Dear College Graduate….

Spring has sprung and with it a new crop of college graduates looking to land their dream job right out of the gate. We’ve all been there and we all know how hard it is to get the attention of a hiring manager.

As I see my inbox fill with the resumes of so many hopefuls fresh out of the classroom, I do make note of who is interested in our agency. I am proud that we have a reputation of hiring recent college graduates and nurturing them to become thriving professionals. I don’t typically look at resumes unless there is a specific role I’m trying to fill, but I do take time to at the very least, read their introduction to get an initial vibe.

To be honest, I don’t respond to all because frankly, I can’t answer them all. I did get a resume a couple weeks ago where I did take the time to answer. See image below.

For real. That is what I got.

I was more than a little surprised that a soon-to-be college graduate in marketing sent out their resume in such a manner; especially when they are graduating from a prestigious college. There wasn’t any greeting or content within the email.

As I thought about this over the next couple days, I felt the overwhelming need to help. Someone needed to clue this young person in before some HR director made lunch meat out of them. Below is the email response I sent back. I would like to put this out to the universe in the hope of saving another college graduate the same unfortunate predicament.

Thank you for your interest in Strategic America. At this time, I do not have an open position in the public relations department. Now this is where I typically say that I will keep your resume on file for future consideration, however, I will not and plan to delete your email. By simply sending your resume without anything else – not even a greeting like “Dear Ms. Buzynski,” is the fastest way to get your resume thrown into the trash.

  1. You need a cover letter.

This is extremely important. Your resume does not tell me anything about you. The cover letter is the very first impression an employer has of you. The job market is very competitive and there are a lot of new college graduates vying for the same jobs. 

  1. You need to sell yourself.

You need to differentiate yourself from all other candidates. The cover letter is how you tell your story to help me understand who you are and what you would be like as an employee. 

  1. You need to communicate your interest.

Research the agency/company and show that you understand the work they do and how you can contribute to its mission with your talents. Honestly, simply sending your resume with no cover letter or introductory email, no reference to your attributes and no insight into the type of career you are looking for gives the impression that you don’t care.

I know this is harsh, but I feel it’s important that you learn this now.  I took the time to send you this email in the hopes you will take my honest feedback and apply this lesson to successfully find a career you can thrive in.