I have had the pleasure of being involved with recruitment efforts for a very wide range of companies over the past 15 years. From entry level positions to C-level searches, it is astounding to see what candidates will submit to prospective employers. In the interest of goodwill, I have compiled the following tips to job seekers to aid you in your search. If you have submitted your resume dozens of times, and never seem to hear back, some of the tips below may help you to understand why:
1. Please use caution when titling your resume. "John White - Good Version" may lead prospective employers to believe that there is a bad version to your resume...one that shows a troubling summary of your work history, or perhaps one that includes employment records you would rather hide. In the best case scenario, your prospective employer will quickly assess that your discretion skills are lacking when the title of your own resume lends itself to such precarious interpretation.
2. Those red squiggly lined underneath your words mean that something is spelled wrong. Fix it before submitting your resume for consideration. Alternately, if you are unable to fix it, please take a course that provides you with the training to fix it, before applying for a position that requires a resume sans red squiggly lines.
3. When interviewing, try to hide the dark corners of your wicked soul. If you are a racist, sexist transphobe, do your best to quell the urge to share your deepest thoughts with a prospective employer. Do not suggest that the worst possible people in the world are black, FTM "transgenders" who may need your assistance. This will not end well for you. Alternately, if it does, God help us all.
4. Kindly read the instructions outlined in the job posting. We know that looking for a job is hard work, but if you cannot be compelled to conduct your job search in a thorough manner, it's a pretty good indication that you aren't going to be a stellar worker. If we say we want a cover letter, we mean it. Often, it's not because we care what you have to say, as much as we want to know if you are capable of following instructions or care enough about the position to bother to compose one.
5. Your education history should consist of what you have accomplished, not what you hope to one day accomplish. Including information for a program you haven't yet started with a graduation date well into the future makes you look like a liar in the worst case scenario, and delusional in the best case.
6. Please consider the requirements of the position before applying. Much like you cannot be a doctor or a lawyer without the proper training, you cannot be a vice president without having any associated work history. This is not "the man" trying to keep you down; this is reality. If you have never worked in an office, you cannot be a CEO...additionally, you are lucky to be considered for an entry level administrative position.
7. Review your objective before submitting your resume. If your objective states that you are hoping to find work in a child-care center, you may want to update that before you apply to positions that are not in a child-care center. Otherwise, a prospective employer just may get the impression that you actually want to work in a child-care center, and you are only settling for the job they are offering because no child-care center has chosen to hire you.
8. Take care to compose a resume you are proud of. Your resume is a direct reflection of you and the quality of your work. If your style of work is careless and sloppy, by all means, keep your resumes careless and sloppy in appearance. It helps prospective employers know to never, ever consider you for employment. If, however, you are a great worker and you didn't realize the appearance of your resume was important, think again. It is the only thing employers have to go on when deciding whether or not you are worth meeting.
9. Your reasons for applying for the job should be about the job or the prospective employer, and not about you and your desire to have a lot of time off or a job that you can do in your sleep.
10. For the love of all things holy, please use a professional email address. Sexymama24 or Bigdaddy6969 are not going to cut it. Sadly, those are not even close to the worst examples we've seen.