My company is hiring another admin person, and I’m the one to do it. (I’m HR, after all, and the person would be reporting to me.) In the past we’ve gone through a local temp agency, and theirÂ people are wonderful, but expensive and looking to move forward in their careersÂ — but the career is NOT admin. (Another time, I’ll go off on the topic of what’s wrong with being an admin?)
So I’ve started hiring the old-fashioned way, by my own skills and abilities, with a modern twist: I post on craigslist, instead of on Monster.com or in the newspaper. Within 15 minutes of posting the ad, I received 5 resumes. By the end of the first day (today), I have more than 30 to sift through on Monday. (I have enough to do in my life, I don’t work on weekends if I can help it.)
From today’s experience, here are a few tips for getting past the ‘first round’ — you might even get a call back.
1. Read the ad. If the company is looking for a receptionist, and you’ve been doing customer service (which I know because your 3-sentance cover letter told me), the rest your cover letter should be very persuasive as to why I’m even going to take a look at your resume.
2. Read the ad, again. If it tells you the hours, the days of the week, and mentions benefits, asking me that information (as your cover letter) doesn’t get your resume read.
3. Read the ad, I’m serious. If it asks you to post to a specific email address, then why are you hitting ‘send’ instead?
4. Lose the ‘IM speak.’ You’re trying to impress me with your communication skills (because I saidÂ the ‘ideal candidate’ would have excellent communication skillsÂ — there’s that ‘read the ad’ thing again), and telling me that “U R ideal”, with a subject line that tells me you are sending me the resum (sic) does not get you anything but a delete button.
5. Be a bit clever about your search. We all use generic resumes and cover letters — searching for a job requires we send out dozens (100s!) of the darn things. But, when your ‘To:’ field has my address (the one you hit ‘send’ to get, instead of the right one, btw) and 20 others… delete is my response.
6. Maintain the basics. Run it through a spell checker. Read it for grammar. Print it and go over it, slowly, looking for errors. The time to fix it and polish it is now — not after I’m reaching for the delete button.