Many candidates apply to career opportunities with their viable experience, then say a prayer to the Gods and do a rain dance, while adding any other superstitious customs.

What most candidates do not know, is how they are going about the application process can cause them not to be iStock_000016466285small.jpgconsidered due to other factors outside their experience. Here is a quiz to see if you would apply to a job today, would it reach it's intended target before stumbling through the abyss of applicant tracking systems, resume reviewers, Sourcers, Recruiters, HR Assistants, HR Directors, and the unknown after hitting SEND.

When sending over a resume through LinkedIn, Monster, CareerBuilder, company career pages, in what format should you send your resume?

  1. PDF
  2. Word
  3. Rich Text Format
  4. Any

Answer:  2. Word.  Why?  Many tracking systems and job boards do not take PDF kindly, and RTF is difficult to disseminate the information by sight.  By sending your resume in Word format, all tracking systems, job boards, and parties can see, import and view your information.  If you send another format, you risk your resume getting "kicked out" of the system, never reaching the intended destination.  

Do you have a higher probably of getting reviewed by placing nice fonts, different colors, and columns on your resume? 

  1. Nice fonts make the resume look better.
  2. Different colors make it stand out.
  3. Headers are always important.
  4. Columns make the information look "better:.
  5. None of the above

Answer:  5. None of the above.  Just like sending your resume in a non-Word format, systems have a hard time importing and viewing different fonts, colors, or columns.  Keep your resume simple.  If you would like to increase certain font sizes, that would work, yet anything beyond this can cause the pertinent information on your resume to not be processed through tracking systems and job boards, therefore not reaching your intended target . . . the people whom are hiring.

What is the best type of resume?

  1. Chronological
  2. Functional
  3. Combination
  4. Targeted 

Answer:  1.  Chronological with experience under each job title, date and organization.  When an organization is seeking 5 years of experience of (fill in the blank), the most efficient way to understand if you have this experience is the chronological resume.  Other resumes will leave HR Directors and Recruiters hand pecking at the information attempting to see if you are viable for the position, which is a risk you might not want to take.  

When should I respond to my Recruiter?

  1. Respond to a Recruiter only when it is about a new job opportunity or interview.
  2. Only until I can deal with the client directly.
  3. Always respond to your Recruiter, timely, no matter the question.
  4. Never call the client directly.

Answer:  3.  Always respond to your Recruiter, timely, no matter the question. and 4.  Never call the client directly unless asked by the Recruiter.  The Recruiter is working to get you a job, and many questions come directly from the client to you.  Recruiters are not only working to make themselves a living, they are working hard to make you a great living as well . . . help them out so they represent you in the best light possible.  

After contacted by a Recruiter/HR Director, how often should I keep in contact with my Recruiter/HR Director?

  1. Once a week.
  2. Once every other week.
  3. Once a month.
  4. When I see an opportunity of interest in which I fit the requirements, that has been posted on the company's website.  

Answer:  It depends.  If a client or boss wants to interview you, you will be contacted, and quickly.  If you know you have been presented as a viable candidate for a position, an email 2. Once every other week for a quick update will work.  Sometimes these jobs can go for awhile.  If you see a job of interest, and you fit the requirements, feel free to reach out.  Yet a quick thought . . . for an HR Director or Recruiter to understand while you are reaching out to them directly, you might have to state your case (and quickly) that you meet requirements 1, 2, 3 and 4, which is the reason for the phone call or email. This way, there is a great understanding that you could be presented for the job.

Should I include a Cover Letter?

  1. Always.
  2. Never.
  3. Sometimes.

Answer:  It depends, yet probably 2. Never.  Cover letter are generally subjective, meaning, verbiage that cannot be proven.  In the 6 seconds your resume will be reviewed, you might not want someone to be stuck on reading your cover letter.

When should I apply for a job if I meet some/any/all of the requirements?

  1. Always!!  I want them to see my resume no matter what my experience!  No need to worry about the requirements.
  2. If I meet at least 1/2 the requirements.
  3. If I met at least 3/4 of the requirements.
  4. If I meet all of the requirements.

Answer:  Best case scenario would be at minimum 3.  If I met at least 3/4 of the requirements and of course, 4.  If I meet all of the requirements.  Sometimes I've seen clients accept a candidates which met 1/2 of the requirements, yet they were very skilled at something particular they were seeking.  The thing you do not want to do is 1. Always!!  I want them to see my resume no matter what my experience!  No need to worry about the requirements.  If you don't meet the requirements, applying won't get you the interview or job, and there is no guarantee you will be considered for another.  Just hang tight . . . .the right opportunity and the right attention will arrive in due time.  

How long should I make my resume?

  1. Only 1 page, no matter what.
  2. Only 2 to 3 pages.
  3. After the first page, approximately one page per 10 years of experience.
  4. None of the above.

Answer: 3. After the first page, approximately one page per 10 years of experience.   Most resumes are 2 to 3 pages, yet someone with 3o+ years of experience could lend to a 4 to 5 page resume, if the experience is relevant to the opportunity.  If you limit your resume to 1 page, all of your valuable experience has vanished, unable to be viewed by active hiring individuals.  

In today's market, it can be a challenge for any candidate to move their resume to the right individuals, through the system, timely, and to know when to be an active assist in finding your next perfect opportunity.