1) Overuse of "blasting" to distribute your resume. Mailing
or emailing hundreds or even thousands of resumes to employers and recruiters
can be counter-productive. For one thing, you are limited to a weakened,
general, all-purpose version of your resume. Your cover letter, if you have one,
addressed to "Whom It May Concern" will be meaningless. Your submission will be
lumped with the spam and junk email. You will have no opportunity to move the
process forward by following up with a meaningful phone call, letter, or email.
And if that isn't bad enough, if a recruiter or employer reads your resume,
they are smart enough to know that everyone else has a copy of it. If you are a
recruiter and you know a thousand other recruiters have the same resume, you
would know the tough time you would have earning a commission on the placement.
Plus, you might figure that all the local employers have the resume and could
cut you out of the loop. If employers know that all the other employers have
your resume they may not be interested in competing with them.
Indiscriminate blasting reduces your market value. Don't expect quality
interviews; expect interviews for hard-to-fill or high-turnover positions. Some
commission hungry agents will be forgiving and may take a chance on you, higher
class agents and employers will not.
2) Applying for jobs you are not qualified for. What is the
harm? The job looks interesting, the "apply" link is right there, what is the
worse that could happen? All they can do is say, "no".
If you are unqualified and waste a recruiter's or employer's time, they will
ignore you in the future. And when their time is wasted, they suddenly have a
memory like an elephant. That is not the way you want to be remembered in a job
search. Plus, how smart does it make you look?
3) Not customizing your resume and cover letter for each employer.
The Internet makes it so much easier to investigate companies.
Corporate websites will tell you exactly what they are looking for in employees.
Leverage these resources. The resume and cover letter are the most powerful
marketing tools in your arsenal. And with today's technology, sending a generic
resume and cover letter is inexcusable.
4) Giving up control of your job search. The "Hand Over" job
seeker, one that places his or her job search in the hands of one or more online
professionals, usually headhunters, recruiters, employment agencies, or
outplacement firms, thinks all he or she has to do is show up for the
The cliché that job hunting is a full time job is true. The Internet does not
make a job search easier, it makes it more complicated.
No one is going to be as passionate about your future as you are; no one is
going to understand what you want like you do. Professional help is just that -
help. Passive job seekers get left behind.
5) Ignoring privacy when posting your resume. There are any
number of bad things that can happen if you do not limit your contact
- Your employer could find your resume online, accuse you of disloyalty and
- Someone could steal your identity. This has become an alarmingly common
crime. Protect yourself.
- You could be buried in spam and bugged by telemarketers. They scan the
Internet looking for email addresses and phone numbers to harvest. It may not
be the worse thing in the world, but it can be a real pain in the neck.
- Unscrupulous recruiters, fishing for a commission, may take your resume
and shop you around to employers without your permission. This can harm you in
any number of ways. Just a note: An ethical recruiter would never dream of
6) Limiting yourself to big name job sites. Most of the big
name sites are great sites. They are expensive for employers to use and they
tend to be general - all things for all people. Ironically, that means they are
not for everybody. Many employers have found their needs met by advertising in
smaller, localized, less expensive, niche sites. Don't limit your options by
ignoring these valuable resources.
7) Limiting yourself to Internet only. The Internet is so
ubiquitous it is easy to feel like everything that is out there shows up on the
Web. The so-called hidden job market is a very real phenomenon. The majority of
jobs are never advertised on the Web or anywhere else. They are often filled
word of mouth. By the time you see jobs on the Internet much of the cream is
skimmed off. It is often the jobs that cannot be filled by word of mouth that
8) Ignoring the threat of viruses. Of course if you send an
email to an employer that contains a virus it will be quarantined and deleted.
Your message will not be read and you will not look good to the company. Your
future messages will likely be blocked.
The problem for you, the job hunter, is not so much actually sending a virus.
Most of you, I hope, scan your incoming and outgoing emails for viruses (if you
don't, start NOW!). The problem is that employers take precaution against
potential threats of viruses. Many companies will not open email
attachments. That is certainly understandable with Microsoft Word documents,
often a virus carrier. But many companies have taken a scorched earth policy and
have banned all attachments.
How does this effect you? If you want your resume and cover letter read, send
it in the body of the email. You may have some formatting limitations, but
better than having your message deleted.
9) Using email as your only source of contact. I ran into
this one recently. I called a business meeting by contacting everyone by email.
A key individual did not show up. Turns out my email didn't make it past his
Since 75% of email is "junk," most companies have a spam filter. If your
message looks like spam to the spam filter you are filtered out and deleted.
Call first to let them know your email is coming, call afterwards to confirm
they got it, and send a hard copy by regular mail as a back up.
10) This last one is not so much a mistake as a tip. Many job hunters have
the mistaken belief that in an online job search cover letters don't carry any
weight and allow them to be generic and impersonal. Many job hunters have been
leaving the cover letter out entirely. This is a huge mistake.
Jay Edward Miller is the president of ResumeSavvy, LLC and author of the
new best-selling ebook, Irresistible Resume
. After 19 years as
professional resume writer, Jay now teaches fast-track, heavy-hitter job
seekers how to write their own Irresistible Resume. His hard hitting,
marketing approach to resume writing has been the talk of the industry.
Are you looking for more interviews and better job offers? Visit Jay on
the web right now at
www.resumesavvyllc.com for your Irresistible Resume today.