Why Nicolas Cage won’t help you land a job…
Now, whilst the title of this column may at first appear a little obscure, there is sense behind the association of this Hollywood actor and your job search. It relates to a 20-year-old Canadian student, named Vanessa Hojda, who accidentally attached an image of Nicolas Cage to her CV when applying for a job.
It didn’t help that the picture of accidental choice, was a rather fear-inducing shot of the US actor – which of course, didn’t impress her potential employer. The mistake occurred, says Vanessa, because she named the jpeg a similar file name to her CV. And unfortunately now, Vanessa’s story has gone viral – but the psychology student doesn’t see it as such a bad thing: “This whole thing got my name out there,” she says.
This didn’t mean that Vanessa landed the job however. Most employers – as Vanessa’s potential recruiter did – would view sending the wrong attachment as a sloppy mistake which highlights a lack of focus in the application process; paying close attention to detail a critical aspect of your job hunt. So here are our five tips to ensure no silly mistakes make it through the net.
1 There’s no need to attach a picture. Unless you’re going for an acting or dancing role, attaching an image can be seen as quite unprofessional: an employer wants to look at your qualifications and experience – not whether you have a nice smile! On social media, this is of course a little different, so pick a smart, professional image (head shot only) that reflects your ambitious nature.
2 Create a separate job folder. Chances are, you’ll be making the majority of applications online, and so it doesn’t hurt to get your computer a little organised before firing off your CV. Create a separate folder dedicated to job-hunting, with sub folders for specific jobs (and your tailored CV / covering letter). Ensure your CV is always saved appropriately ie. CV – Joe Bloggs, to prevent any attachment mishaps.
3 Get a friend to check. Of course, you can’t be expected to have a friend on-call every time you send out a job application, but getting someone to proofread your template CV (if you have one) can help ensure there’s no silly mistakes.
4 Don’t mass mail. Whilst you may think sending out blanket emails and CVs will help your job hunt, chances are they’ll be filled with mistakes and errors. For instance, not changing an employer’s name is a blanket covering letter will not impress a company – either will telling them how much you want to work in publishing, if they’re an IT company.
5 Check, check, and check once more. When it comes down to it, your CV and job application is solely your responsibility – so don’t try to blame anyone else. Ensure all attachments are the right ones before hitting send, and if you do, by accident, attach an image of Nicolas Cage – or any other Hollywood actor – just remember not do it again!
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