Every job seeker knows that you often submit resumes without hearing anything in return. You wind up sitting by the phone or computer desperate to know if the human resources people have received your resume, especially since you can’t just call up and say, “Hey, did you get it or not?” That ambiguous call is what hiring managers are trying to avoid when they instruct jobseekers that the company is taking “no calls” about the position.)
Resumes are often lost or overlooked so while you’re assuming that your resume has been received and reviewed and that they have declined you, they may not even know you exist. This is another reason why follow-up is so important. You may wind up needing to resubmit your resume.
Fortunately, there are effective, professional ways of finding out if the company you’re interested in has received your resume. Finding out presents an opportunity for you to restate your desire to pursue the position and remind them of your qualifications and why you are the ideal person for the job.
Whom should I call? Figuring out who you should call is just as important as making the follow-up connection. You will have to identify the hiring manager responsible for screening and selecting prospective candidates for the position. If it’s a small company you can usually call the main number and ask anyone who answers to provide you with the name and contact information for the appropriate person. Among the options:
Don’t use funky pet names or inappropriate terms in the email address on your resume, such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Instead, opt for a more professional address, such as email@example.com. Gmail.com offers a free email service that’s great for professionals.
Avoid generic or vague phrases such as “looking for a position at a well-known company with room for growth.” Use the space to tout specific goals and accomplishments, and to tout your desire to work in a specific field.
Don’t rely on spell-check to proof your resume. While it is a great tool, it will not pick up mistakes such as “and” when you meant “an,” which is a very common resume error.
Gone are the days of simply mailing your resume, receiving a call, shaking hands at the interview and agreeing on a start date for that new job. The Internet has taken over the recruiting landscape and everyone is required to submit a resume online. While that brings greater efficiency to the process for employers, it can be awfully maddening for job seekers. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you know how to navigate the system.
Consider these 12 tips before pressing “submit:”
1) Search job boards and the websites of employers that appeal to you. Print out the job postings that you’re interested in pursuing before you apply.
2) Use a highlighter to mark the keywords and industry language used to describe the requirements and responsibilities of each position.
3) Compare those words and phrases to the language that appears in your current resume.
4) Figure out how and where to add the most relevant keywords to your resume, assuming you have the specific knowledge, skills and experience. Applicant tracking systems will search for keyword matches – the more matches, the better, which often determines if a recruiter opts to view your resume.
A new trend standing out in the job hunting crowd is personalized resumes everything from video recitals of your qualifications to business cards that will put your children’s fanciest art projects to shame. Before you invest time and money, consider that many of these gimmicks may help and hurt your chances.
A fancy production helped the character Elle Woods get into Harvard in the movie “Legally Blonde,” but the same luck isn’t likely for most of the rest of us. There are 4,000 video resumes on YouTube, and several new job search sites are host to thousands more. Some video resumes are very professional; others are rough around the edges, and some use humor to grab attention.
We’ve learned, however, that many of these video resume makers have not received job offers, despite their creative innovation of standard resume tactics. Beyond that, many employers forbid their managers from viewing them, since there’s a risk of basing a decision on appearance and theatrics, more so than qualifications.