No one asks the question, but everyone who is looking at the job market,
faces the dilemma of “appropriately” submitting their resume/cover letter
or, for mid-career individuals, PR documents. So what are some “do’s,”
and suggestions that one can consider?
We know that there is a trend toward being more informal, but applying
for jobs is an exception. Courteous, professional, business-like and
formality, showing organization and purpose, are the keys for winning
submissions. There are challenges to this for mid-career people who
need to also present evidence of projects worked on, industry expertise
or technical or management savvy. For too many attachments to an
electronic submission means that most will not be read.
This item suggests several ideas to consider for your particular case.
There is no “one-approach-fits-all-cases,” as far as I know.
1. Use proper English, full sentences, business-letter form (both yours
and recipient’s formal addresses, date, title and name of recipient)
on the cover letter.
2. The cover letter and documents can be submitted in hard copy,
or as is much more common, via email. If is it in hard copy consider
sending it so that it is not folded and delivered the next day, if it is
3. If the submission is via email consider including the cover letter
as page 1 in an attached “resume file,” with formal name of the file
indicating it is your resume file, resumejoandoe.doc, in a Microsoft
Word or equivalent format. Mid-career individuals might consider
several items in this file– List of enclosures, resume, List of
References, List of Pertinent Publications, Presentations and Patents.
Consider listing these as separate pages in the file.
If this is a submission to a pharmaceutical or biotech firm, they like
to see a nice one-page research summary. It could be included in
Midcareer: If this email is being directed to a decision-maker,
one can consider including in the attached document Industry
Perspectives, Projects List, Management Philosophy,
or Patent summary.
Use standard black fonts (arial, times-roman, courier) on plain,
white background from your personal email account that is
professionally titled. In other words, it is viewed unappropriate to
send from your employer’s email address, if switching positions.
4. The customized cover letter (discussed in previous blogs) is
not repeated in the body of the email, in general. The email should
courteously state your interest in a position and briefly your
summary qualifications, ‘experienced chromatographer with 8 years
experience with HP workstations in an ISO 9000 lab managed
5. It would help the recipient of the email if it were titled,
‘Candidate for position: POS3732′ with enough detail. If you
are responding to an ad, sending an email to a general addressess
will be a passive way of showing your interest. You and more
than a handful of people are likely to respond. You could further
your interests by contacting someone you know in the company,
or use your network to identify an employee to whom you can
send your resume, or indicate a specific personal contact (meet
at a regional meeting, meet at a conference, call to arrange an
informal conversation) to follow up on your submission.
Please let me kow if you have other suggestions that can be
helpful for submissions.