Lazy Lookers

A reader writes…

Hi, Anita,

I manage my company’s website and frequently receive webmaster emails with a résumé attached. No subject line. No explanation. Nothing. It drives me crazy. What would you say to people who are clearly just throwing their résumé at the wall to see what sticks? As a hiring manager, would you even consider these “candidates?”

“Dear, Webmaster,”

My answer to you is plain and simple. NO I would NOT consider these unsolicited candidates, and I would say to these people that they should stop being so lazy. (Job seekers… I hope you are paying attention!)

No company (that I’ve heard of) would welcome a random résumé that doesn’t include some sort of introduction, salutation, or cover letter explaining its purpose – or even the job of interest. The “spray and pray” technique (in which job seekers blast their résumé at any and every website in hopes of getting a call) has no chance in my book. As most of my readers would attest, the hunt for a job requires a lot of leg work, strategy, practice, and determination. While I realize people are desperately trying to get their name out there… I am not a big fan of this approach and would be surprised if any hiring manager actually took such résumés seriously.

Maybe I stand alone on this one.

Hiring Managers / Supervisors / Recruiters… how do you feel about receiving résumés on your website (sent to the generic “webmaster” email address) without a subject line or any explanation whatsoever?

Look forward to hearing from you!

50 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cheryl Ann Cayce
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 19:46:58

    Can I make employers care about my application that I put in. If it a place I would really want to work at, can I be person to be recognized?


  2. Lynn
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 10:14:40

    I have been unemployed for almost 6 months. When it comes to online applications, I am not “lazy” I am annoyed. Why is it that these employers ask for a resume then ask for me to fill out an application with information the can be found IN MY RESUME. It is redundant. I recently filled out a online application that took me almost an hour to complete! It included one of those annoying questionnaires(do you agree/disagree on a scale of 1 to 5) that was over 200 questions long! And most of those questions we repeated several times!

    In my opinion hiring manager are lazy. No one seems to take the time any more to actually READ a resume, and they decided whether or not to hire you before ever meeting you based solely on your application. You cannot judge a person based on an written profile. Take the time to sit down with us, or better yet just return our phone call!


  3. Cheryl Ann Cayce
    Nov 30, 2011 @ 11:36:11

    Do you need a picture or business card to to put on a resume


    • anitaclew
      Nov 30, 2011 @ 11:53:58

      No. Do not include a picture or business card on your resume. Simply make sure your name and contact information is clearly listed at the top… but photos, marital status, religion, or personal details like that are a definite no-no!


  4. Brenda Adams
    Nov 29, 2011 @ 18:37:34

    Dear Anita,

    It seems that I tend to receive MORE replys when I do NOT send a cover letter. Cover letters are timely and you have to write down EXACTLY the words or job duties the recruiter or employer is looking for. My resume SAYS exactly what I want and what I am looking for “on the resume”, and I ONLY apply to jobs that FIT my experience and that I know I can handle. (as I am quite sure everyone else does as well). I can get more resumes out there when NOT having to compile a cover letter, each and every time. Since most of the time, I do not hear back at all. Once I am interviewed, however, I do make a special “thank you for interview” letter, specific to the employer or recruiter.


  5. PPrice
    Nov 20, 2011 @ 10:49:44

    ok then please help us job seekers with cover letter information


  6. PPrice
    Nov 20, 2011 @ 10:48:33

    Ok then, tell us lazy job seekers more about cover letters.


  7. Cheryl Ann Cayce
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 20:50:13

    I’m in a sorority for a few years now how do i put that in my resume. It is not a paying job but how do put it the resume? Also I’m on LinkedIN but do’nt how use for employment searching


    • anitaclew
      Nov 22, 2011 @ 10:25:26

      As a college student (or recent grad), I know that putting together a résumé for the first time can be tricky. Extra curricular activities such as being in a sorority or fraternity, participating in campus leadership groups, sports, etc. are GREAT to include. Just because something is unpaid, you should absolutely chalk it up as “experience” that can be applied to any job. – That’s why I often remind readers to include volunteer work, charities, and internships into the good ol’ résumé. The idea is to not necessarily focus on the “group” itself… but to convey the things you were responsible for, such as:
      • Organizing events – What you did, how you did it, challenges you were up against, timelines, etc.
      • Managing people – How many, issues involved, how you were accountable, what you had to oversee / overcome or report
      • Managing budgets – Give quantitative examples, how you did it, etc.
      • Planning outings, outsourcing services, hiring people, managing conflicts
      • (The list can go on and on!)

      THESE are the types of qualities a potential employer may be looking for. They probably don’t care if you were a “Delta Delta Delta” (unless they too were in the Greek system… who knows, you may become fast friends!) It’s the responsibilities you had and characteristics that you can contribute to a company that matter. The fact that you are involved in organizations definitely helps and says a lot about your ability to multi-task and take on more (while hopefully maintaining a good GPA!)

      As for LinkedIn… this would be a good topic for an upcoming post (thanks for the suggestion) and please stay tuned…!
      Hope this helps!


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Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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