For your job search you have to learn a very important lesson from spammers.
How do they get people to pay attention?
Here is how they get ME to pay attention. Learn from my weakness.
I never get less than 60 spam emails in a day. Over a weekend it is always several hundred. Every once in a while I see a word and phrase in the subject line that I have to investigate. As a recruiter, one irresistible word is “resume”. Others are CPA, VB.Net, Senior, relocating, or proven.
Think about people you send your resume to.
Every time a job ad is placed online, someone gets spammed. They may get 50 to 1000 emails from people wanting a job. At least half will be totally unqualified. So the hirer or their receptionist has to skim through them and delete all but the top 10 or 20. While doing it they will delete the resumes of highly qualified people who weren’t careful.
A little carefulness will at least get your resume glanced at.
Take the job ad you are replying to. What are they key words for the ad? Are there one or two things that appear to be the biggest and most important skills? You need to figure out the keywords that will force them to open your resume and read it.
Let’s go one step further. Make sure your resume fits the job ad. Put those keywords in bold typeface in your resume. Have 3 or 4 different resumes available to send for slightly different jobs.
Spammers are experts of single words and simple phrases. They suck their target into their ad. They know who they want to impress and what they want their victim to do.
Be careful. Figure out who you want to impress. What keywords can you highlight that will make your ad, your resume, irresistible?
Something to do today
Today take every job ad that interests you and WRITE DOWN the keywords in the ad before you send your resume. Then highlight the keywords in your resume and in your cover letter.
Later: The rubber band solution for nervousness