Have you looked at your resume lately? I mean, really looked at it? Have you ever imagined yourself in a potential employer’s shoes, looking at your resume, which is just one of a stack of resumes that could be four inches tall? And that’s just the resumes submitted for one job opening. Related: 7 Strategies To Get More Recruiters To Read Your Resume The average job opening will get somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 resumes. So I estimated the height of 400 resumes based on two pages per resume, which amounts to 800 sheets of paper, or roughly the height of just under two reams. This person has to fight his/her way through all that paper to find a single winning candidate. And when I say “fight,” I really mean “fight.” Which means that your job, as a candidate for a position, is to make things as easy as possible for the potential employer. And employers really hate, with a capital “H,” resumes that look like too much work. Those are usually the first to go into the circular file. In that spirit, employers aren’t fond of very tiny type, or very short margins. I have seen resumes set in eight-point fonts, because the candidate believed the old chestnut about keeping the resume to one page. I’ve seen resumes with barely a quarter-inch of margin space top, bottom, and sides, for the same reason. If you don’t want to reduce the employer to tears, you need to give him/her a document she/he can read without a magnifying glass. Another item to avoid: Long, drawn-out sentences. If your sentence goes longer than two lines on the resume, you need to break it up somehow. You need to squeeze that sentence of all unnecessary words as you would a sponge, down to its barest essentials. How many ideas does the sentence convey? If your answer is anything except "one," your writing is in trouble. Have you used two or three words when you could have used just one? How about breaking the sentence into bullet points, for ease of reading? And speaking of bullet points... Have you used more than six bullet points at a time anywhere? If you’ve done that, you need to reconstruct your descriptions of accomplishments. If you provide a reader with more than six bullet points without some kind of break, she/he will become distracted and could lose sight of what you’re trying to convey. She/he might even get bored, and stop reading. Your goal in writing that resume is to keep the employer reading. The only interruption should be when the employer decides to look for your phone number or email address. If you don’t make that resume the smoothest, most readable document ever, you’ve lost the battle. You want that employer to experience your resume as a description of why you’re the answer to their prayers. That resume is the employer’s first glimpse of you. If you’re interviewing for most office jobs, you’re not going to show up wearing a dirty tee shirt and ripped jeans, are you? So why, then, are you not showing the same care with the writing of your resume? This should be a no-brainer, like wearing your best suit to a job interview. It’s “just a resume,” you say? It’s much more than that, friends. It’s your future. This post was originally published on an earlier date.
We get it. Looking for work can be scary, especially if you’ve been at it for a long time and haven’t gotten any results.
Understanding which fears are getting in the way and how to overcome them will make all the difference. Sometimes you might not be aware of which obstacle is getting in the way of your goals. If you want to overcome these fears once and for all, we invite you to join us!
In this training, you’ll learn how to:
- Utilize strategies for coping with your job search fears
- Be confident in your job search—from writing your resume to networking
- Face your fears and move forward
Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, October 5th at 12 pm ET.
CAN'T ATTEND LIVE? That's okay. You'll have access to the recording and the workbook after the session!
If you feel like many of the job postings you come across in your job search are scams, you're not alone. You are not the first job seeker to tell me they feel this way. But we have to think about where this comes from.
The Job Application Process Is A Broken System
@j.t.odonnell Replying to @nana_5075 Why job listings feel like a scam... #jobs#careers#careertok#jobtok♬ original sound - J.T. O'Donnell
Back in the day, a company would post a job in the want ad section of a newspaper, so you'd have to open up a newspaper, read through it, write up a resume and cover letter, and snail mail your application off to them. When the idea came to post jobs online, it meant more people who were the right fit could apply. But over time, that's broken down.
Now thousands of people will apply for one job when it gets posted. And many of those job applicants are not a fit. So employers now have to hire recruiters, who are also called sourcers, to go through thousands of applicants so they can whittle it down to about 50 qualified applicants. What's the rhyme or reason they're using to select some applicants and screen others out?
This is why you don't get called—because it's just so random.
After employers get down to 50 applicants, they look through those, find a few they like, and call them. That's why only 3% of people who apply online ever hear back from companies.
It's a completely broken system, so I can see why it feels like a scam. The whole thing is flawed.
So, how do we improve this system? It starts with making better matches, getting back to a place where only the right people are applying to the employer. We actually want fewer applicants, but more of the right applicants. That's the solution. And there are hundreds of millions of dollars in this industry trying to figure it out. But the one thing we have seen is that storytelling is one of the ways to do that.
You're going to see a rise in companies telling their stories. And there's a fancy term for this in our industry. It's called employer branding. Companies will tell their stories on social media platforms like TikTok so that those stories fatefully, naturally, and organically show up in your feed. But it's not fate, right? It's the algorithm at work—and before you know it, you'll start to see companies that feel like a fit. Then you'll go over and check them out. You'll see that there's a job posted that you're fit for. And this is how this matching process will start to fine-tune itself.
Right now, yes, you're right. Those online job postings don't work. They don't work for either side. We need a better system. And storytelling is the key. So go learn how to conduct a proactive job search today so you can finally land a job and work for an employer you actually like!
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