Conducting a job search can sometimes feel like a guessing game. You don’t know why you haven’t received the interview callbacks you want, or why you’re receiving denial letters before it seems an employer has even had time to review your resume.
In most cases, if you’re not getting called for an interview or you are receiving quick rejections, the issue is that your resume isn’t at the level it should be. So before sending out your next application with a resume in tow, take a look at why your resume probably isn’t top-notch and what you can do about it.
A top reason that job applicants receive quick rejections or no response at all when applying for a job is a lack of keywords. Keywords are individual words or phrases used to better identify your relationship with your field. For instance, if you work in pharmaceutical sales, some keywords might be “pharmacology,” “medical technicians,” “territories,” “new drugs,” and “Certified Medical Representatives Institute.” Adding keywords associated with your field can help scanning software identify your resume as a keeper, which will then help get it in front of the eyes of a hiring manager.
No Personal Branding
Another resume issue that can result in a quick rejection is a lack of personal branding. Employers want to know not just that you want the job but why you’re the right person for it. You can confidently deliver this message through a branding statement that identifies who you are in your field, what you’ve accomplished, and why you’re valuable as a person in the role you’re applying for.
No Standout Moments
In your resume, it’s important that you list your standout moments or accomplishments that make you more impressive than your competition. Many job seekers get in the habit of simply listing their responsibilities and duties, but this is not what hiring managers want to see. Instead, think of the best moments in your previous positions that received recognition, and list those in your resume to show you are a truly valuable candidate.
No White Space
A hiring manager is far too busy with other resumes to try to scan through your densely packed, paragraph-heavy resume. So take time to break your content apart by using subheadings and bullet points whenever possible. Creating white space makes the resume easier to read, which increases the likelihood that a manager will actually read it instead of tossing it into the garbage can.
In this tough job market, you can’t submit a so-so resume and expect results. The best way to ensure you’ll get the interview callback you want is to turn your so-so resume into one that is clearly top-notch.
It’s important to remember to brand your resume before applying to each new position for more information on branding check out my recent article 5 Key Areas to Target When Branding Your Resume. You can also get additional job search and career related advice by checking out our blog or following us on Twitter @GreatResume.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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