This sounds like a contradiction of sorts. I have severally met job seekers who have kept on indicating how frustrating job search has become. On close interrogation however, I realize that the same job seekers have heavily starved their job search processes of the much required resources. Take the case of June for instance. She has been searching for a job over the last one year and no attractive opening seems to have come her way.
From her own admission, she has acknowledged one potential reason for not clinching lucrative opportunities on offer. She has been mean in her spending on job search. Looking at the CV and cover letter copies she has been sending out in response to job adverts, it is clear she has been sending out poor quality documents. She has been known by a certain photocopy shop downtown as a regular client who pops in and requests for tens of photocopies of her CV that she then broadcasts ‘to whom it may concern’.
In most of the cases, the quality of the copies has been poor with clear marks on the paper indicating they are of low quality. You must be familiar with those annoying lines that run across the low quality photocopied page. A quick look at her cover letter also indicates that she has been addressing her letters ‘to whom it may concern’ no wonder she has not received invitations for interviews since no one seems to have been concerned about her ‘impersonal’ letters.
This is just one of the key indicators that you are not a serious job seeker. As you hit the ground in search for a job, it is important for you to appreciate the fact that employers are serious people who want to be taken seriously. If you decide not to take your time and spend money in managing your job search tools, be kind by not expecting others to be serious with your applications.
Should you have to send a job application on hard copy, refrain from using your photocopied CV and application letter. Take your time and spend some money on a clean and neat printing paper. Seek for a laser printer that would provide you with a clear print out on a high quality paper. And just as a note, who would you expect to read your application letter when you address it to ‘whom it may concern’? Seek to know the full names of the persons you hope to entice to read your application. Always remember that a cover letter is a document that helps direct your CV to a specific officer in the organization and should hence be appropriately addressed.
Should you be concerned about the packaging of the CV? Absolutely. In packaging your CV and the cover letter, invest in good quality envelopes. I still come across job applications breathlessly squeezed into A5 size envelopes. Why not pay a little bit more for an A4 size envelope to deliver your application neatly straight and presentable?
This rule should also be applied when sending our applications on email. There are certain job seekers who seem to suggest that they are busier than the potential employers. When you open their email, the only thing that flashes is ‘…find attached my application for a job in your organization. Signed. Janet….’
Such a job seeker expects you to bother to open the attachment to find out what their need for a job is instead of making it easy for the potential employer to know what their interest is. Highlight your key competencies and interests as part of the body of the email to draw the attention and interest of the potential employer to open your attachment for more details. When you send out a job application on email, invest in time. Do not send as blind copies (bcc) your application to anyone who will have time to read your email. Note that employers want to feel known and appreciated as individual entities.
Finally, when job hunting, invest in good quality dressing, take cabs to interviews instead of arriving there sweaty and dusty and carry with you a neat document-folder instead of squashing documents in between newspaper pages. In other words, job search is an expensive affair and those who are willing to spend land presentable opportunities. You must be willing to give to receive. That’s a biblical principle that applies in job search too.