It can be hard to ascertain if it’s your resume, the job market, or who knows what else when you’re job searching and your phone just isn’t ringing. I’m sure your mind begins to wander as you anxiously await an employer’s call or e-mail. Many job seekers have called us and said “I think it’s my resume, but I’m not sure ….” After reviewing their documents, I find myself telling them “Yes, it’s your resume” 99% of the time.
Related: Top 10 Resume Trends For 2014
So, how do you know if it’s really your resume or if it’s something else? Here are a few reasons your why your resume isn’t getting a response:
1. It Still Has An Objective Statement
An objective is a statement that expresses your goal of securing a future position. What this statement fails to do, though, is substantiate your fit for the opening—or articulate the value you offer the employer should they choose you over another candidate. Ditch the objective statement and utilize a job target/job title and personal branding statement instead.
2. It Lacks Any Form Of Personal Branding
As an employer, when I read a resume, I need to see what attributes you bring to the position. It helps me to differentiate between you and other viable candidates. Are you deadline-driven and customer-focused? These are important to me and how I operate my business. What is it that’s important to the employer from whom you’re seeking to obtain employment? And how do your expertise and experience correlate to their greatest need?
Branding is about how you market yourself to the potential employer. They have a need to fill, and you have to figure out how who you are and what you offer meet that need—then effectively communicate that to the employer. If you can’t meet a need, then they won’t see the value in choosing you over another candidate who does.
3. It’s Fluffy
Your career summary is full of fluff and filler words that could apply to every job seeker on the market. Here’s an example of what I mean:
Dynamic, results-focused IT specialist with broad-based expertise in project oversight, systems implementation, process improvements, and integrating cutting-edge technology that exceeds expectations. Proven ability to quickly analyze key business drivers and work directly with internal/external staff, leveraging a team-centered effort that increases profitability.
Sure, it might sound good, but it hasn’t told me anything specific about who this candidate is, his experience/expertise, and what he offers me, the employer.
It would be better to address how many projects the candidate has overseen, which processes he improved, the outcome of the improvement, and how the cutting-edge technology he integrated exceeded expectations. But just saying he exceed expectations is vague; tell me which expectations were exceeded and by how much.
4. Accomplishments Are Not Highlighted
The top 1/3 of the resume is the most important section when the hiring manager is giving it his or her initial scan. This is your prime opportunity to market your achievements. Use a highlighted accomplishments section to point out career successes that you’re proud of and that correlate to the position opening.
5. Duties And Responsibilities Have Taken Over
Bullet points that only share basic duties and responsibilities fall very short. Maximize the space on your resume by using a challenge-action-result format. Talk about challenges you faced, how you addressed them, and what the outcomes were. This makes the information contained within your resume much more impactful.
6. Metrics, Facts, And Figures Are Nowhere To Be Found
Give the employer something to remember you by. Don’t just tell them you reduced costs; state a percentage or dollar amount. Manage projects or clients? Put a number to it. Ask yourself questions like how much, how many, for how long? Asking yourself questions like these leads to answers that help you to define your successes, develop your personal brand, and market yourself more effectively to potential employers.
The Next Step
Review your resume with the six points above in mind. Ask yourself if your resume reflects any of the above—and if it does, then use the tips and advice I’ve provided to correct the issues within your resume—and ultimately improve its response rate.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
About the author
Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, CEO of Great Resumes Fast is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter. Want to work with the best resume writer? If you would like us to personally work on your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile—and dramatically improve their response rates—then check out our professional and executive resume writing services at GreatResumesFast.com or contact us for more information if you have any questions.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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