Penned by Carolyn
I’ve gotten some great feedback and questions in response to the post on 3 Reasons Why Your Resume is Being Passed Over When You Apply Online.
In response to the questions we’ve received, here’s a closer look:
Is it preferred and OK to attached the cover letter as the first page of the resume?
Yes and no. To qualify what I wrote last time (that you should put your cover letter into the body of your email), I would do so and then attach a copy of your cover letter below your resume, as the second attachment. That way it will also go on to your automatic file (depending on the back-end system the company is using).
As for combining the two documents, avoid it at all costs. It’s cumbersome, and where employers are making quick judgments based on a glance at your resume, having to scroll past a 1pg cover letter may be just enough of an annoyance for them to overlook your application entirely.
Is it an acceptable format to convert the Word document into a PDF when asked to include an attachment?
PDF certainly looks cleaner and you can make sure the formatting won’t get screwed up when someone opens your resume with a different version of Word.
My only hesitation is that some back-end systems have trouble parsing PDFs correctly, or creating “previews” of these documents for the recruiter to easily glance at. However, if a company or recruiter prefers one type of file to the other, they’ll probably specify, so just read the instructions and do what seems appropriate.
What if you’ve been heeding these recommendations since day 1 and you still never get any job interviews?
Unfortunately, following these guidelines for submission of your resume doesn’t necessarily mean that the content of your resume is what the company or recruiter is looking for – it just makes the resume and application more likely to be read and properly judged.
As for content of your resume and formatting, check out the Jobseekers section on our site for tips and guides.
Have more questions? Post them here and we’ll respond.