Top 7 Reasons Resumes Fail to Get the InterviewApr 29th, 2009 | By Bill | Category: Employment News
The number of job seekers sending out resumes is growing exponentially with each passing day. It’s unfortunate that the vast majority of these job seekers will end up sitting at home wondering why the phone doesn’t ring with a call for an interview. Some will simply not be qualified, but just as many will have submitted a resume that let them down. Don’t be part of that majority. Stand out in the crowd by avoiding these fatal resume flaws.
1. Too General This is the number one reason resumes fail. Entry level candidates fall victim to this flaw more often than more experienced workers but it’s a more or less universal problem. If you’ve ever had to review literally hundreds of resumes in one sitting while looking for people with specific qualifications, you would understand why a too general resume is rejected almost instantly. If you don’t know what you want to do, don’t expect a recruiter to figure it out for you.
The person looking through those resumes has to see what he’s looking for immediately. He doesn’t have time to read each one in detail and won’t take time to read between the lines to figure out what the candidate is capable of doing. Focus your resume on one functional role. If your experience would allow you to go in two or more directions write a different resume for each.
2. Not Attention GrabbingThat is: the resume does not have a compelling opening. It doesn’t matter whether you call it a career statement, career objective or value proposition, if you don’t have a strong opening statement you’ve lost out on a prime opportunity to grab the reader’s attention and propel her through your resume.
3. Not Results OrientedResumes that have a ho-hum listing of job duties do not make the cut in a crowded employment market. Just filling in an MS Word template with your job description won’t get the interview. Clearly show what you’re capable of by illustrating what you’ve done in the past. Combine your accomplishments with your responsibilities in a features/benefits format that includes plenty of action verbs.
4. Me FocusedToo many resumes start with a sentiment similar to this: “I’m looking for a job with a stable company that pays a decent wage and has good benefits.” That’s a no no. A job search is a needs based selling proposition. Successful job seekers sell the hiring manager based on that manager’s needs. Give your resume the greatest chance to succeed by writing it based on the hiring authority’s perspective. Remember: your resume is your marketing piece. Focus on what’s in it for the buyer (potential employer) if she hires you.
5. No KeywordsIf your resume is not rich with keywords specific to the functional role you’re targeting, it won’t get found in resume data bases. When you post your resume to a job board it’s one of thousands in a data base. When you submit your resume to a company from an online job posting it ends up in a data base. When you apply with a third party recruiter your resume goes into a data base. The odds of getting an interview will increase in your favor if you include the right keywords.
6. No Attention to DetailResumes with margins that don’t line up, miss-matched fonts, typos, misspellings, mixed up verb tenses and grammatical errors fail. It’s as simple as that. Proof read exhaustively. It would be tragic to lose out on your dream job because your resume contained these easy to fix errors.
7. Poor FormattingIt doesn’t matter what resume gurus say. Your functional resume might be really impressive if a person takes the time to read it in detail. But that’s not going to happen in a first pass screen. If the initial screening person can’t see at a glance what she is looking for, your resume will fail.
To help this person quickly determine that you meet the position requirements, include your work history in reverse chronological order somewhere on your resume. Make it easy on the human scanner by using one font type, formatting with bullet points and including plenty of white space.
Your resume’s primary function is to get you an interview. Get to that important first meeting by making sure yours represents you in the strongest way possible.
Here’s more free help with building a strong resume and a distinctive candidacy.
Shirley Ray has interviewed thousands of job hopefuls over the course of her 17 years as a hiring professional. Starting as a corporate recruiter, then moving into professional recruiting and finally staffing agency ownership she has placed hundreds of deserving people with top companies.
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