While Nicolas Cage may be able to escape from Alcatraz, the once most impenetrable prison in the U.S., or steal the Declaration of Independence (ok…at least the characters he plays in movies can), he can’t actually get you a job. Vanessa Hodja learned that in the most humbling way possible.
Hodja, a 20-year-old student from Toronto, sent what she thought was her resume to a career center about an administrative assistant opening at York University, according to The Wall Street Journal
. But instead of her resume, Hodja accidentally attached a frightening photo of actor, Nicolas Cage.
While this unintentional tactic didn’t get her the job, it has since gotten Hodja a lot of media attention. Hodja told The Washington Post
that “in the past 24 hours, she’s gained 800 new followers to her Tumblr
. She also says a Toronto radio show booked her for an interview and that the Toronto Star got in touch and was in the process of scheduling a photo shoot with her later today.” Finally, it's gotten her two job offers
via her Facebook page.
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But he can also teach every job seeker out there a few important lessons about first impressions. While this stunt got Hodja noticed, it’s not the ideal exposure most potential employees are looking for.
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Beth Brown, the co-author of the Damn Good Resume Guide, told The Wall Street Journal
that Hodja could have saved herself a lot of embarrassment if she had first sent the email to herself. Brown states, “You want to make sure what comes back to you looks like what you sent.”
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In addition to sending a draft of the email to yourself first, it’s important to always go over your email, cover letter and resume with a fine-tooth comb, so to speak. Even if you know your resume
is flawless, go over it each time you send it to a potential employer. Make sure it fits the job requirements and presents you as the best possible candidate for that particular position.
Finally, and this might be a no-brainer for most of you, save your resume as something obvious and professional, like “LastName_Resume.doc.” Hodja made the mistake of saving her resume as a numbered file, which was very similar to the same numeric value used for the scary Nicolas Cage photo. Even if her resume had actually been the file attached to the email, it still wouldn’t have looked very professional as an attachment.
Remember, potential employers are judging you on every facet of exposure they have of you. That includes your email address, your attached file names and any images you have in your signature. Put your best foot forward by making sure everything about you screams “professional” – and not, “I’m so creeped out by Nicolas Cage.”