Now that you have perfected your resume, there are some guidelines for using it effectively.
Job search strategies range from the simple and common to the innovative and complex. The following are some of the more common strategies and guidelines a successful job seeker will master:
Provide Resume Copies To:
- Your references
- Personal and professional networking contacts
- Employers with advertised job openings
- Employers with no advertised job openings
- Private and public employment agencies
- Executive recruiters
- Job service / workforce centers
- Vocational and college placement office
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Send your resume to an actual person.
Avoid sending the resume to someone with a vague job title such as “Production Manager.” It will take extra effort, but do your research and find out the name and title of the appropriate person to whom your resume should be sent.
Send your resume to more than one person.
If you are asked to send your resume to Personnel or Human Resources, do so. Then also send a resume to the person in charge of the department in which you want to work. Most of the time HR does the screening, it is the department manager who is the final hiring authority.
Send your resume with a cover letter.
When mailing your resume always send it with a cover letter. Never send it by itself. Mass mailing your resume to many employers, hoping that a couple of them will get someone's attention, is not an effective strategy. The statistics are that for every 1,000 un-targeted resumes you send to employers you can expect to get 2 interviews. Additionally, an accepted standard is that for every 10 interviews you will receive one job offer.
Target. Target. Target.
Look for ways to target your resume to the specific needs of the employer. This can be accomplished with a targeted resume strategy or through the cover letter. It requires some research before sending the resume but it will pay off in an increased number of positive responses.
Do your research.
When researching an employer or employment agency, among other important information, find out if they use a resume scanning system. If they do, it will help you prepare your resume for presentation.
Go the extra mile.
Always precede or follow up the sending of your resume with a phone call to the employer. Be courteous and professional and sell your qualifications. Be sure to ask for an interview. Send your resume to the employer even if they are not hiring, you never know what the future will bring.
Keep an extra copy.
When directly contacting employers, always have a copy of your resume available and take the initiative to offer it to them.
Always fill out an application even if you have a resume.
When applying for a job with an employment application, you may want to attach your resume. The resume will add impact and should complement the application. If you are asked to fill out an application, never write on it “see resume.” Take the time to fill out the application completely.
Use your resume to paint a picture.
Applying for jobs by resume can be an effective strategy to overcome employment barriers. The resume should paint the best picture of you, while the application may paint the worst.
Provide a copy of your resume to your references.
It provides them with information about you and will help them to talk to an employer about your qualifications.
Provide a copy of your resume to all networking contacts.
It is an excellent icebreaker to use the resume as a center for discussing your qualifications. Ask your contacts to critique your resume.
Extra! Extra! Don't forget it!
Always bring a few extra copies of your resume to an interview.
There is no use mailing resumes if you do not take the time to follow up on your efforts. If you are not getting responses or interviews from your resume, you may want to reevaluate it. The true test of an effective resume is that you are offered interviews.