If you’re a job seeker, you’re probably well versed in how to act during a personal interview: Be polite and professional, show courtesy and respect, and make the best possible impression. And you probably know the guidelines for writing a polished cover letter, including checking it over carefully for content, spelling and grammar before signing off and sending it to a prospective employer.
When it comes to digital etiquette – or “netiquette” – what you may not realize is this: The same basic rules apply. Email and other digital media often are considered informal, but keep in mind that when using them in your job search, they are professional tools, just like your cover letter and portfolio.
Remember the Golden Rule? Treat others as you would want to be treated. It’s great advice for life – and this includes your online actions and behavior, particularly when you’re putting yourself out there in the employment market. When emailing (or instant messaging or chatting), remember to think about what you’re writing and handle it carefully.
- Keep emails short and to the point. Limit business messages – including those related to employment – to strictly business.
- Include the topic and purpose of the email in the Subject line.
- Always check grammar and spelling. Look smart, not sloppy.
- Be cautious. Email is not private. Even if it’s only directed to one recipient, it goes through multiple networks and copies may be left on a server, which can be accessed.
- Have an email signature so recipients can easily see who you are and contact you to reply.
- Ensure that your computer is virus free. You don’t want to be the origin of a nasty bug that infiltrates the system of a company you may want to work for!
Your Online Resume
A good resume is a good resume, whether it’s online or not. It has to be concise, user friendly, error free and pertinent to the position being offered. However, there are some guidelines that apply specifically to digital resumes:
- Compile a list of keywords and incorporate them into your resume. Use them in the bullet points of your summary of qualifications and in descriptions of your professional accomplishments. Your resume may go through an electronic screening before it reaches a hiring or HR manager, so key words are critical.
- Set up your resume in several formats including Microsoft Word, PDF and for pasting in the body of an email using plain text. Send it in the format requested by the employer.
- You may want to consider color, images or infographics, but use them with care. Graphics send an immediate message and may work well, depending on the profession and industry. But don’t get so caught up in making a computer-friendly resume that you fail to make it people friendly. Your wealth of experience should be highlighted, however, you always need consider your audience and the first impression your resume will make. So, always keep it professional.
Whether you’re finessing your resume and cover letter, prepping for your interview, or strategizing your overall job search plan, if often helps to work with an experienced professional. For tips on your next step, contact the team at Select Group today!