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How To Send a Resume to a Small Business

How To Send a Resume to a Small Business

Recently we advertised for an Administration Assistant. We were fortunate enough to be inundated with resumes which we thought would make our job really difficult. As it turned out, it was really easy to sort through the resumes, simply because of what was or was not in them. Like to know what I was looking for as an employer? Let’s explore.

How to Send a Resume to a Small Business

Include a Cover Letter

While we didn’t ask for a cover letter, we immediately discounted all applicants who sent through their resumes as with no email to accompany them. That’s right, many of our applicants actually sent through their resumes as an attachment to a blank email. When you applying for any job, especially one in administration or customer service, it is important to be displaying those skills right from the very first contact. It does not need to be elaborate, especially if not asked for, but at the very least something along the lines of “Hi, my name is Nicole and I am interested in applying for your advertised position of administration assistant. Please find attached my resume. Thank you for your time, Kind Regards, Nicole Cox 0411 304 680

Simple and to the point without leaving the person you are sending them too, scratching there heads.


Consider How Your Resume is Presented

Many of the resumes we received were not at all well written. This is important when applying for all positions but again essential when applying for an administration position. Be careful of your wording, your spelling and explain any great time lapses in your employment history. Employers are looking for honesty in their potential employees, if you’ve had a bad experience it’s going to come out at some time, there is no point hiding it. Taken time off to have kids? Document this.

Include Job Descriptions

When writing your resume, be sure to include a basic job description. Give the employer the opportunity to understand what you are capable of. If your role included more than what would be typical for that position, be sure to document that. A resume is to display you to your best advantage.

Include Your Hobbies

This gives the employer and opportunity to understand what you like to do in your spare time. Many of these skills can also be an asset to a business, especially a small one, where multitasking is so important.

Consider Attaching A Photo

I can recall getting a job before I even attended the interview because my employer thought I looked trustworthy. Obviously only do this if you have a good quality head shot, but these are easy to take on your phone.

Show Your Personality

A resume is a great opportunity for your potential employer to learn as much as possible about you. Don’t be afraid to share some of your personality. Small business often have the employer working along side employees, we want to know that we are able to get along. Sharing your personality a little will help you stand out from the crowd.

All business are different, the most important tip I can give is to read the add several times before you do anything. Be sure you are including all the information the employer has requested, then edit, edit, edit.

I hope these tips help, good luck!

Do you have any tips to share? What things have you done to win over an employer? What is the worst job you have ever had?

Nicole xxx

Linking up with Essentially Jess for #IBOT




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  1. I remember once when my headteacher was seeking to appoint a new teacher – she threw loads of applications in the bin (in the days before email) simply because they had spelling mistakes! I think it’s so important to edit, edit and edit again. I still can’t believe that applicants sent their CV without a covering letter – mind boggling! I hope you got the perfect person for the job!

    1. Yes we did, perfect in fact. Kate has been with us for about 3 months and has fitted in wonderfully xx

  2. I was always taught to make a good first impression from the very first meeting, so when handing in resumes ensure that you are dressed professionally & appropriately conduct yourself. Now with most first contacts happening over the phone or email in this day & age, ensure you have a professional phone manner & sensible email address to accompany your resume/cover letter.. I haven’t had to job seek for quite some time being a Teacher & running our own small business, but I recently had the pleasure of assisting my 2 eldest with the process of making their cover letters, resumes & giving them tips for getting a job, thankful to say they took the tips on board & both were successfully employed in their first casual jobs & most recently a work experience placement. Back in my uni days I had a manager at Jay Jays who used to throw resumes out of the people she didn’t like the look of or who didn’t speak politely & present well.. It’s key to success ? Hope you found the right applicant for the job!

    1. I love that your kids have casual job already that is awesome and so important. All of your points are so valid! xx

  3. I agree with the covering letter. I coach many people on how to submit resumes (as part of my career coaching) and even in the public service where it’s all very structured and form reliant, I always encourage my clients to sum themselves up in a page that not only acknowledges the position, the business, their writing skills and their enthusiasm for the position, but also gives a quick paragraph on why they’re the best person for the job.

    1. That is great advice, we are all so busy, the easier it is made for me by the potential employee, the more likely that person is to get an interview!

  4. This is so good Nicole. I giggled that people sent their resume with no cover letter! When I first started sending cover letters and resumes out for jobs after getting my Diploma in Marketing, I sent all my cover letters… with no signature at the bottom! One company was kind enough to write to me and give me a ‘tip’.

    1. How kind of the company. It never hurts to be kind. xx

  5. Good tips.

    1. Thank you.

  6. I cannot even begin to understand why someone would send a blank email with an attachment!

    The only thing on your list I was surprised at was the photograph request. in America that is actually not allowed as it can lead to discrimination.

