7 “don’ts” for job applicants from a hiring manager

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If you are seeking a new career role, be as thoughtful about submitting resumes as you would be if you were sending a personal letter. I have an open position in my office and am shocked at the norm I am seeing in the applications. Here is some practical advice from the hiring perspective.

1. Don’t apply online for any role without attaching a cover letter that gives specifics on how your background uniquely positions you for this job. Hiring managers have dozens of resumes to go through. If you don’t attach a cover letter, they think you are just blindly applying in mass and not focused on how you want to work for them.

2. Don’t send the cover letter without reading it. I just read one that told me how much he wanted to work in the open position but listed the wrong title. Obviously, he had not changed the cover letter from the last position he had applied for. Another mass-marketed resume without thought.

3. Don’t send the same resume for every position. Tailor each for the job you seek. Match your accomplishments in the resume with keywords in the job description. If you are a communications specialist applying for an administrative leadership role show examples of execution, strategy, and follow-through. Don’t only talk about web design.

4. Don’t wait to send your list of references until you get called for an interview. That day may never come. Attach them in the attachments section with your resume and cover letter.

5. Don’t wait for them to call you. Contact people you know in the organization of interest and ask them for any tips they can give you on applying. Ask if they are willing to contact the hiring manager as a reference for you.

6.  Don’t apply without understanding the values of the organization, any recent news on it and known challenges. Address these in your cover letter so that they know you did your homework.

7. Don’t be passive. If you haven’t heard anything within two weeks follow up with a note of continued interest. Include anything you’ve noted in the news regarding their industry.

If you want more career planning tips here’s a link to Mary Lee’s FREE Career and Life Planning Tool.

Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an executive coach and corporate CEO who helps busy leaders get off the treadmill to nowhere to be more effective, earn more, be calmer and enjoy connected relationships with the people who matter while it still matters. Watch her FREE Master Class training on Three Things to Transform Your Life and Career Right Now at www.MaryLeeGannon.com.