Danielle Hoston: I received your résumé and your two follow-up e-mails. I have filled the open positions with two candidates, but feel the need to assist you in your job search by giving you a few résumé dos and don'ts -- so that next time you apply for a job, you'll at least be called for an interview.
It should go without saying, but PRIOR to submitting your résumé, please:
• Write a cover letter. You have to make yourself stand out in some way, and believe it or not, cover letters are read more thoroughly than résumés. If you can create a compelling reason for why you are the perfect candidate for the position and why your work history is relevant or unique, you can increase your chances of getting an interview. A cover letter gives your résumé context.
• Check for grammatical errors in both your cover letter and résumé. Actually, ask somebody else to check it, too. I'm not sure that you realize the mistakes you're making.
• Take the time to explain large gaps in employment history. Employers aren't mind readers, and they don't have the time to fill in the blanks for each and every candidate.
• Make sure your Facebook and Twitter accounts are reflective of the most employable parts of your character. We know that you're very proud of your girlfriend's new implants and that most people get drunk in Vegas, but those aren't the attributes that will get you hired.
• Remember that "less is more." Try to keep the following adjectives in mind when writing your cover letter and résumé: "concise," "clean" and "comprehensive." Avoid using overly flowery language, and don't exaggerate the importance of your last position; both of those tactics lack authenticity.
• Submit promptly! Once a certain number of quality résumés are received, employers may not even take the time to review more.
• Follow up with a phone call. One candidate actually worked his way into the mix after the applicant pool had closed. (I was impressed with his diligence and made an exception.) If you had called, I may have done the same for you.
• Do not -- under ANY circumstances -- send your résumé from an unprofessional-sounding e-mail address. Are you listening, Pimpin Playa? Because no, PimpinPlaya@anything.com is not appropriate. It did get a good laugh, though.
By the way, I know that it's hard out there for a pimp -- and everyone else -- so I'll be following up with some more information about what to do when you are called for an interview. In the meantime, please get a new e-mail address for professional purposes, and keep this one strictly for the ladies.
|Danielle Hoston is a business and finance expert with Hoston and Associates. She is the mom of one and resides in Los Angeles.|