There’s something that has to change if you’re getting your resume out there but no one’s biting on it. There are a number of factors to why this may be. Most of the time it can be as simple as not following instructions carefully. Other times it may be the result of what’s on your resume or how the information is presented.
Before tearing your hair out trying to understand why you’re not getting call-backs, see if any of these things are the culprit:
1. You didn’t read instructions carefully.
Some employers have specific instructions on how to apply for the job. Anyone who fails to follow those instructions get a strike out, even if they are qualified. Most employers get more job applicants to review than they need for each job opening, so you can see why they are looking for reasons to eliminate even the qualified candidate. Review the job posting carefully for specific instructions. It can be specific to the email subject line, how they want your resume submitted and in what format, and additional information to provide like “Tell me three reasons why you love working in the field of XYZ.”
2. You’re telling them what you want instead of demonstrating how your experience & skills fit the company and job.
People who write their own resume tend to tell their story. The simple truth is the employer does not care about your career progression – they only want to know if you can meet their performance goals. So you need to customize the cover letter and resume to specifically address how you can benefit the company. It’s really about informing the employer “Here’s what I can do for you” and why. It’s not about what you want and need – or at least that’s not the approach you want to take on the cover letter and resume.
3. You revealed your age.
Age discrimination is against the law when it comes to hiring, but it still happens. Employers may favor younger workers over older workers with more experience. While you may not have directly indicated your age on the resume, there’s information that may give it away. Avoid an email address with numbers that may indicate your year of birth like JohnSmith1950@. You also don’t need to include the year you graduated. In most cases, it’s also unnecessary to go back on your work experience beyond the past 15 years.
4. You’re telling the employer about your responsibilities instead of your accomplishments.
While the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will care for duties and responsibilities held on the job for keyword matching purposes, the hiring manager is looking for information that informs them how well you performed on the job. It needs to come through by highlighting your successes and accomplishments. For more tips, read: “5 Resume Writing Rules To Engage The Reader.”
5. Your resume doesn’t offer enough information to get past the ATS.
Some employers (especially the larger ones) are using the ATS to filter out the most relevant job applicants. To come out on top and get a good ranking, your resume needs to have the right keywords and phrases to make a match with what the ATS is searching for. Carefully review the job posting so that the language used on your resume matches up with what the employer will likely have the ATS search for. For more on the ATS, read and watch a video on “What’s An Applicant Tracking System?”
Anyone of the things above can be the source to the problem of not getting call-backs. Fortunately, they are quick and easy to fix before getting your resume out there again.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
About the author
Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information.
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