Friday, October 23, 2009

Resume Tip: 5 Ways To Prevent Emailed Resumes From Getting Blocked as Spam

2. When Emailing a Resume, Avoid Transmission Methods and Formats That Set Off Spam Filters

Spam filters don’t just hunt for “bad” words. They have become increasingly sophisticated, using “whitelists,” and “blacklists,” and examining many attributes of email, including the ISP (Internet Service Provider) from which email originates.

Beware Attachments!

Many jobseekers send a cover letter and/or resume as an attachment to an email.

Many company IT systems view attachments with suspicion, as they can contain toxic virus payloads. Some with strict email regimes will not allow attachments from any other than whitelisted senders.

Far better to just copy and paste the resume in the email, following the cover letter content.

Mass Emailing Problems and Solutions

Mass emailing is viewed with suspicion by many spam filters. After all, that’s how spam goes out — to thousands or millions of addressees at once.

Mass emailing may never even reach your addressees’ spam filters, as it may be stopped short by your own ISP, which wants to avoid getting blacklisted as a haven for spammers by other ISPs and by spam filters.

Of course, it’s also true an employer may not be too impressed with your professed interest in their company if they see you also sent the identical cover letter and resume to 50 other addressees.

You can set up your email so this fact is not evident to humans, such as by putting the mailing list in the “bcc” box, rather than the “to” box. But spam filters are not so easily fooled, and can readily detect that an email was mass-mailed.

There are services that promise to send your resume to many recruiters or employers. They may be legitimate and helpful, but you should always inquire about how they handle the issue of spam blocking. They should be able to provide statistics on how many of your emails got through to the recipient and how many were opened.

There are also reputable email marketing companies that specialize in handling mass business emails, such as newsletters. (Such email is not spam because it’s sent to customers and others who have “opted in” to mailing lists.)

The best of these services have many features to maximize email deliverability, including pretesting for “spamminess” and providing reliable statistics on who does and does not receive emails.

A jobhunter could sign up for a service such as Constant Contact, which I have successfully used, to use it for mass emailing potential employers. (Constant Contact offers a free trial.)

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