In your job search, a recruiter or hiring authority has asked you to send them your resume directly. Or, perhaps someone in your network has told you “I heard about an opportunity you would be perfect for. I know who you need to send your resume to. Here’s the email address.” They provide you with the email where they would like you to send it.
Ideally, the subject line should contain only three things: 1) your name 2) the word ‘Resume’ and 3) the city or location of the opening. It should look like this:
Chris Gustafson Resume – Dallas
Those elements in a subject line tell the recipient everything they need to know about what the email is for and what it contains. There’s no guess-work or excess information. If there are any other details you believe should be included, I recommend you leave that for the text of the email. I recommend adding the city because all too often recruiters or hiring authorities have multiple positions in multiple markets. Listing the location is a very simple way for them to know where the candidate is located. It also makes it easy for future searching. Presenting your information this way prevents the recruiter from having to guess what email your resume is in or opening multiple emails trying to find the one with your resume in it. Additionally, if it gets forwarded, more often than not, nothing needs to be changed in the subject line. It’s already ready to go.
And another quick suggestion is to label (name) your resume with your name only; first and last. Don’t put the date it was last updated or anything else. It just makes things confusing. Ultimately, you want to make the experience of receiving your resume via email an easy experience. Who ever you send it to will want to name it based on their system so having a lot of additional information is unnecessary.
The importance of spell check cannot be overstated. Weather you are preparing your resume, an email, a presentation, or another form of business communication you cannot skip this step. It should go without saying but it is often overlooked. ALWAY, ALWAYS, ALWAYS hit spell check.
I was once preparing a job-search email, hit spell check and realized I had misspelled the recipient’s name. Had I not caught the error, my job-search query would have been over before it even began. In my career I have seen countless resumes and cover letters with typos. Those are the ones that do not make it to the top of the stack. A major and consistent complaint from job applicants is that they never hear back from employers after applying for a position. Many candidates would do well to go back and double and triple check there documentation. Their “hit” rate might increase if they do.
Once you have gone through the spell-check suggestions be sure to re-read your whole document slowly to ensure you have used the correct words (or have not omitted a word). You many have spelled “there” correctly so it will not flag as an error. But do you need to use “their” instead? Or “whether” instead of “weather”? Spell check won’t let you know that’s wrong.
Did you notice when you spotted the errors in this post how it distracted you from the message? That’s what those types of errors do…take away from the message you are trying to convey.
Have you ever had the experience of having to listen to a long-winded message and in your mind you’re thinking “I sure wish they would hurry up and get to the point and give me their phone number?” And when they finally do give their number – at the very end of a 3 minute message – they say it so fast you either couldn’t hear it clearly or write it down fast enough? Me too. There’s really nothing that annoys me more.
To me it’s a sign of respect. The caller ultimately wants something from you. They are not respecting your time because they are leaving long-winded messages and then speeding through the most important part. That means you must now consider listening to that whole message again. There is a cure for that.
And it all starts with you. When you are on the job hunt it is critically important that you leave brief, concise and clear messages. Do not ramble. But most important of all, leave your name and phone number twice in your message; once at the beginning, and again at the end.
“Hi John. This is Chris Gustafson at 972.555.5555 following up on the next steps from the interview we had last week. You mentioned I would be meeting with Sally next. I wanted to let you know my availability has changed a bit. I can be available anytime next Monday or next Tuesday afternoon starting after 12:00 noon. John, again, this is Chris at 972.555.5555. I look forward to speaking with you soon to get that interview set up.”
That’s all there is to it. Get in. Get out. Be professional. We will go into the anatomy of that call in later posts.