Posts tagged ‘cover letter’

Follow up Thoughts on “Why Your Resume is Getting Passed Over When You Apply Online”

Carolyn ThumbnailPenned by Carolyn

I’ve gotten some great feedback and questions in response to the post on 3 Reasons Why Your Resume is Being Passed Over When You Apply Online.

In response to the questions we’ve received, here’s a closer look:

Is it preferred and OK to attached the cover letter as the first page of the resume?

Yes and no. To qualify what I wrote last time (that you should put your cover letter into the body of your email), I would do so and then attach a copy of your cover letter below your resume, as the second attachment. That way it will also go on to your automatic file (depending on the back-end system the company is using).

As for combining the two documents, avoid it at all costs. It’s cumbersome, and where employers are making quick judgments based on a glance at your resume, having to scroll past a 1pg cover letter may be just enough of an annoyance for them to overlook your application entirely.

Is it an acceptable format to convert the Word document into a PDF when asked to include an attachment?

PDF certainly looks cleaner and you can make sure the formatting won’t get screwed up when someone opens your resume with a different version of Word.

My only hesitation is that some back-end systems have trouble parsing PDFs correctly, or creating “previews” of these documents for the recruiter to easily glance at. However, if a company or recruiter prefers one type of file to the other, they’ll probably specify, so just read the instructions and do what seems appropriate.

What if you’ve been heeding these recommendations since day 1 and you still never get any job interviews?

Unfortunately, following these guidelines for submission of your resume doesn’t necessarily mean that the content of your resume is what the company or recruiter is looking for – it just makes the resume and application more likely to be read and properly judged.

As for content of your resume and formatting, check out the Jobseekers section on our site for tips and guides.

Have more questions? Post them here and we’ll respond.


May 26, 2009 at 4:36 pm Leave a comment

Bright Green Talent’s Do’s and Don’ts of Cover Letters

We just started using Scribd to post our documents, such as a sample resume and our extensive interview preparation packet. Log in to our Greenhouse to access the others!

View this document on Scribd

May 20, 2009 at 7:45 pm Leave a comment

3 Reasons Your Resume is Getting Passed Over When You Apply Online

Carolyn ThumbnailPenned by Carolyn

As impersonal, anonymous and frustrating as it feels to apply for jobs online, most companies can only process resumes that come in this way.

Hence, here are three reasons your resume might be getting passed over, and how to fight back:

  1. The mistake: Your cover letter is an attachment. The remedy: If you’re applying by email, copy and paste your cover letter into the body of an email rather than having it as a separate document. Not only is it more likely to be read, but some automated resume systems will just grab the first attachment on your email and parse that — so you want to make sure it’s your resume that’s making it into the system. Check out our Greenhouse for “Do’s and Don’ts of Cover Letters” as well as some samples to work from.
  2. The mistake: Your email address is ridiculous. It’s cool if your email address that you use with friends is “sk8rrrgurl1331” or “babysealclubber” (and yes, we’ve seen that username), but when we receive applications from these types of addresses, it’s hard to take the person seriously as a candidate. The remedy: If you need to, create a more serious email address to use for job applications.
  3. The mistake: the title of your resume or cover letter document is ridiculous or irrelevant, a la “MansfieldResume_EDITEDVERSION4 5-5-09.doc,” “BEST CANDIDATE FOR THE JOB MANSFIELD RESUME.doc,” or worse, “Mansfield Generic Resume.doc.” As for your cover letter, make sure it’s not “Mansfield Generic Cover Letter.doc”… you might as well title it “I took less than 2 minutes to consider and apply for this job.” If you obviously don’t care about the position, the hiring manager isn’t going to waste their time reading your resume. The remedy: You ARE tailoring your resume and cover letter to each position you’re applying to, right? Make sure the title reflects that – such as “Mansfield Bright Green Resume” or “Mansfield Cover Letter – Bright Green Talent.” Getting your name in there is important, too, so people can pull your resume back up easily.

May 6, 2009 at 6:55 pm 9 comments

Green Job Search Tip: Quality over Quantity to Keep your Sanity

Christina headshotPenned by Christina

As applicants feel more and more desperate in applying to jobs, the old adage about quality over quantity holds truer than ever.  As you job search, consider that it is better to narrow your search to those positions that you are really interested AND those that you are actually qualified for.

These days, most positions are being filled with those that hit all the requirements and then some. I most certainly believe in aiming high and definitely don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but being realistic about positions in the current job market will save you effort and should better your chances of getting the positions that you do apply for.

Consider a couple points to keep in mind as you’re searching:

  • Do you fit the job description? If the job description lists 3-5 years experience of Smart Grid technology as a requirement and you are just graduating from undergrad, that is likely not a good match for you and by applying you may come across as lacking judgment. (Certainly, an unfortunate biproduct.)
  • If you do fit, make it obvious!  Trying to match your background to the requirements shouldn’t be a game of memory for the hiring manager.  The less work you create for him, the better the chances that your resume will be read closely.  Mapping your skills to the job requirements is important – see Raj’s previous post.  You can do this well by really understanding what the position entails which yes, will require research, networking, etc.
  • Keep cover letters short and applicable.  Again, this is a great place to highlight specifically how your background matches the requirements to be successful in the position, but if it’s too long, the reader will skim and value will be lost.

Next week: how to narrow and maximize your networking.

If you want to learn more about this in a personalized career coaching session, let us know – we’d be happy to help!

3Happy St. Patty’s Day – our favorite Bright Green holiday.  If you’re celebrating, follow Tom’s example and be safe and be green!

March 17, 2009 at 4:59 pm Leave a comment

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