Have you been sending out your resume and are getting frustrated because the phone isn’t ringing? I recently had the opportunity to ask hiring managers what makes them decide not to call a candidate for an interview. You will not get call-backs for every resume you send out. However, if you pay attention to the following problem areas, your phone will ring much more often.
One thing that human resources managers feel very strongly about is that you must tailor each resume to the job and the company to which you are applying. This doesn’t mean re-writing your resume each time you apply for a job. It simply means tailoring your resume to meet the needs of the company and the job for which you are applying.
Complete some preliminary research on the company before you send your resume. Find out what their priorities are, who their customer is, and how they can benefit from your skills. It is a proven fact that you will be more successful with 10 focused and targeted resumes than 100 generic resumes.
LACK OF REQUIRED SKILLS
This is a major source of frustration to hiring managers. If you don’t have 75 to 80% of the required qualifications for the job, then applying is a waste of yours and the hiring manager’s time. Remember, there is a difference between required and desired qualifications. Spend your time and energy applying for jobs where you meet much of the required qualifications.
RESUME LACKS VISUAL APPEAL
The purpose of a resume is to entice the hiring manager to pick up the phone and call you for an interview. If you have a resume that is not pleasing to the eye, they will move on to the next person very quickly. Studies show that you get between 10 and 25 seconds of attention for your resume. Here are some tips to make your resume more visually appealing:
• The resume should not be crowded, too little or too much white space will turn people off.
• Spacing should be consistent throughout the document. If you indent your bullet points, indent them all the same.
• Use bullet points. Using paragraphs instead of bullet points makes the reader think you are asking them to read a novel about you.
• Bold key areas such as your name, headings, job titles, and degrees to bring attention to your resume.
• Ensure your resume is organized and easy to follow.
USING JOB DESCRIPTION LANGUAGE
Remember, a resume is not a history of your career. Avoid using job description language such as “Responsible for . . .” or “Duties included. . .” Instead, use action words, accomplishments, and results-oriented statements. Every line of your resume should demonstrate the benefits a company will receive if they hire you.
TYPOS OR MISSPELLED WORDS
Nothing will get your resume passed over faster than typos or misspelled words. Your resume should be a glowing example of the type of work you do. Typos or misspelled words tell an employer you lack attention to detail and perform sloppy work. These are not exactly the best qualities for a potential employee. Remember, spellchecker is not perfect. Read your resume, read it again backwards, and have someone you trust read it a third time before you even consider sending it to potential employers.