot of time making your resume look just right and it would be a shame if all that effort went down the drain because your document is not compatible with the system or program the hiring manager is using.  They might not be able to open your document, and even if they can, the formatting may be off making it look messy and unprofessional, certainly not what you intended.

 

To help avoid that scenario make sure you send your document as a Word 97-2003 document.  Word 2007 automatically saves your document as a .docx which makes earlier word versions unable to read it.  Then there is also the PC versus Mac issue.  Mac users will not be able to view a word document and the same for Word users trying to view a Mac document.  There are compatibility programs but even then there may be formatting issues.

 

One option is attaching your resume to an email in a few different formats.  Attaching it as a Word document and a PDF helps increase the chances that it will be viewable.  Plus, the PDF resume will not be subjected to formatting issues; it should appear exactly as you intended it to.  However, I have heard from some hiring managers that they upload resumes into a database and that with PDF resumes they are not able to do that.  Sending both formats will give you that extra assurance.

 

You also have the option of attaching your resume as a text document.  To do that, simply go to save as and select plain text.  Plain text takes out all the formatting so you will need to go in and do some creative formatting to make it look better.  You will not be able to insert bullets or use bold or underline but you can use asterisks for bullets or use repeating ==== to designate different sections on your resume.  When using plain text you should make the lines of your resume approximately sixty spaces in length to enhance the overall appearance and reduce the need for your reader to have to scroll over to read it.

 

A little tip I always tell clients is to copy and paste a text version of their resume directly into the body of an email.  This ensures that your resume is viewable if for some reason the recipient cannot open the attachments.  Plus, it gets it in front of the reader right away.  Let’s be honest, hiring managers are inundated with responses and may not take the time to open every attachment so give yourself an edge by including it in your email.

 

Also, it should go without saying that you need to use a professional email address, your name or a variation of it is your best bet.  Save the cutesy or inappropriate email address for your personal use.  It’s not a bad idea to designate an email address strictly for your job search.

 

If a job listing requests that you send your resume via email make sure to read it carefully for any submission requirements.  They might want it in a specific format and that will alleviate any of the previously mentioned issues.  When using email to send your resume don’t forget to fill out your subject line.  A missing subject could be interpreted as junk or spam and land your resume in the trash.

 

If you are sending your resume by email to quickly get it in front of a hiring manager you may also want to send a hard copy by regular mail.  Simply indicate in your email that you wanted to respond right away to the job opening and will also be following up with a paper version of your resume.  This will keep you in the hiring manager’s mind when they receive your paper resume.  This isn’t necessary, just another strategy to stand out.

 

Take advantage of technology and get your resume submitted quickly by using email to give yourself an edge – just keep in mind the above situations to eliminate any issues that may arise.

Jun 24

Something an HR Manager Will Never Say

Posted in Career Article, Tips & Tricks at 2:08 pm

“Get me a candidate, ANY candidate will do!”

 I read a great blog the other day with the headline At What Point Do I Take “Any” Job? by Hannah Morgan, over at Career Sherpa. I think millions of unemployed, especially the 99er’s, have passed that point. Millions of American workers are underemployed (working below their skill level), or they are working part-time or in the temporary market. 

But, unfortunately, many people trying to get any job find it just as difficult as finding a job in their industry. Why? It is important for job seeker’s to know a little bit about how companies hire employees. Here are three reasons recruiters and hiring authorities do not hire based on: “Get me a candidate, Any candidate will do!”: 

1. The Perfect Fit – The first reason companies–small to large–won’t hire any candidate is because it is completely the opposite of best practices: hiring employees is about hiring the “best” possible candidate, the perfect fit. Talent acquisition requires bringing top employees on-board. And with so many talented candidates available today, hiring managers have both time and plentiful applicants.

2. Bad Hires – A top function of HR and hiring authorities is to to eliminate candidates. And the top reason to disqualify an applicant is that they are overqualified. If you are a programmer applying for a cashier position at the local discount store, 9 times out of 10, you will be deemed overqualified. It would be a bad hire, because the company would have to train you, and most likely, you would quit as soon as you could get a job in your career field. Trust me, (an ex-HR Manager), making a “bad hire” will not please the bosses. 

3. Employees are Expensive – For the job seeker, it is simple: they have a skill set and talents that they will exchange for a monthly salary. For the employer, it is a bit more complicated. They have a budget for recruiting, hiring, and training. There is also the “Labor Burden Cost” obligations beyond salary which include taxes, benefits, vacations, uniforms, overtime, and other perks. So the actual cost of employing a worker can cost the employer anywhere from 9-50% above the annual salary. Therefore, any candidate will not suffice. 

Even though many job seekers have already crossed the any job line, most companies will never hire any candidate. Focus your search in your industry (changing career or industries is a different blog altogether); or, if possible, look toward freelance opportunities and entrepreneurship. Think income, multiple streams of income, because more often than not,“any” job will not do.

Jun 24

Problem Solving, Passion, and Innovation

Posted in Career Article, Tips & Tricks at 1:57 pm

PROBLEM-SOLVING                                                                          

All bosses enjoy having people on their team who contribute to the bottom line.  If you notice your team members or even your boss struggling with something that might come easy to you, gently offer your assistance.  As you go about the business of doing your job, periodically observe the system.  If you notice weakness or opportunities for improvement make a note and get to work at finding a solution! After you find what you think is the answer, test it out. For example, in my job one of my observations was that our customers weren’t using our online system because it was down right confusing! As I worked through my tasks each week, I set aside time to “test/tweak” the system.  I found ways to make our system/site more user-friendly and appealing. I eventually showed it to my boss (in beta), provided the team with instruction on how the improvements worked, and explained why those changes were beneficial.  My boss agreed and we updated the site which in turn gets much more traffic.  The moral of the story is, find solutions, work out the kinks first and show your boss the benefits! This should minimally give you a positive rating during performance review time! 

PASSION

While helping to solve problems might yield high ratings, it won’t give  you a winning personality!  Passion will take you even further in the quest for career/professional success.  Passion for what you do will make tough tasks and long days easier to bear.  It will also keep you going as you deal with the sometimes mundane activities we all get bogged down with, like e-mail, reports and staff/team meetings!  Passion and excitement are contagious, you might even make  work more enjoyable for the people around you.  Focus on things you enjoy about your work.  More importantly, be a pleasure to work with and/or for.  When the people you work for, the clients/customers you serve always speak highly of you—->you are WINNING! 

INNOVATION

Lastly, I think that innovation is the cornerstone of business. It keeps the economy, industries and business moving forward!  What does that mean for you-well simply stated, BE INNOVATIVE!  More specifically, innovation is a quality that can manifest in many forms and in many lines of work. What I am suggesting is that you think critically AND creatively! Many employers report those two things as characteristics they seek in candidates across all industries.  A few simple ways to do this are to stay “fresh” and current, especially in technology.  Overall, find creative ways to make work easier, efficient, effective and fun for you, your team and your boss.