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Resumes, Cover Letters & Interviews, Oh My: Traveling the Yellow Brick Road to Employment

This week I posted a researcher/admin job on Craig’s List. Within 90 minutes I had 75 resumes. Here are 14 things that came to mind when reviewing responses to my listing:  

  1. Put your employment objectives at the top of your resume but make them about serving your employer not about YOU. Employment isn’t about you, it’s about an agreement to deliver services for $$.
  2. It’s not a good idea to have typos in a resume. I rejected those immediately.
  3. Write in complete sentences and check your grammar and punctuation.
  4. Put a greeting with some info into the email. With 75 resumes there was no way in heck I was going to read a resume without an introduction.
  5. Remember to attach the resume.
  6. At least try to match your qualifications with the job description. Please.
  7. Don’t write about your interest in learning to do the job. I need an assistant not an intern.
  8. Don’t suggest you would love to work in my organization and know all about it because, you don’t: It’s Craig’s List, I’m under cover!
  9. Include references.
  10. If you have a new job every three months, explain yourself.
  11. Respond early. I opened the emails in chronological order and some early responders where eminently qualified.
  12. Don’t send a sexy seductive picture (yep, someone did that).
  13. Don’t make me guess your abilities. There’s too much competition. You have to make me want to hire you based on your qualifications.

It’s tough to make the transition from one field of work to another (e.g., retail to administration). Think about how your old/current job gave you the right skills for you new job and explain it in a cover letter. Be creative yet honest.



  • Steve 5 years ago

    Question: Do you recommend dispensing with the cover letter as an attachment and just putting that content in the body of the email, attaching a cover letter and repeating the content in the body of the email, attaching a cover letter and saying something different in the body of the email or some other recommendation entirely?

  • Joe 5 years ago

    I am no English expert, but shouldn't it be "were" not "where" in number 11? If so, you might consider practicing what you preach and have a look at #3. If not, I enjoyed reading your article. :)

  • CEO 5 years ago

    I do not give any referances until we meet and the job is a reasonable match and there could be an offer. Why waste my referenced time.

    Besides i never send my resume via email to someone I do not know. Send something blind to a posting on craigslist? Not worth the risk.

  • Lana 5 years ago

    Joe I noticed that as well.

  • Greg 5 years ago

    Put a link on the resume to your video bio at

    Its free.


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