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The dynamic collision and explosion of the Internet and e-mail has changed job searching forever, the way jobs are advertised and the means of submitting a resume. This convergence of technogy was the “Big Bang” of communications. If you’re not connected to the Internet and don’t have a personal e-mail address you’re ancient history. If you’re not online, stop resisting and make it your number one career priority.

Every company I deal with has been working 100 percent with e-mail for years. The job search process is enhanced through your ability to view job openings on the Internet and submit your resume online.

The Dos and Donts listed are a guide to assist you in finding the job opening you want and then presenting your resume properly to secure an interview.


Have a scanable resume that includes industry keywords, phrases and buzzwords. List your accounts and clients by name. If you work for a low profile company, list your company’s products or services. A computer may scan your resume prior to any human review. If key words are missing, your resume may go directly to the electronic circular file.

Your resume must be text only and attached as a document. Your resume must be a document so it can be forwarded or printed for the hiring manager. Use the e-mail’s subject line to list your name and the job you’re applying for or the job’s posting number. Use your cover letter, NOT your resume, to state the position desired.

Target the companies and city locations that you’re excited about. Plan your attack. Be selective and stay focused on the industries and job titles desired. By reducing your target companies, you improve your chances of obtaining the interview you want because you can effectively monitor fewer sites and follow-up.

Do endless research. The biggest complaint from hiring managers is that the candidates know very little about their company. Research the company and uncover any news items that may give you a reason to call. Do your homework. There are seemingly endless sources of trade and industry updates. This extra effort will distinguish and separate you from the other candidates.

The accepted and most professional follow-up method is to wait one week to call and leave a voicemail message or send a second e-mail. Proper follow-up is vital to your success. Do not be overly aggressive by calling too soon or too often.


Shot gunning your resume to every job search board will waste hours of time and energy. You will be frustrated by the lack of responses. Your resume will be just another spam to be deleted without being opened.

E-mailing your resume to every possible opening on a company Web site will be counter-productive and will turn off the staffing manager. Seeing the same resume again and again will automatically get you deleted.

Keep your digital resume clear and concise. Don’t use elaborate fonts or styles, formatting or graphics. Using multiple fonts, bolding, italics and quotation marks detract from the presentation of your skills. It will appear that you’re over-selling.

After e-mailing your resume, zealous follow-up is at the top of the recruiter’s turn-off list. According to hotjobs.com, 47 percent of recruiters state that their number one pet peeve is "candidates who won’t stop calling." The consensus of recruiters agree that one week is the most accepted timeframe to follow-up.

Get serious and mentally put on your best business suit when surfing the Internet for your next job. Approach your search as a business project. Don’t surf without your pants on. Remember that you are sitting in your digital home office with a direct connection to the World Wide Web.

QUICK TIP: Always keep in mind that more than 60 percent of management level jobs are found through personal networking. Electronic searching and researching is only an added tool and should not be your only avenue for job searching. Use this to open doors for interviews or develop long-term networking contacts.


Dear Headhunter,
I have been a self-employed contracted trainer in customer service and career development since 1990. I even wrote a chapter in a book on career development. I have decided to go back to Corporate America for a steady income and benefits. Being almost 50, I seem to be having difficulty getting past the second interview. I have been in management, a corporate trainer and a recruiter in the last 27 years.

The interviews so far seem to focus on the negative and that experience and recommendation letters don't seem to make a difference. When I ask for feedback, they refuse to comment so I could enhance my chances for the next time. I always send a thank you note even after being disqualified. Any suggestions?

Sincerely, Discouraged Candidate

Dear Discouraged,
You face two big obstacles. First, being self-employed for 14 years is a red flag to most companies. Even with letters of recommendation, the question is “Are you going to be a long-term employee?” How are they going to keep you down on the corporate farm after you have been independent? Second, your age compounds their concerns. Companies tend to hire younger, less expensive employees. Companies rarely give negative feedback or reasons for not hiring a person. They are not concerned with helping you get a job at another company.

My advice is to network with every single client that you served with during your consulting years. Either get on their payroll so you’re no longer self-employed and build from there or plead for direct referrals to their contacts. Now is the time to horse trade any IOU's from your former clients into a job or referrals. Always remember that personal networking accounts for over 60% of job placements.

Good luck on your search...George

PLEASE NOTE: emails received become the property of "Dear Headhunter" and may be published unless otherwise requested. Questions may be edited for content and length. All questions will be reviewed, some without a reply.

George Gurney has been a leader in the employment industry since 1976. He founded an executive search firm that conducts domestic and international assignments.  He has won numerous awards for recruiting excellence.  He has been a guest speaker at national conventions and seminars.