stop sending me two resumes!

There’s an alarming new trend of people sending two resumes within one email message — generally one longer version of the resume and one shorter version, but sometimes one version highlighting one set of skills and one version highlighting another. It’s like they can’t decide which version is better, so they’ll just send them both.

This must stop.

{ 13 comments… read them below }

  1. Julie*

    How do you feel about companies that specifically state that each separate posting must be applied to separately? (I'm thinking specifically of colleges and universities, because that's what I know. I don't know if this is a trend elsewhere as well.)

    I've sometimes applied to two or three postings in similar but separate departments (e.g. history, humanities, English), which each required sending a separate CV and a separate cover letter.

  2. Anonymous*

    I second the question from Julie. It's greatly annoying to not know if they can cross reference materials like that. I'm almost afraid to speak to an HR representative because s/he might say one thing and another representative would just see an incomplete application.

  3. Anonymous*

    There's an alarming earlier trend of companies asking for two resumes within one application — generally one full version in standard DOC or PDF form, and then one version the applicant must manually translate and type into an shorter and inflexible database-field format. It's like they can't decide which version is better, so they'll just demand both.

    This must stop first.

  4. The Plaid Cow*

    Whole-heartedly agree with Anonymous @ 4:04. When I was submitting resumes, I always had three copies to make sure were in sync: Microsoft Word, PDF and plain text.

  5. Eric*

    What Anonymous said on post 3. A million times that. I'm amazed at how many procedural hoops I must jump through in just the application process. I think I gave the same information to one company 3 different times in 3 different formats recently only to be told they were going a different direction and no useful feedback. Job applications eat up a good deal of my family time and I get the feeling that companies simply do not care because they know they can get away with it. The best application forms online that I have seen have taken 5 minutes to fill out and a spot to upload a resume and cover letter. These were not small companies either.

  6. Morgan*

    Well then, companies should stop putting out job ads for positions that require more than one skill set. As a designer, I'm applying to a lot of "you'll be our secretary/accountant, AND our graphic design and marketing person" jobs. Of course, they're usually only willing to pay an administrative assistant's wage for these jack-of-all-trades jobs.

  7. Ask a Manager*

    Julie, I have mixed feelings about companies that require you to apply separately to separate jobs. At a small company, that would be ridiculous. At a larger employer, it's feasible that they have separate tracking systems, separate people reviewing and evaluating you, so there I can understand it — but if they're using an unwieldy system that makes the act of applying long and cumbersome, then they need to change their system.

    Anonymous 10:44 and Eric: I completely agree. Companies of have completely lost sight of the fact that they should care what kind of experience they impose on their applicants. It's ridiculous.

    But that doesn't mean that applicants should attach two different resumes when they email me their application. It's not a good idea, both won't be read, and it won't look good. I'm not going to stop letting job seekers know how to do things better just because companies also do plenty wrong. And it's certainly not like I haven't gone after employers PLENTY for mistreating job candidates.

  8. Anonymous*

    So, I didn't think this was something many people did and we started doing it ourselves because we were concerned that people skimming the resume for just the highlights were tossing it outright upon seeing certain keywords that they didn't think were a direct match (and one recruiter later told us that she almost did that herself). They're both covering the same material, but one possesses a longer narrative that's describing the work experience and does a better job of establishing its relevance. Ordinarily the cover letter would do that, but if we're not getting any traction *there*, what other avenues do we have?

    The filenames are identical other than one saying "(verbose)" in the filename, so I had taken it for granted that the screener or hiring manager will only be reading one and will pick the one that's appropriate.

    Everyone's different and we're basically playing "Guess what number I'm thinking" in trying to apply to half these positions.

    And then the majority of the time we never even find out whether the guess was correct or not…

  9. Anonymous*

    Maybe they think the shorter version is a cover letter? Maybe they are just too lazy to develop a cover letter.

  10. Anonymous*

    I just emailed you a resume/cover letter and got an instant response that you deleted without even opening the email. I am not sure why, as the job description on your website had you as the contact person and there were no special instructions on how to submit resumes.

    Would be helpful if you explained what the protocols of emailing resumes/cover letters are with regards to what goes in the email message area (without having to repeat what is in the attached cover letter); what goes in the subject line; and what tics off a hiring manager at first glance to delete without opening.

  11. Ask a Manager*

    Assuming that's directed to me personally, I haven't been anywhere near that email account today, but sometimes people send duplicate emails so one is deleted and the other is kept. Could be something like that! I don't know why anyone would delete a non-spam emailing without opening it.

  12. Pingback: Don’t send two résumés | Andy Lester

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