Topic ID #5 - posted 2/10/2007 3:53 PM

responding to job ads... a few hints...

Jennifer Palmer

Apr 9th, 2002, 11:07am With a little digging, I was able to salvage this message thread from OLD forums. I thought it was important enough to re-post. As someone who was formerly in a position of reviewing resumes as they came in through the door (or via e-mail) to a CRM firm, I wholeheartedly agree with everything this individual has written...
Date: 3/29/2002
Time: 11:01:08 AM
Remote Name:

Based on recent experience, I would like to offer the following advice to those who are applying for jobs via e-mail.

1) Be professional
Treat an e-mailed job application the same as you would treat a postal mail application.
a) use complete sentences
b) use professional language
c) format your message
d) spell check it
e) sign your name by listing it at the bottom

2) Pay attention to what the job add is asking for
a) if no phone number or postal address is supplied, do not respond with a request for this information
b) if a cover letter is asked for, write one
c) follow the file format requests
d) if references are asked for, do not send a resume which lists "references available upon request"

3) Personalize your cover letter
A cover letter should say more than "I saw your job post, here's my resume". This is your preliminary interview. A cover letter discusses your qualifications in reference to the job posting. It includes why you are interested, why you are qualified (and possibly more qualified than others), and when you are available. A great cover letter shows that you have career direction and goals. Don't go overboard, keep it to the equivalent of 1-page.

4) If your background is diverse, modify your resume to the job ad
a) use sub headings to increase organization
b) include detail for previous experience that is relevant to the job ad, don't include volumes on experience that is irrelevant to the job ad

5) Remember that your e-mail will probably be printed out and circulated. Make sure it looks good on paper.


I'd like to add some additional pointers to keep in mind when submitting a resume to a potential employer, whether it is via e-mail or snail mail.

- Don't exaggerate. Having used a GPS or transit once or twice on a project doesn't make you an expert. Be careful what you write - you might just get called on it! Be honest about your level of experience or expertise. Otherwise this bit of stretching the truth may come back to haunt you. Trust me... I've seen this happen more than once! One individual who was hired by a former employer was constantly being "exposed" for stretching the truth on her resume. It really comprimised her overall credibility.

- Check your references. That's right, I said check *your own* references. Is someone still at the same phone number, address and/or e-mail address that they were when you dealt with them initially? It might not be a bad idea to touch base once in awhile... Have you asked to use them as a reference? And most importantly, will they give you a positive reference if they are called? We had one prospective applicant for a job receive horrible feedback when we actually called his references! This is probably rare but, still, it's good to know what people are going to say about you...

- Have your resume reviewed by others. One company that I worked for would immediately throw away any resumes that had blatant spelling or grammatical errors. Some of the most egregious violations would be misspelling the name of the firm you are applying to work for, the name of your alma mater (especially if it is well-known), or the name of the individual your resume is being sent to.

Post ID#19308 - replied 2/13/2012 6:24 PM


As someone that is going through applications at the moment, and has done so in the past, I would also point out that there is a difference between a resume and a curriculum vitae:
  • A resume is a brief summary (1-2 pages) of your relevant experiences, jobs, qualifications etc. as they pertain to the job at hand.
  • A curriculum vitae is a much longer beast and is, generally, a summary of your life (but still tailored to the job at hand).
Also, remember that the definition varies where you are in the world and what type of job you're applying for.  If you're in the UK and someone asks for a CV, generally they're asking for a resume (as defined above).  On the other hand, CV's for academic positions tend to be somewhat longer on both sides of the Pond.

If you respond with a CV to a job that asks for a resume?  Your application may be dropped no matter how relevant and appropriate your experience.  The person on the other end of the line might be looking through hundreds of resumes, so don't give them an excuse to drop it for a "silly reason" like length of the application.

Finally in this addendum, unless you're sending out a speculative resume/CV don't send out what is clearly a speculative resume/CV.  It might be incredibly depressing to tailor every single cover letter/resume/CV to each and every job, but it's terribly obvious when a generic response is sent out and not particularly inspiring to read on the other end.

Just some late-night thoughts.


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