Resumes. Most people dread having to write them. But everybody realizes they need one to be in the job hunting game. I like to tell people that resumes are a “beauty in the eye of a beholder” document. What looks great to one person looks average to another. In the end, a resume is YOUR document. You are telling people about yourself, so you need to be comfortable with it.
I recently read a blog post (see link below) with four reasons why your resume does not get you an interview.
I absolutely agree with the writer’s first reason: “Your resume doesn’t indicate that you’ll excel at the job”. So many resumes are about what the person did, but not what the person accomplished. Let me give you an example. Which of these two people would you be more interested in hiring to fix your roof?
- Person #1 – “Strip old roofing off, apply new roofing and ensure roof is sealed”
- Person #2 – “Completed ten roofing projects last month with all of them done ahead of schedule and on average 10% below budgeted cost.”
They both performed the same tasks. But one of them provides a narrative on results (what they accomplished). Isn’t that more powerful? It is the same with your resume. Yes, you probably “worked across the organization to complete documentation”, “managed projects to deploy technology” or “performed financial analysis”. But to what end? If you truly believe you are a person worthy of hiring, tell the results of your work.
Think you did not “accomplish” anything at your job? You are wrong. You must have done something to justify your work existence. Take the time to really think about work results.
I’d add a couple thoughts to her list.
Your resume has typos. Not everyone is good at grammar. Not everyone is good at spotting a mistake in your writing. Unless you spend a lot of time looking at the written word, you miss common errors (like “form” instead of “from” or “pots” instead of “post”). Another common error I run into is when someone uses all capital letters for a job title, company name or header in their resume. For instance “WORK EXPERIENCE” is typed as “WORK EXPEREINCE”. For some reason, all capital letters throws off our sense that a word is spelled wrong. And spell checker does not always flag words in all capital letters. (If you missed it, “experience” is spelled incorrectly in the second example.)
Confusing personal attributes with your brand for an intended job. There is a very big difference between personal attributes and what an employer is looking for in a job candidate. A hiring manager does not care if you think you’re “hard working”. They are not looking for someone whose colleagues think is “reliable”. The hiring manager needs a problem fixed or a need fulfilled. Your attributes help you decide where you want to work. But they don’t necessarily translate into a brand. You need to tell why these attributes or strengths matter to an employer. Better yet, write down how your attributes matter- the results you created. It’s not “I am quality-focused”. It’s “Reduced errors 15% by creating a new way to do sampling”.
Getting Help for your Resume
The article also talks about another common error people make on their resume: “You haven’t asked for feedback from the right people.” She notes:
First, in a crowded job market, “fine” isn’t enough; it (your resume) needs to be great. But secondly, if the wrong people are reviewing your resume, their feedback doesn’t matter.
She goes on to use this example. You wouldn’t ask a friend, or someone who volunteers to help, to diagnose a problem with your car. You would go to a mechanic. Why do that with a resume?
For all of the reasons above, you really should get help writing your resume. There are lots of places to go (and many will charge you a lot of money). Let me keep it simple. You will get good resume help if:
(1) The person is good at writing
(2) The person has a resume template that will be attractive, simple and concise. You have to get past computer programs (ATS) and catch the attention of hiring managers who are in a hurry
(3) The person is willing to have numerous in-depth conversations with you. You need someone who can help you tell your story. That only happens when you have conversations
Make sure your resume is great. If you would like some help, feel free to reach out.
Here is Natalie’s original post. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-arent-you-getting-interviews-natalie-roo/