Friday, October 23, 2009

Ten Mistakes that Can Sabotage Your Job Search

8) Ignoring the threat of viruses. Of course if you send an email to an employer that contains a virus it will be quarantined and deleted. Your message will not be read and you will not look good to the company. Your future messages will likely be blocked.

The problem for you, the job hunter, is not so much actually sending a virus. Most of you, I hope, scan your incoming and outgoing emails for viruses (if you don't, start NOW!). The problem is that employers take precaution against potential threats of viruses. Many companies will not open email attachments. That is certainly understandable with Microsoft Word documents, often a virus carrier. But many companies have taken a scorched earth policy and have banned all attachments.

How does this effect you? If you want your resume and cover letter read, send it in the body of the email. You may have some formatting limitations, but better than having your message deleted.

9) Using email as your only source of contact. I ran into this one recently. I called a business meeting by contacting everyone by email. A key individual did not show up. Turns out my email didn't make it past his spam filter.

Since 75% of email is "junk," most companies have a spam filter. If your message looks like spam to the spam filter you are filtered out and deleted. Call first to let them know your email is coming, call afterwards to confirm they got it, and send a hard copy by regular mail as a back up.

10) This last one is not so much a mistake as a tip. Many job hunters have the mistaken belief that in an online job search cover letters don't carry any weight and allow them to be generic and impersonal. Many job hunters have been leaving the cover letter out entirely. This is a huge mistake.

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