If you haven’t heard of the elevator pitch, here’s the idea: you are an entrepreneur with a mind-blowing project that will make many people stupidly rich. For that to work out, you need someone willing to invest a lot of money in it.
The thing is, those people don’t have time for you. All you’ve got is approximately thirty seconds of a short lift ride - hence the name. Take it or break it. The final result will either be an appointment with that business person, or them treating you with complete silence.
Remember: half a minute. That’s also the amount of attention an average recruiter will spend on reading your resume, especially when hundreds of people apply for the position. So, how can you make your job application eye-catching with just the right information? We’ll try and help you out with these DOs and DON’Ts.
Things That Are Good Practice
Keep It Short and Simple
Precise information and facts, that’s what you should mainly focus on. No fancy words, two (or worse, three) page resumes filled with content that means nothing.
That elevator is not stopping, and time is your rival. Talk about your main skills, education, previous experience, as well as technologies and projects you’ve worked on. Don’t forget your hobbies, as they can easily draw the company’s attention and tell them more about you.
For example, if you are a marathon runner, it can relate to your work ethic. In other words, the employer will see you as someone who doesn’t give up easily and knows to put in great effort to achieve their final goal.
When it comes to design, you can be creative, but don’t overdo it. It should stand out among other resumes, while also being easy for the recruiter to scan through and filter the necessary information.
Include Cover Letters
Motivational or cover letters is something that almost everyone loves seeing, but won’t necessarily ask for in their job ad. That’s why another bonus for you as a candidate is to send one regardless.
It should show your true interest in the company, which is why it’s awesome if you check out their website and social media before writing it. That way you can adjust the tone and associate your traits with their company culture.
Cover letters lose value if you send the exact same one to every company. They will easily see through it and you won’t gain any benefit. The same goes for writing resumes: you should have more than one and make them unique for the position you are applying for
Send An Introduction Video
Just smile and wave boys, just smile and wave! This is a requirement for people who apply for online teaching positions since it’s important for their employers to actually see them. In other words…
... developers rarely do it. So that’s the first advantage you’ll make, doing what others don’t even think about. Another one is the fact that a live word and seeing someone’s face and gestures, is always better than a written one. There’s more trust gained and overall helps you stand out even more. You’ll have a combination of a resume, cover letter, and an introduction video. Sweet.
Be Creative and Double Check Everything
Recruiters and companies in general always appreciate a good, healthy sense of humor and thinking outside the box. For example, instead of inserting perfectly crafted sentences into a document, you can do something a bit different.
Write about your previous experience and why you want to work for a firm in question by hiding your cover letter within a code. Express yourself through ones and zeros, or bits and bytes. There’s plenty of ways to show off your skills without just talking about them.
Remember to spell and format check everything, whatever style of applying you choose. It’s a very important thing to do, since it shows your attention to details and how much time and thought you’ve given to the whole process in general.
Provide a Link To Your GitHub profile
Even if you are a junior developer seeking their first big job opportunity, employers will expect that you have at least some kind of experience. It doesn’t have to be rocket science, even a project you’ve done during college or self-learning will do the trick.
This URL can make a huge difference whether your resume will get you to the list of top candidates, or end up forgotten despite all the other efforts you’ve made.
And Now For the No-Nos
Sending Resumes In Anything Other Than a .PDF
Recruiters love PDF formats! Honestly, they do. Resumes in Microsoft Word documents often lose their form and become messy. That means additional work for the person looking at them, while their time is highly precious, as we’ve already stated multiple times.
In other words, convert your initial Word file to a .PDF and you’ll be all set. Also, make sure that your resume corresponds to the main language spoken in the company you’ve applied for.
This goes without saying, but an email address should sound professional, not something in the lines of: “firstname.lastname@example.org”. You should use your name and surname in combination with numbers and other letters, if it’s already taken.
Bonus tip: the tone that you will use in an email with all the necessary attachments, is equally important as in those files. Keep it professional and don’t make it look like something you’ve typed in quickly and smashed that “Send” button.
Using EuroPass Template
Unless the employer explicitly asks for it, avoid using this monstrosity. Your resume should make a good presentation of your motivation and skills, not the exact opposite. There’s a lot of alternatives out there that can make you easily stand out among other candidates.
Being Rude if You Get Ghosted Or Rejected
Keep in mind that technology isn’t always perfect as we think it is. Perhaps your super awesome application ended up in someone’s spam folder and they are unaware of your existence.
So, instead of sending a raging email regarding your dissatisfaction, be polite and try to see where the problem is. The same goes if you get a negative response. If the company still thinks you are a good candidate, there’s a high chance they’ll consider you for another opening, which might be very soon.
Using Selfies And Other Inappropriate Pictures
Facebook and Instagram are awesome places to show your exotic selfies, but resumes are not. It’s really simple, you just need a neutral background and a friend with a decent phone camera.
Dress up according to the company’s culture and you are good to go. As for the picture itself, you don’t have to look too serious, or too excited. Be yourself, that’s all there is to it.
Job applications are similar to making a meal. You can follow the recipe step by step, but if you mess up with the amount or type of ingredients - it can end up being inedible. People will look at it and say “I would rather stay hungry, thanks.”, without even having to try it.
Recruiters will scan through your application and quickly realize if you have the potential or not. Perhaps you do, but you’ve failed at showing it.
As a hiring agency with a lot of recruiting experience and resumes received, we did our best to guide you through the process of creating a perfect job application. Good luck out there, the competition is tough, but you can climb to the top following the instructions above.