Tips for Applying
Always Present Yourself Well
Are you Qualified? We receive resumes often from candidates that do not qualify for the job listed in the position profile. Read carefully through the Position Profile and only submit a resume if your background closely resembles the qualifications listed. We don't want to waste our time, nor yours.
Write a Great Resume - Executive Search firms receive thousands of resumes each year. Helping yourself stand out from the crowd is always a challenge. There are many good resume books on the market that you can use as a resource. But just having the prettiest resume is not a winning strategy any longer. Most firms, including ours, use technology to help evaluate and track candidates through their processes. Do research on how to write an effective resume that includes action words and keywords that will help your resume pop from the rest if a search consultant is using a keyword search or if he or she is reviewing your resume directly. Talk about accomplishments and successes. Words like led, achieved, directed and created are action words. Words like participated and "met with" are non-action words.
Cover Letter - A nicely written cover letter is recommended when submitting your resume. Many applicants write a small paragraph in the body of an email, but remember, you are being compared to other professionals that may have written a thoughtful cover letter specified to the job you are applying for on our website.
Formatting - It may seem obvious, but always format your resume in portrait mode, not landscape. Some may think this will help their resume "stand out," but it does so in a negative way. Any other "different" formatting can make it difficult to print and present to a search committee. Also, PDF versions are preferred over Word documents.
Email Addresses - When a search consultant wants to communicate with you make yourself easy to find. Create an email address just for your job search. There are many free email services available where you can create an email box. Use your name in the email like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Don't use email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You might think that's silly, but it happens! You want the search consultant to be able to go back through her or his email folders and find you by typing in logical things like your name. If you can't be easily found, you might not get interviewed.
Telephone Numbers - Put your telephone number in the signature line on your emails. That's where many people look first. You want the search consultant to find your number in 10 seconds or less or the phone may ring and they may take that call and forget to call you.
Filenames - Name your resume or cover letter file with your last and first names like smithj resume.pdf or smithj cover letter.pdf. That makes it easy to find when a client wants to see your resume. Don't name it resume4threv.doc or nonprofitresume.doc. We have to rename it before we can store it and it doesn't make it look like you are particularly good in dealing with details or communications.
Spellcheck is your worst enemy - We do recommend that you use spellcheck and grammar checking, but they don't catch all the errors. Read your cover letter or resume, reread them, then have someone else read them. Misspelled words, misused words, words left out or words that should have been edited out will all hurt your chances. Remember, you only have one opportunity to make a first impression.
Testing and Assessments - Listen and read carefully when you are given instructions on taking behavioral or critical thinking assessments. Don't blow off the instructions, because you could be blowing off your chance at a great job!
Social Media - Take a moment to review your social media and be sure it represents you in a professional manner to the public. Update any previous employment, especially on LinkedIn if you have an account.