Up to this point, we must have received more than 10,000 resumes (easily!) over the past seven years of running our digital agency. Most of the resumes we receive are similar. Some are impressive, and the rest can be dismissed with a single glimpse.
Most of us forget the fact that in most cases, a resume is your first (or second, if you send a cover letter) impression in front of your future employer.
If you are applying for a job, please do NOT make the following mistakes to ensure your application makes the shortlist of the position you are applying for:
- Sending an email without a subject line – We have to go through 100’s of emails every day, and if your email is there without a subject line, it will end up in the spam or junk folders.
- Sending an email without a cover letter – A cover letter is your chance to make your initial personal connection with the intended employer. Extra points are given to those who have taken the time to understand what the company does and ensure that the cover letter explains how one can make a difference and add value to the company.
- Keeping the company in BCC – This clearly means you are sending your resume in bulk and hoping someone will look at it. It is important to remember that you are not an ecommerce company sending emailers to millions of users during your billion-day sales. More often than not, your email will be ignored.
- Keep the company in CC – Even worse than point 3.
- Resume in .doc/.docx format – I do not understand why converting a .doc/.docx file to a PDF is so challenging. Do you know that it is far easier to change a .doc/.docx file and misuse it rather than a PDF file? Please do not send resumes as a word document. The worst are JPEG/JPG resumes (Yup, we have gotten them too!)
- Naming convention of the resume – resume_1, resume_copy, resume_jan – This naming convention speaks a lot about your organization skills. Ideally your resume should have the word resume, then your first name and last name. You may want to complement it with your skill set or the position name you’re applying for. Your resume will probably go to multiple people and departments, and if you can make it stand out using a simple convention, it just makes things easier.
- Poor Resumes – Resumes are supposed to be short and crisp. You will not be judged on the length of your resume (unlike your answer book in theoretical exams). Try to fit your resume on 1 – 2 pages, state the relevant information, use proper formatting and refrain from spelling mistakes. Many good samples can be found online. Do not copy-paste your best friend’s resume. Chances are, both of you will not get an audience.
- Following up – Give the company some time before following up. Do not press the send email button and call the company right away to see if they have received your resume. Follow up after a few days.