You know you’re qualified, so why isn’t your résumé generating interest? Here are five possible reasons:
1. Your résumé isn’t targeted to a specific job.
If you are qualified for roles in different areas, that’s great. But don’t expect the hiring manager to figure out what you want or how you’d best fit their needs based on a jack-of-all-trades résumé.
What catches the eye of someone hiring a sales rep is different from what one hopes to see when searching for a production planner.
Create one document for each different role, and give the best real estate on the page to highlighting your relevant skills and experience for each. You’ll appear focused and, therefore, more likely to make the initial cut.
2. You list your responsibilities, but not your accomplishments.
What you did is just one part of the story. The better part—the part that differentiates you from the competition—is how well you did it. What were your results?
Show potential hiring managers the value that you brought to past employers. The natural thought process is that you can deliver similar value for them.
Do you think you don’t have any accomplishments? You just went in every day and simply did your job? You’re probably undervaluing yourself. I can help you uncover the ways you made a positive impact and turn those ideas into compelling statements for your résumé.
3. Your formatting isn’t optimized for applicant tracking software (ATS).
While your goal is to get your résumé in front of human eyes, you’ll probably need to pass the ATS screen first.
Many employers use this software to help them comply with EEOC non-discrimination laws and to help weed out the many seemingly unqualified applicants.
Optimizing your résumé for this all-important screen means leaving out the characters and formatting elements that it doesn’t read correctly and using relevant keywords effectively.
4. Your contact information is wrong/questionable.
This seems obvious, but it’s worth double-checking. When someone calls the number you’ve provided, does it connect? Is the voicemail message professional? Are you using your current employer’s email? (Hint: Don’t!)
5. Your résumé has typos.
This is a biggie for both ATS and human readers. Ask a competent proofreader to review your document before you send it off.
Spellcheck is a good start, but it won’t catch everything. ATS won’t know that “manger” meant “manager” and HR folks can be more than a little judgmental about stray commas, unnecessary apostrophes, and random capitalization.
As a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, I transform ho-hum documents into dynamic, keyword-infused, and attention-capturing résumés. You don’t need to—in fact, you shouldn’t—tackle this all-important project on your own. Invest in yourself and start getting results.
Linda Mulcahy, CPRW