Avoiding becoming Resume Spam

Everyone hates spam but now for job seekers there is an even greater down side as candidates find their resumes ending up, not on the employer’s lap, but instead caught in the recruiter’s or employer’s spam box. 

In a 2008 survey done by Career Directors International regarding the percentage of résumés received that end up trapped in SPAM filters, 72 percent of recruiters said that less than 5 percent of résumés were caught; 22 percent said that 5-10 percent were caught; and 6 percent said that a whopping 11-25 percent were caught.

For jobseekers this can be devastating as dream jobs pass them by simply because of the inclusion of seemingly innocent words and/or symbols.  Words such as free, specialist (which contains the drug name cialis in the middle), trial, expand, winner and American University honour term ‘magna cum laude’ are all triggers that can cause your resume to spam blocked.

My three top tips to avoid having your resume renegaded to the email spam bin include

1. Avoid words that flag your resume as a risk to spam blocking technology or utilise a content checking technology such as the  free service “Lyris Content Checker” http://www.lyris. com/resources/contentchecker before sending it out. Alternatively contact a resume writer to check it for you.

2. If you send your resume as an attachment, word your subject line carefully. Alternatively cut and paste your resume in the body of the email.

3. Send a back up copy of your resume via the mail to ensure your resume is received and/or follow up via telephone. If you are concerned have the company white-list your email address.

Remember forewarned is forearmed, so take steps today to protect yourself.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Avoiding becoming Resume Spam

  1. wfeigenson

    Unfortunately, many spam filters don’t look at content, so your good advice is wasted in those cases. The sending email server can be even more important. I suggest that job seekers create a GMail account, and use it for their job search – simply because GMail’s delivery rate is higher than other services.

    There is another side to this as well – you may not get the email a potential hiring manager or HR person sends you. For example, Comcast filters by IP range, and if anybody on the server used by your hiring company is a spammer, they may not be able to email you. Other email services are equally brain-dead.

    I’ve written more on this subject here: http://feigenson.us/blog/?p=426

    -walt

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