Responsible Job Searching

“Accountability breeds response-ability.” – Stephen E. Covey

In this employers’ market, it is critical for those looking for positions to take responsibility for their actions. Being accountable for your submittal, your resume and the information in it is an immediate reflection of you, the potential employee.

Employers are receiving on average 400 – 700 resumes depending on the opening. Immediately discounted are those responses in which the candidate did not follow directions. Just an oversight on your part? Maybe, but that oversight may have cost you the position.

In talking with other recruiters, here are some of the most common ‘errors’ that may knock you out of the running:

1. Your cover letter, or introductory email, is addressed to the wrong person, wrong company and for the wrong position. Attention to detail is critical here. Some recruiters will even respond to you, letting you know you made the error. Acknowledging their response, and resubmitting the resume is a great idea. Doing nothing on your part is not the way to go.

2. Providing the information requested in the job posting. If the posting says to ‘respond with #28574 in the subject line’ then do so. Not putting that in may discount you immediately as you either did not read the posting clearly, or chose not to do it. Either way, it goes to ‘attention to detail’ and ‘ability to follow directions’.

3. Not providing salary requirements when asked to do so. While your salary requirements may or may not meet that of the available position, if you don’t provide them upon request, you will never know. There is another qualified candidate who did provide the information and may be moving on to the next level.

4. Cute or offensive email addresses. Create a new email address specifically for your job search if necessary. You are applying for a job here, not trying to hook up with someone. Some recruiters, or hiring managers, may bypass your resume based on this alone.

5. Submitting resumes with limited contact info. Omitting your name on a resume is a critical mistake on the part of the job seeker.

6. When returning a phone call and have to leave a message, make sure you speak slowly and clearly, including first and last name, as well as your phone number. If you just say, ‘this is Linda’, they could have called three other Linda’s that day and won’t be able to distinguish who you are. Don’t give them a reason not to call you back.

While the ultimate decision is up to the recruiter or hiring manager, you can help yourself make it through the initial phases by paying attention and following directions. By being responsible, you just may increase your ‘response-ability’.

2 thoughts on “Responsible Job Searching”

  1. As a Recruiter, I greatly appreciate this post! I read resumes all day long and sometimes it’s the smallest thing that eliminates a candidate from consideration. I strive to get to the candidates that really want to work for us, so when I see someone that did not follow simple instructions, I assume they don’t really want the job. Thanks, Linda!!

  2. I once interviewed with someone who said they got “a million” resumes for one position.

    The weeding out process started with eliminating all resumes opened in Word that had green or red squiggly lines under the words. Even one squiggly line resulted in an immediate rejection. Just one grammatical or spelling error immediately disqualified the potential candidate.

    Of course, for proper names and such (which Word would flag as a rule), it didn’t matter.

    The next criteria was readability of the Cover Letter. If it was sloppily produced or seemed generic, it was tossed. He wanted to hire someone that was interested enough in the position to craft an introduction that directly responded to the job posting and company and not someone who responded in some type of boiler plate or “Resumes for Dummies” fashion.

    The rationale was that if someone pays that little attention to their first impression, what would following impressions be like?

    Also, if they can’t tend to detail on their resume (which they produce at their leisure with tools available to avoid simple errors), how can attention to detail be depended upon in actual work situations with deadlines?

    Just a couple of things to remember as well as all of Linda’s great advice.

    Linda Mason

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