It’s a fact today that competition at every level is fierce, especially with electronic job posting media. But, don’t let that fact stand in the way of putting your best foot forward when applying via email to a third party Recruitment firm like ours. In this article, we’ll try to provide you with a few tips on making yourself stand out from the crowd, and getting the Recruiter on your side.
- Do the recruiter a BIG favor and name your resume attachment with your given name, e.g. John Doe. Many recruitment software packages find it easier to have the candidate’s name as the file name, rather than “JD newest 03/03”. Even if the company doesn’t have a job for you today, it may mean the difference at a later date when they are able to retrieve your file and keep you abreast of new positions as they become available.
- Your cover letter is your chance to sell yourself to a potential employer as the best candidate for a specific position. As such, it’s just as important as your resume. In fact, you should never send out a resume without one. The most important thing to remember is that your cover letter serves a separate function from your resume and should not be used to repeat the details of your resume, such as work history, education, or personal objectives. The resume is about you, your experience and your skills. The cover letter is about what you can do for the employer. Try to cover off a) introducing yourself, b) your reason for writing, and c) your next steps re: calling to follow up by a certain date. Make it succinct; bullets are easier to read that flowery paragraphs. Send your resume with it as one document, not two separate attachments.
- Make sure in your contact information you provide name, phone numbers (home, cell number, etc.) and your email address. You don’t have to send job hunting information from your company email address; simply set up a free Yahoo or MSN email account, and use this specifically for your job search.
- Have your resume ready to go in electronic format, e.g. with the “.txt” extension. Some firms do not accept attachments, and in this case, you need to be prepared and have this ready to send. The text version of your résumé will not look as nice cosmetically, but everyone will be able to read it, despite what word processing software they may be using. To do so, simply take your completed résumé in MS Word, WordPerfect, etc. and use the “File”à”Save As” commands. Then highlight “.txt” as the document type, and presto! You’re ready. Don’t forget to name it with your given name.
- Follow up with an email or phone call a week or so after forwarding your resume. While many Recruiters try to respond to all inquiries, sometimes it can become laborious to get to everyone in a short time period. Remind the Recruiter about your background in a few sentences, to help you become top of mind to them. See if you can gain a short amount of “face time” with them, in order to promote your skills further. But, do realize the Recruiter receives many request like this on a daily basis, and has to try and meet only those potentially suited for active searches.
In our next article, we’ll provide you with some Interview tips. In the meantime, good luck with your career search.