Emailing your resume to potential employers seems to be the favored method of architectural students looking for internships and full-time employment. I say this with some confidence because I’ve received 5, and deleted 5, just last week … and let me tell you why.
climbing up on soapbox
I generally don’t think of myself as a cranky old person1 but I have had it with these emails – they are ridiculous and they all did the one thing that will virtually guarantee that they will never get a job worth having. They started off by writing:
“Dear Sir/Madam …”
There are only 7 people currently in my office and you have a 71.4% that the person you just emailed will be a Sir, a 28.6% chance that it will be a Madam, and a 0% chance of it being a Sir/Madam … this is, coincidentally, the same chance you now have for getting hired here.
Here is a response I sent out to someone earlier in the year:
This above image was the response I sent to someone who had sent me their portfolio, resume, and a cover letter, and asked if I would review it for them. 9,999 times out of 10,000 I DO NOT do this … it would literally become a full-time job for me. This person just happened to catch me at the right time and I reviewed everything they sent in and provided them with some feedback. I’ve included this response because I wanted to demonstrate some consistency in my words. Do not, under any circumstance, send someone your resume and start off with “Dear Sir / Madam …”
Another reason these sorts of emails drive me bonkers is that I have been blind-copied, presumably with countless other potential employers, because someone thinks that they are saving themselves loads of time by sending out a mass email rather than sending each prospective employer an individually written email. Clearly, if it was emailed to me, (and “Bob” is actually in my email address) would most people know that “Bob” is a male’s name, and by extension that I am at least a “Sir”? Besides, since it only takes a moment for someone to call our office and ask to whom should they address their email and cover letter, I consider this a problem-solving fail on the highest order … so why would I want you to work in my office?
When someone sends a blind copy (bcc) email, this tells me is that they didn’t put in any time researching my firm – finding out who we are, what we do, how big we are, etc.. This is a time-saving measure on their part, and while I am not generally against time-saving measures, this might be one of the instances when a little extra effort on your part will pay off. I don’t want to hire people who just need a job … any job. I want to hire people who want to work here … and need a job, but mostly because they want to work here and be a part of what we are trying to do. I will acknowledge that there are some large firms out there that need people constantly and if you are even remotely qualified you have a shot at employment. However, we are not that firm and if you had spent any time doing a little research you would know this.
Come on people, do better.
1 just by saying that I’m getting up on my soapbox might qualify me as a cranky old person