Thursday, February 02, 2006

Get Your Resume Read!

Whether you’re sending your resume directly to a company, responding to an ad on the Internet or emailing your resume to a recruiter, there are some basics that will help you get your resume read by the right person. Take a look at these tips before you email your next resume:

  • Include your resume in the text of your email. Make sure when you do a cut and paste to include the document that the formatting is still clear. If you have bullet points or other formatting characters, clean those up to make the resume presentable in the body of the email. Attach a copy in MS Word as well.

  • Use only MS Word attachments. With the proliferation of computer viruses, many companies will either block or automatically delete emails that have .exe files, graphic files or any other type of file attached, included .zip files.

  • Although .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) is an acceptable resume standard, many automatic database programs used by companies can not read these attachments. If you are using this, include your resume in the body of the document and consider attaching it in MS Word as well.

  • Avoid fancy formatting. Companies receive a large volume of resumes and almost all of them automate the process of initially reviewing the resume. Information contained in a text box or as a graphic may not import into their system.

  • Don’t use headers and footers. If your contact information is in the header and footer it will be lost by some of the automated systems and the company will not be able to contact you.

  • If you’re responding to a job posting that has a reference number, use it. This makes sure your resume goes to the proper hiring manager for a current position and helps get your resume reviewed more quickly.

  • Don’t send an email with a link to your resume on the web. This requires an extra step (or two!) that many recruiters will not take.

  • Be sure to include a subject in your email. Due to viruses, an email that arrives with no subject is likely to be deleted without being opened.

  • Look over your resume to make sure that it includes keywords that would fit the job you are applying for. Automation has created more of a need for this since a keyword search often will be the way recruiters determine who they will call first for a position.

  • And the best rule: keep it simple. A one page resume that lists your accomplishments in an easy to read style is still the best resume to get the job!
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