Release the Krakens…I mean Résumés!

When you send your résumé out into the technological abyss, do you ever wonder if it’s become dinner for some mythical multi-tentacle squirming sea squid in the job market “sea.” Or perhaps your résumé has gotten lost amid the clamoring of other résumés, for what other explanation really makes sense as to why employers don’t get back to you?

But don’t let that thought stop from taking a chance and casting your résumé out to companies. Many fishermen and fisherwomen are looking specifically for someone with your skills and abilities, however first you must tangle with the beast to get to them!

1. Don’t underestimate yourself!

More often than not, most job-seekers don’t apply for jobs they really should thinking their boat is full of holes, but sometimes we’re just not the best judge of our abilities so ask for someone else’s opinion when you’re on the fence. I generally recommend that if you have 50-60% of what’s listed, the rest is just gravy! However, you do want to be careful regarding the words “asset” and “necessary” or “must,” the “musts” are usually not negotiable.

 

2. It’s all about résumé diversity

With competition being fierce why be a common ol’ sardine when you can be an Ahi tuna?  By formatting and tailoring your résumé to the specific job posting you will show care and attention to details.

 

3. Address it properly

Call the company and politely ask for the names of the hiring manager, if that fails, search the company online or in the Scott’s directory (usually available at most libraries). If you’re still stuck then address your cover letter to the “Hiring Manger” or “Supervisor” and not “Dear Sir or Madame” or “To whom it may concern” which screams “I didn’t do my research!”

 

4. Don’t cast with an empty line!

I recently read that up to 20% of résumés sent electronically to HR managers can’t be opened. Amazingly, this is a mistake that’s so easily avoided! Unless specified, send your résumé and cover letter in one document and attach it to the email as a .pdf or .rtf doc. Generally, your cover letter should include a proper intro paragraph, so to avoid redundancy and for easy reading also paste your cover letter into the body of the email.

 

5. Key word Software

It’s invariably becoming more and more popular especially with large companies, basically, this software filters résumés based on specific information. To navigate this, use as many buzzwords from the job posting in your résumé as you can, since the more keywords included the higher up it goes in the proverbial pile. Also avoid using tables, graphs, unusual fonts and clipart if you can. The software is rather simple and will invariably turn your beautifully formatted résumé into a jumbled mess.

 

So now when releasing your résumé into the great beyond you’ll know to avoid the stormy weather and may even get a few bites! Sushi anyone?

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