First impressions count. A lot.
Here’s the thing: When we put out a call for a position we get about 200 resumes for one position. So our job is to get through those resumes and weed out as many as we can. We want about the top 20. Now, there are a lot of things that might help you make the cut, but many of them are irrelevant if you don’t get past your first email. So, here are a few things that will make a terrible first impression. A lot of times we never get past them.
- Bad spelling or terrible grammar. I am sympathetic, really I am. I have mistyped, misspelled, and used poor grammar on this blog many times. But you, my friend, are looking for a job. It shows a great deal of either hubris, foolishness, or stupidity to have such things on a resume or cover letter. From a recent submission:
"I am a competent Tech Computer I have extensive experience in computers repairs, installing , updating and troubleshooting pc hardware and software, customer service, excellent knowledge of windows Op. system. and microsoft office."
- Nothing. Dude, you have a free shot to communicate with your prospective employer! Don’t send a blank email with an attached resume. I usually read them, but I am already biased into thinking that you have no personality. Because…well, you have demonstrated as much.
- A cover letter. I can live with this, but it’s a pain in my ass. I would prefer you use the email that you are already sending me. At minimum, make the letter and resume one document.
So here’s what I do want: An email with some personality. Spell check. A resume that is legible and to the point. That’s pretty much it. That will at least keep you in the game.