Consider these tips from Henry Goldbeck, President of Goldbeck Recruiting, a recruitment agency for mid-to senior-level professionals across North America and Worldwide.
Start by researching the company and/or individual who is recruiting for the position where you would like to apply. Using that information, follow these five strategies to get your resume read by a human.
1. Connect via email: If you find the actual email address of the recruiter, find a common interest. Mention something personal that you have in common with the individual to whom the resume is being sent. For example, “Wow, we both love horses. I have been show jumping since I was a kid, that is awesome. I am really pleased to be able to apply for this position. I hope my resume is suitable.”
How do you know if the person you are sending the resume to likes horses, or baseball, gardening, or world travel? By research, of course. Try to learn about a person once you get that contact info. Research their LinkedIn profile. Try to find them on Twitter, or Facebook, and learn what you can about them, to try and make a personal connection. If you know someone at the company who gave you this person's info, ask your contact for any information that connects the both of you.
2. Mention something related to the company and position you are applying for: “The new branch you are opening looks like it is going to be in a great location to service the toothpick industry in the north west of the state. I imagine ACME will be one of your big competitors for the business. I would be excited to be part of making this branch a big success.”
3. Find a common connection, colleague or reference who can send an email to the recruiter asking that they look at your resume: If applications are to a non-personal email address, find out who the recruiter is and their email address and send a separate cover letter to the personal email alerting them that you have forwarded your resume.
4. Make sure that your resume is clear and easy to read: You don't need a fancy resume, it's not about layout, it's about substance. But make it easy to read - short sentences, no long paragrpahs, bullets, and space. A resume should breathe. Avoid typeface that is too small, and too much dense prose as opposed to clear bullet points. Make it really easy to see and understand who you are, where you have worked (including in what capacity you have worked), and what you have achieved.
5. Video link: Put a link to a short intro video in your cover letter or email so they can see how bright and terrific you are.
This really happened: A sales rep wanted to be interviewed by the president/major shareholder of a national media conglomerate. After several unsuccessful attempts the applicant dressed a full-sized dummy in a business suit, put a folded resume addressed to the President in the front breast pocket and delivered it to the reception of the company. He was called that day for an interview. Did not get the job though. But remember, a resume doesn't get one a job, it gets an interview.
If your resume is struggling to get noticed, either by a human or through an applicant tracking system, contact Matt Krumrie for assistance with updating your resume.