This is a very important Rule from a jobfairy.com perspective. This pertains to how you write your resume and what you should include – or not include. Things you don't include are your salary, the reasons why you left or had to leave a job, the address, city, or state of where the job was, or anything that isn't strictly necessary. If you've followed the template, you won't be making any mistakes of this kind. You relate all your accomplishments; these don't necessarily have to have been acknowledged. They may not have been of value to this employer, but they are probably going to be of value to your next employer.
Let go of any feelings of self-doubt or worthlessness. The company likes to keep you thinking like that because then you perform all sorts of valuable work for them without demanding much in the way of compensation. Yes, even in an abysmal job market like this, we Fairies are still getting raises and increases in responsibilities. It’s possible. And not all that unusual.
In terms of answering a job ad, you want to keep it short and sweet. Use the sig files that we have posted on the site; modify them slightly so that they apply to your particular situation. Some people insist on elaborate cover letters; we have noticed that they rarely do any good. Since most recruiters and hiring managers are doing their initial sort by matching keywords, this is generally a waste of time. Save such efforts for when you are invited to apply for a particular position, or you're going for a job where you need to demonstrate that you can fluidly compose business correspondence. This is why sales and marketing people tend to still do the cover letter thing while for most positions in information technology; it’s like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Make sure you never include a photo.
Also make sure if you post a resume on the Internet (i.e. your own web site) that you strip it of most identifying information. Use your cell phone number (if you must include a phone number at all) because that generally can't be traced back to your home address. However, sometimes it can, so if you have a pager number, that’s often better. What I do on my online resume is strip out the address information, and list the area code and prefix of my phone number, but not the last four digits. I instead list an email address in a particular format so that they can get in touch with me. I want recruiters to be able to find me for jobs, and to know where I'm located approximately, but not specifically. I've had no problems so far with this approach. I also type out the email address like this – “help AT jobfairy DOT org”. This weeds out the truly clueless. You wouldn't want to be working for them anyway. This also ensures you aren't spammed a million times just because you posted an HTML version of your resume. If you've gotten calls from an independent recruiter, remember; never meet them at their house. Meet them at a public place like Starbucks. In addition, ensure you use your cell and pager numbers with them until you're sure they're OK. Usually, they are, but a Rules girl is careful.