Posts Tagged ‘Make it easy’

Normally I’m the person applying for jobs but today the table was turned as I got to weed through email submissions from people applying to my current internship position.  While I’m not an expert, I noticed a few things that could be of definite help to people applying for jobs via email. Some of these tips may seem like common sense but I was shocked by the number of resumes and cover letters I received that made the most basic of errors.

My 6 Tips:

1) Save your resume as your name
If you are sending any attachments make sure your name is included. DO NOT save as “resume.doc” While resume.doc makes sense to you, think about how many resume.docs the person reviewing resumes has to weed through.

2) Save your attachments as PDFs
Not everyone has the same version of Microsoft Word so there is a good chance your resume will look completely different on my computer screen than what you saw on yours. By saving as a PDF you ensure your content is displayed exactly as you intended.

3) Include your cover letter in the body of your email
Unless requested to attach a cover letter, I would highly recommend putting your cover letter directly in the body of your email. This saves the person reviewing applications time as they can quickly scan through your information without having to open an additional attachment.

4) If submitting multiple writing samples or examples of work, combine them into one PDF file
Every single email I reviewed today had 5+ attachments. Times that by 20 or 100 and you have a serious headache for the person reviewing applications. Combine all files together in one PDF that can easily be scrolled through and your reviewer will be happy you know how to streamline and saved them time. If you don’t know how to create a PDF file or combine PDF files, look online! There are websites that will turn your docs into PDF’s for free, just Google it.

5) Use relevant examples and if they’re not obvious explain what they are
As I tweeted earlier, an applicant attached his sister’s wedding program as an example of his work. I think he was trying to showcase his InDesign skills but irregardless I found it completely odd and irrelevant to the position he was applying for. The reviewer shouldn’t have to guess why you attached something. Many of the samples I saw today were class assignments and I had no clue what they were. If you’re going to send something that’s not as obvious as a press release, find a way to briefly explain what it is.

6) Don’t just talk about what you have to gain
One applicant today had a whole paragraph about what he could gain if he were chosen for the internship but nothing to offer for why my company would benefit from hiring him. An obvious point of internships is for the intern to learn. I’m glad you have a lot to benefit from taking my position but I already knew that. Why does this make me want to hire you? It doesn’t. Tell me what you can do for me and I’ll start listening.

Hope these tips  help in your job search!

As I said before, I’m no authority but the experience of being the person reviewing applications as opposed to being an applicant was eye-opening . Try to put yourself in the person’s shoes who will be reviewing your cover letter, resume, etc. Make everything as easy for them as possible and you’ll be that much more likely to rise to the top of their list.

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I had a great customer experience today when Jimmy John’s delivered my lunch not to my home or work but to the library.  Studying for finals is no ball of fun but either is venturing out in below zero weather.  I appreciate that Jimmy John’s made ordering easy for me and were willing to make my day less complicated by coming to me, even if I was in a library.

Jimmy John’s isn’t necessarily my favorite lunch spot but the fact that they offer delivery and online ordering set them apart from all other options.  In fact, one of my favorite lunch spots offers delivery but only with a minimum order of $10.  Companies need to make it easy for customers to buy!  Having $10 order minimums may seem like a smart accounting strategy but it doesn’t help your customers choose you over the competition.

Great user experience doesn’t just apply to restaurants.  For example, think of all the places you’ve called that haven’t answered their phone. Or even better, all the sales associate who have told you to check online for the jeans you wanted that they didn’t have in-stock.  Please don’t tell me to go home and check online, instead ask me if you can order them for me and offer complimentary delivery to my home!

If you’ve never had experiences like these, consider yourself lucky.  There is nothing more frustrating than when you try to make a purchase and the company you’re trying to purchase from makes the process difficult or even impossible.

How many companies could gain more customers through better user experience?  Many.  Think of all the money companies could save if they improved their user experience and made it easy for customers to come to them.

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