Responding to Job Postings
The fastest way to respond to Internet job listing is to e-mail your cover letter and resume to the person or organization indicated.
However, there are some simple rules to follow before hitting the “send” key. Look at it this way.You have 15 or 20 seconds to get someone’s attention using email. In that time, you must convince the recipient to
- open your email
- read your message
- not delete your email
Do it wrong, get into the wrong mail box, or make someone’s job harder, and the best resume in the world from the most qualified person in the world will be trashed.
Getting your email opened, read, and actually considered really comes down to some simple rules.
- Use the right Subject. “Seeking employment” is not an acceptable subject. If you are responding to an advertisement, use the job title or job code cited in the advertisement to make it easy for your e-mail to be recognized and routed to the appropriate person. If you are “cold calling” an employer, put a few words stating your objective or in the Subject line.
- Include a cover letter in your email and address it to the recipient. “Here’s my resume, please tell me if you have any jobs I might fill” is not a cover letter and does not encourage anyone to look at your resume. Whether or not you are responding to an advertised opening, the cover letter will introduce you, specify how you meet the needs of the employer, and will encourage the recipient to read your full resume.
- Always send your resume in the body of the e-mail message, not as an attachment. Force someone to open an attachment just to get to know you and your 20 seconds are over before they even start. Put that resume right in the message so the recipient will see it as soon as he or she opens the message. This technique also helps you get through e-mail systems that reject all attachments in this day of rampant computer viruses.
- Make sure your resume is properly formatted for e-mail. Plain text resumes not formatted for email can be unreadable, and unreadable resumes will most likely be deleted. Take the time to make sure it will look as good on all computers and in all email systems as it does on your screen. This means shorter text lines, spacing between sections, and text-based highlights.
- If responding to an advertisement, read the application instructions and follow them. Failing to follow application instructions not only delays your resume, it labels you as someone who doesn’t take direction well. It’s the Trash bin for you. They might specify an email address and job code to use. They might even actually ask you to send your resume as a Word attachment. Whatever they want, you do.
Always remember: It only takes a second for someone to delete an e-mail message. Don’t give them a reason to trash you! Think before you respond!
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