    1. That is a very fair point and I certainly did not think of the potential there. I have always found it to be helpful for myself, especially in this day in age, where our private lives are so public, thinking Facebook and other social media here. xx

  7. I’ve compiled a lot of Resumes in my time, for myself and more recently for clients. My best tips would be to keep things concise – use point form, and put the most relevant information at the beginning. Also a resume should be tweaked for each job you go for. Time consuming, yes, necessary.

    1. I agree, tweaking need not be too time consuming, but it is essential. Point for is perfect as a busy employer I don’t have time to read long stories. ?

  8. I agree with the cover letter. It’s a sign that the person has actually read the job description and is keen to apply for the job. I have always had a photo of myself on my resume as it makes it more personal. So, did you end up finding the perfect person Nicole?

    1. Sorry from #teamIBOT

    2. Yes I agree, you can cover so much in a short polite cover letter, it is an essential! Yes I am very pleased to say we did find our perfect employee. Kate has been with us now for 3 months and has fitted in perfectly. x

  9. The worst job(s) I’ve had literally fill a few thousands words of a book I can’t work out how to publish without getting sued ?

    I remember looking at jobs where people don’t even write a cover letter and it’s just kind of astounding, really!

    1. Yep, just doesn’t make any sense to me ?

  10. I think people should apply these tips to their LinkedIn profiles as well. It’s surprising how little effort goes into some of those as well and it’s the first place people look to check you out.

    1. Blushing…..off to check out my own now. You know though, that is something I had not given any thought to, as we generally use Facebook for a sneaky stalk. After fixing my own Linkedin profile, I’ll check out some potential employees as well. xx

  11. Great advice, Nicole. I would add pay attention to detail, keep it concise, showcase real achievements and adding personality is a great one. The worst job I’ve ever had was selling advertising space for a publishing company. The boss and people were dreadful and I used to stand in the bathroom with my head against the wall wishing the world would swallow me whole. That was a bit dramatic, wasn’t it?! Onwards ?

    1. Perfect advice Renee, thank you! I’ve jobs like that, the worst. xx

  12. I just can’t understand how anyone can think they would be in with a chance for a job when their resume/application is incomplete or full of spelling mistakes. I worked in recruitment for awhile years ago and have seen some shockers. In my last role I also looked after the recruitment and if there was no cover letter/spelling mistakes or the resume was full of waffle and more than 2 pages long I wouldn’t even bother reading it.

    1. Absolutely! You are showing immediately that you have little care for attention to detail. Not my kind of employee.

  13. It amazes me that people think that they are in with a chance just shooting a resume across. I have read some hilarious resumes in my time. One referred to herself as a “hot baby mama” …. Blew my mind! Bahahahaha

    1. What on earth was the hot baby mama applying for??? The laziness astounded us, certainly made us question why they were applying.

  14. I need to book mark this site! (read that back and laughed because it sounded so spammer like – I promise I was being honest!) As a young mum and a SAHM, my resume is fairly sad looking, but I had never thought to articulate why there were gaps in my employment. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    1. Ha ha ha. I really feel that it is crucial to list why you had gaps, especially if due to mum time. Being a mum adds so many more skills to your skill set base, I would doubt it could ever be a negative. xx

  15. A blank email?! Seriously? Meanwhile, I wanted to show a little personality with my resume by listing ‘keen attention to detail’ three times in my strengths. Decided against it – wasn’t sure people would get (or appreciate!) the joke. Probably a wise move. ?

    1. Absolutely not even just once, but 5 different applicants! I think that’s hilarious! Surely you wit would have won you the job based on resume alone ?

  16. I’m with Emily….a blank email?!! Are you for real?!! I have just come from the other side of applying for a job and I GOT IT!! Woohoo!! I heard about the job before it was advertised so I emailed my resume with a letter expressing my interest. I said things like – this is a job I could really sink my teeth into! haha! Doing the selection criteria I had a dear friend (who works in recruitment) give me a few pointers. Rather than list jobs, whack it in a table. It looks pleasing to the eye and it shows you can add tables to documents. Under multi-skilled I put just 1 word – motherhood.
    Fronting up for the interview I ripped the hell out of my 2nd pair of stockings but I made a huge joke of it and it had us all laughing so it rings true, just be yourself!

    1. Yep, not even just one, we had about 5. Makes me wonder why exactly they were applying?? Congratulations on your new job, how exciting! Table is a great idea and shows another skill, really important for any job. I think that employers give more credit for motherhood than some might think, and feel it’s an essential skill to list. Love that you made a joke, it shows your ability to roll with the punches, which is so necessary in any job. I would have hired you on the spot!!

  17. […] on from last weeks post on How to Send A Resume to Small Business, this week we are taking a look at the interview process. We were lucky to have 5 girls who all […]

  18. […] have shared our tips for potential employees recently with the employment of our new office admin, now it’s time to share some tips for the other small businesses in our position ready to […]

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