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Online Job Postings - Respond The Right Way

by Kathy Sweeney, NCRW, CPRW, CEIC, CCM

The fastest way to respond to Internet job listings is to e-mail your cover letter and resume to the person or organization indicated. However, if you mess up the process, the best resume in the world still won't get you where you want to be.

As with everything else, there are some simple rules to follow before you hit the "send" key.

1. Have a properly formatted e-mail / online resume. If you copy and paste the text of your designed resume into the body of an e-mail message or into an online form, and just send it without preparation, when it reaches the recipient the formatting will be such a mess it will probably be unreadable, and will then be deleted. You will need to convert your resume to an ASCII Text format.

2. If requested to send your resume via email, always send your resume in the body of the e-mail message, not as an attachment, unless otherwise specified. You have about 20 seconds to catch the eye of the recipient and to get him or her to read your resume.

If you force the recipient to find and open an attachment, zip! Your 20 seconds are over before they even start. Put the resume right in the message so the reader will see it as soon as he or she opens the message. This technique also helps you get through e-mail systems set to refuse attachments in this day of rampant computer viruses.

If the ad requests that you DO send an attachment, do not send .pdf formats, as they are not able to be scanned into an employer's back-end search systems. The format should be sent in a MS Word .doc or .docx format.

3. Include a cover letter whether or not you are responding to an advertised opening, and address it to the person or organization you are contacting.

Employers get a lot of unsolicited resumes sent to them with nothing more than a "here's my resume, please tell me if you have any jobs I might fill." Not only does this tell them you know nothing about what they do and who they are, but you have also given them absolutely no desire to open your resume. Sell it in the email!

4. If responding to an advertisement, always use the advertised job title or job code as the "Subject" of your e-mail message. This makes it easy for your e-mail to be sorted and routed to the appropriate persons. If you are "cold calling," put a few words stating your objective in the "Subject" line.

5. Read the application instructions included in any job advertisement and follow them. Maybe you need to send it to a particular e-mail address. Perhaps you need to apply through their web site using a specific code. Or just maybe the employer actually wants you to submit your resume via e-mail as a Word attachment. Whatever they want you must do. You don't want your application delayed because it went in the wrong direction, and you don't want to be regarded as someone who doesn't follow directions.

Just remember, it only takes a couple of seconds for someone to delete an e-mail message, and it will happen if your info ends up on the wrong desktop or if you make someone's job harder. Think before you respond!

Is your resume in the proper format for online job postings? If not, order here or call us at 1-866-726-9052!

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