The job market is fiercely competitive, and it’s a tricky business to make your resume stand out from the crowd. While you certainly shouldn’t expect to be asked for an interview for every job you apply for, if you’re not getting invited at all, this is a clear sign that something is wrong.
RELATED: Need some resume advice? Watch these tutorials!
If all employers are rejecting your application before you’ve even sat in the interview room, it indicates that the problem lies with your resume. Here’s some key reasons why it might not be making the grade… and how to improve things today!
Reasons Why Your Resume Isn’t Getting You Interviews
1. You’ve got gaps in your employment history.
When it comes to resumes, employers like to see a smooth employment history. If there are any gaps, they’ll want to know why. Don’t be afraid to explain that you took a year out to go traveling or that you had three years out to look after your child. Instead, turn it into a positive. Highlight what valuable skills you developed during this time, and how they have made you even more suitable for the role you’re applying for.
2. You’re over-exaggerating.
Yes, your resume is the place to outline your greatest achievements and sell yourself to your future employers. However, it’s most emphatically not a place to brag openly about yourself, and it’s certainly not appropriate to exaggerate your achievements. Remember, if your resume statements cannot be 100% backed up at an interview, you may end up making yourself look foolish.
3. Your layout or presentation isn’t good.
Resumes need to convey information quickly and efficiently. Your prospective employer probably has hundreds of resumes to crawl through, and they don’t want to try to read a document that is impossible to understand. Keep your layout simple, use sub-titles and bullet-points where appropriate and avoid needless waffle!
4. Avoid clichés.
In the world of resumes, clichés seem to occur all the time. Try to avoid wherever possible. Assume that your future employer knows you’re “passionate about the industry” or that you’re “dedicated to getting great results.” Keep it fresh and original, and you’ll stand out a lot more.
5. You don’t detail the good stuff.
Worse than bragging is underselling yourself. Your resume should be seen as a chance to showcase your achievements and experience. Don’t shy away from highlighting the awards you’ve won, the courses you’ve completed or the qualifications you’ve achieved. These will all help to secure you the interview.
Polishing Your Online Reputation
Remember that in addition to your resume, your future employers will be looking at your online presence – your social media pages, any shared content on Google and anything else of a similar nature. If you have photos online of you staggering out of a bar at 2 a.m. looking a little bit worse for wear, get rid of them quickly. It doesn’t create a great impression.
If you’re really worried about your resume, ask friends and family to check it over for you – or hire the help of a professional to tidy it up for you. It’ll be worth it when you finally manage to secure the job!
About the author
Karen Rehn has 13 years experience in the staffing industry. Her zest for business and desire to leave Wisconsin winters behind led her to purchase Helping Hands Staffing Services, which is now known as HH Staffing. She says, “One of the greatest rewards of working in the staffing industry is the ability to make a real difference in the lives of others, I truly believe that our industry has an obligation to actively contribute to enhancing our communities and improving the lives of our employees.”
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock