If you are not receiving a response back from employers about the resume you submitted, there could be a variety of reasons. Perhaps you do not have the particular qualifications the employer is seeking. Or, perhaps you are not properly communicating your strengths, experience, and skills.
Take a hard look at your resume and revamp it for effectiveness. Imagine you’re in the elevator with Donald Trump (or another CEO) heading up to the 18th floor and you had only 30 seconds to make your pitch, what would you say? If an employer cannot see what you have to offer or understand how your particular experience and skills are applicable to the job, you are not going to receive that callback to come in for an interview.
Common culprits that make a resume less effective include:
1. Poor Opening
If your resume starts with an “Objective” indicating what you are looking for rather than what you have to offer to an employer, you have already lost points right there. Even if your resume does start with a “Summary of Qualifications” or something similar to that effect, you have to ask, “Does it immediately and clearly tell the employer why I’m the right fit for the job?” An effective opening creates a theme that says, “Here is what I am best at.” Then, prove it by showcasing your accomplishments in your various jobs.
2. Not Using It As A Marketing Tool
A resume is used to help get your foot in the door with an employer. It is not a legal document and there is no need to include information that is irrelevant. The more irrelevant information you put on your resume, the easier it will be for an employer to come to the conclusion that you are not an appropriate candidate for the job. Use your resume to help demonstrate particular accomplishments, experiences, and skills that the employer can benefit from. Your mission is to simply put out a sufficient amount of information to garner the employer’s interest. Save details for the interview.
It is similar to when you view a movie trailer – it contains highlights of just enough information to entice you to want to view the movie, but it doesn’t tell the full story. Adding information that does not provide impact immediately on a resume is like viewing dull scenes in the movie trailer, making the overall package less effective.
3. Inappropriate Personal Information
Some personal information, such as hobbies, may be explicitly placed on the resume to help tell the employer more about your character. However, if what you list is unprofessional and inappropriate for the profession, it can ruin your shot at making a good impression with the employer. At the same time, there are instances when personal information is included without you fully realizing it. For instance, be cautious of your e-mail address. Your username or domain for the e-mail address can give off the wrong impression if it reads something similar to, “partyanimal@…” or “… @peoplehater.”
If you are including a website or blog address, make sure the information you have on it is appropriate and relevant for the job. Also, even if you are not publicizing digital information, employers may be screening your activity on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, so check your privacy settings or make sure what’s on your public profile is appropriate for a potential employer to see.
Securing an employer’s attention is more challenging today. There are many qualified candidates available on the market for employers to select from. Make sure your resume shows impact from the start by telling the employer why you are the right fit for the job. Demonstrate what you have accomplished to show for it, and present a clean digital trail on the Internet for an appropriate impression.
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