A good resume by itself will not get you the job. It’s one piece of the puzzle. You just don’t want it to be the reason you DON’T get it.
Having a great resume increases your chances of landing the interview by about 40%. A lot of people ask me questions about their resume and think their job search preparation stops there. They might even hire a resume writer and discuss nothing outside the resume. Big mistake.
There are numerous points along the job application process, from the time you start preparing materials to the time you sign that great job offer, that things could go awry. If all you hear is silence application after application, here are a few things that may be hindering you:
1. Your resume isn’t reader-friendly.
I’ve known recruiters to go through the requirements line-by-line to see how you compare. If there are 100 people applying for your job (a low figure), you must try to provide them the information you are looking for, clearly, so YOU are the easy choice. You want your resume to reflect how you match the requirements. Don’t expect recruiters to make connections for you. If they have to work too hard to see how you fit, they’ll move on.
2. You simply don’t meet the requirements.
It’s okay to apply for a “stretch job” and toss your name in the hat every now and again, but it doesn’t matter how good your resume is sometimes. Even as a resume writer who can spin a lot of experiences, there are MANY jobs I’d get rejected for. If I applied to be a physician or an astronaut tomorrow, I’d say my chances are pretty low.
3. Your title/resume aesthetic does not match the job title in the posting (or has nothing to do with it).
If you have no title on your resume or don’t know what a good one is, that’s a problem. Even if you have the experience, if your resume title is “Customer Service Representative” but you are applying for “Audit Manager,” you have not tailored your resume to that SPECIFIC job. Stop blanketing posts with the same resume. You have to adjust your resume EACH time you apply.
4. Your resume isn’t even being viewed (it isn’t optimized).
This is really part of #1 and #3, but worth a mention on its own. About 30-40% of companies use applicant trackers. This means that software scans your resume for keywords and ranks you based on your “match” to the job description. If there are 200 applicants, it’s going to rank those applicants based on how they match the requirements. Often, a recruiter will only look at the top few.
In other words, if the job description is for “Audit Manager” and the words “audit” and “manager” are riddled throughout your resume, you’re going to rank higher than someone who has zero mentions and NO evidence of having ever done an audit or ever being a manager. In fact, MOST resumes don’t even get looked at unless you can accomplish this. Why would a recruiter want to interview someone for “nurse” if at no time there is a mention of “nurse,” specifically, on the resume?
5. You did not send a cover letter, salary requirements, or whatever else they are asking for. Follow their instructions EXACTLY.
If you are underqualified or have a gap in history, or are changing industries, don’t worry! There are several strategies to use to better align with a job – some are pretty clever. Shoot me an email and we’ll discuss!
I know it feels like you are sending dozens of resumes into the abyss but, remember, all it takes is one “yes.” Cast a big net. It’s worth the time to tailor your resume to EACH job description. I know it takes more time, but would you rather apply to 50 jobs a day with a 2% chance of getting an interview, or only 4 jobs a day but with a 60% chance of getting an interview?
Also, don’t take rejection personally. Rejection is part of the game. This is particularly true for higher-level positions. There is a bottleneck there. In other words, there might be 10 openings for an entry level rep, but only 1 for “Senior Manager.” And, a larger percentage of the applicants at that level are pretty good. But don’t internalize the rejection. You never know – out of 100 people, you might have been their second choice. Granted, it doesn’t get you the job, but it’s very different saying you were number 2 out of 100, then number 98 out of 100. You just don’t know how close you are. In other words, don’t think you suck just because you didn’t get the job. Regroup, get better, and try again.
Hang with it. Timing is a big part of it. Being a cultural fit is a big part of it. Maybe the person that beat you applied two weeks ago and they are three interviews in. Plus they have a cousin that works there. You just don’t know. Plus, a rejection isn’t a judgment on your POTENTIAL. Always improve, and try again and again. The question is, do you have the stomach to keep trying? Be patient! Some employers get back to you in a day or two, and some are very, very slow, and won’t get back to you weeks or even months later.
Need free advice? Email CareerNinjaInfo@gmail.com.