By now I’m sure most have seen the Nicholas Cage resume faux paus. A job seeker attached a picture of Nicholas Cage instead of her resume and cover letter. Hilarity ensued for those that read the story but for the actual job seeker (if she’s real), she was probably mortified.
No one has ever sent me a picture of Nicholas Cage (yet) but I have received a few questionable attachments. Some job seekers have sent drafts of their materials, resumes and cover letters in track changes, resumes and cover letters in a non-compatible format, papers or other writing assignments and my favorite, a blank word document.
Usually if I have time, I’ll contact the applicant and let them know that the resume they sent was actually blank. I do this primarily because they’ve probably been sending that word doc entitled “resume 2012” for some time now without any response and won’t understand why until they actually open that word document.
How does one recover from this?
Step 1: Apologize profusely and point out that your faux pas in no way reflects the quality of work that you would provide as an employee.
Step 2: Make a joke (if you’re funny). Depending on the sector and type of position they might welcome your sense of humor. Make sure your joke is appropriate (and funny).
Step 3: Move on. We tend to look at the closed door for so long that we let other opportunities pass us by. You sent a blank document to a prospective employer. Is this the only position that you’re applying for? No! You’ve apologized and provided the correct information. If they get back to you, great! If they don’t, that’s great too. There are plenty of other positions that you can apply for. Mistakes happen. As a job seeker and employee you’re supposed to be perfect but the reality is that mistakes will happen. The most important thing is that you accept responsibility for your mistake and make an effort to correct it.
To prevent situations where Nicholas Cage and his crazy eyes can make their way to your job application, set up some safe guards.
-Entitle your documents something that accurately describes what they are, “M.Honeypot_resume 2012.”
-Once documents are attached, open them and review them to make sure they’re correct.
-If you have gmail, set up a send delay just in case you spot something that shouldn’t be sent to a prospective employer.
-Save your emails as drafts and come back to them in a few hours. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can spot mistakes.
-Don’t save gifs of Nicholas Cage and his crazy eyes. (Probably the most important thing to do).
For those who have not seen it: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/09/accidental-nic-cage-resume-picture_n_1659343.html