May 22, 2018

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Job Hunting for the Rusty

The job market is the most competitive it’s been since the early 80’s. So it’s no surprise that I’ve seen an increase in emails from people who haven’t had to think about job hunting in a long time. Times have changed when it comes to searching for a job, since the Internet has changed the rules. Here are a few letters:

Dear Joan: What form is generally accepted for sending a resume to a mid-sized company by e-mail? I think pdf would preserve all my MS Word formatting and pdf is quite widely used.

Dear Joan: I am beginning a job search after several years and am looking for guidance as to modern etiquette. First, when asked to email a resume, is a person supposed to attach a cover letter to a blank email, or put the text of the cover letter into the body of the email? And also, if sending hard copies through the mail, is it a good idea to use colored paper? The thinking years ago was that colored paper made you stand out and also had some sort of subliminal effect on the reader that made him more likely to read your resume.


First I’ll give you some quick answers to your questions and then some resources and tips for a successful job hunt.

When you submit a cover letter and resume, it’s best to put your cover letter in the body of the email and then attach your resume. As in days of old, the content of the cover letter is very important, since it needs to be customized to the opening and the company. A good cover letter also differentiates you from the competition. It should make a compelling impact. Here is an example, “I was very interested to learn about the opening for a nurse in your ICU because I have a strong, successful track record that appears to match your requirements exactly.”

The same holds true for your resume. One-size-fits-all doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to speak in results language and match your past results to the requirements of the job. A pdf format works well for the reasons you mentioned. When mailing it in, colored paper doesn’t matter.

Most HR departments are lean and so they are looking to the latest technology to find talent for their openings. Colleen Stenholt, Group Vice President of Human Resources for Roundy’s Foods agrees, “We don’t want to use agencies, since so many job boards are available. Most companies have their own career section on their website and they make use of some of the better, secure job boards out there.”

She advises job hunters to visit for a good list of the better job boards, “They are secure sites and they don’t sell resumes. You don’t want your resume all over the Web.” is a powerhouse site for job hunters. You will find tools, advice and resources and I highly recommend it.

Employers scan for certain skill sets or certain kinds of experience. That means you need to be careful to use specific key words in your resume so your resume comes up when employers are searching. For instance, they may want to hire a facility manager but if you have used the term property manager, your resume won’t come up when they search. Nouns are more important than adjectives, since key words specific to the requirements of the job are what matter.

Conversely, when you are searching a job board to find your dream job, use the following search rules (and use FAQs and tutorials on their site):

Incidentally, job seekers should know companies often search their own company name to see who is job-hunting. And they are increasingly checking out social networking sites such as MySpace to find out what potential candidates are saying (or showing) about themselves, so use common sense when revealing personal information about yourself on the Web.

Joan Lloyd has a solid track record of excellent results. Her firm, Joan Lloyd & Associates, specializes in leadership development, organizational change and teambuilding. This includes executive coaching, 360-degree feedback processes, customized leadership & presentation skills training, team assessment and teambuilding and retreat facilitation. Joan also provides consulting skills training for HR professionals. Clients report results such as: behavior change in leaders, improved team performance and a more committed workforce. Contact Joan Lloyd & Associates at (800) 348-1944,, or

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