You’ve sent your resume out to dozens of hiring managers. You’ve carefully edited it, and polished it to the best of your ability. You’ve even sought out resume samples to use as inspiration. In spite of all of this hard work, you aren’t getting called back for interviews. What could possibly be missing?
As it turns out, you could be missing quite a bit. If it’s been more than a couple of years since your last job search things might have changed more than you know. If you are changing fields, there may be even more of a learning curve for you to overcome.
If you aren’t getting the responses to your resume that you want, keep reading. You may find that you are missing one of these surprising must-dos for your resume.
1. You Must See Your Resume as a One Page Advertisement For Yourself
Your resume isn’t a mere list of past jobs and other accomplishments. It is a sales document. Think of it as an ad that you want hiring managers to notice, read, and ultimately answer your call to action. Your resume shouldn’t answer the question, ‘What have I done?’ It should answer the question, ‘Why should this company hire me?’
2. You Must Write a Title That Makes People Take Notice
The first thing that hiring managers are going to see is the title at the top of your resume. Most people just put their job title up there. How boring. Instead of sticking with your job title, add a few words that will really make your resume stand out.
- Retail Manager Becomes High End Retail Manager
- Content Specialist Becomes Certified Digital Content Specialist
- Freight Technician Becomes Fragile Goods Freight Technician
Basically, you want to incorporate some keywords that either indicate an in demand specialty that you have or that reflect a specific need your potential employer has indicated.
3. You Must Streamline Purge And Consolidate
Imagine if you never took the time to cut out irrelevant information or to otherwise streamline your resume. Eventually, it would be huge! While nobody would consider sending out a ten page resume, most people don’t do as much as they should when it comes to paring the information in their resume down to what is needed.
Get rid of old education information and work experience that is no longer relevant to your current job search.
4. You Must Accept That Your Resume is More Important to You Than Anybody Else
Here’s the problem with resumes. You are expected to put together a polished, professional looking document that is free from any spelling or grammatical errors. Then you have to accept the fact that nobody is going to read it.
Such is life. Embrace the fact that the person who looks at your resume will only skim it. Embrace the fact that they won’t understand how much time and energy you spent on your resume or how desperate you are to find a great job. Then, do the best you can to impress them anyway.
5. You Must Use Keywords to Make Your Resume Scannable And Searchable
Whether your resume is first examined by a computer or a human being, the first thing that will likely be checked is whether or not you have used the right keywords. These are simply words and phrases that are relevant to the job you are seeking.
Get relevant keywords from the job posting, company website, even other people’s resumes. You can find the latter online pretty frequently.
6. You Must Get a Friend to Give You a Resume Reality Check
If you have a friend who understands your line of work, then you have a resource that would make most people jealous. Have your friend take a look at your resume and give you the kind of honest feedback that only a good friend can. There opinion and insights can really help you to clean up your resume and present yourself in a way that helps you reach your goals.
7. You Must Rid Your Resume of Eye Roll Inducing Jargon And Buzzwords
If your resume is full of verbs that have been turned into nouns and nouns that have been turned into verbs, it’s time to do some serious editing. The same goes for other corporate buzzwords and technical jargon. Stick with easy to understand language that everybody can understand.
8. You Must Think Long And Hard About Your Email Address
There are two important things to consider here. The first is your email handle. If it in any way refers to an obscure science fiction novel, a cartoon character, your college drinking habits, or is in any other way unprofessional get rid of it. Gmail is free and you can have nearly unlimited accounts. The best email address is some form of firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. You Must Write Your Resume For a Myopic Octogenarian With Severe Eyestrain
Your hiring manager may have reviewed thirty resumes before yours. Don’t force them to work their way through a cluttered resume without enough spacing or with a serifed font that is entirely too small. Instead, use a large and display friendly font. Then make sure that there is plenty of white space.
10. You Must Personalize Your Resume For Each Position
Never send out the same resume to more than one hiring manager. At the very least modify your title and personal summary to reflect the details of that specific position. Then, by all means include a personalized cover letter.
11. You Must Follow The Rule of Primacy And Latency
Open your resume with something really compelling that you want the hiring manager to remember. Then, do the exact same thing at the end. These will be the two details that are most remembered by your potential employer.
12. You Must Pay Close Attention to Submission Instructions
Email your resume in MS Word format and put ‘hiring manager’ in the subject line. Save it as a PDF file and upload it to our website. Send us the link to your resume on LinkedIn. It may seem as if every job posting comes with a different set of instructions. This may be a pain, but it is absolutely vital that you follow these instructions if you want to be considered for any position.
13. You Must Take Some Risk to Land Competitive Jobs
Sometimes, you really do need to take some risks in order to stand out from other applicants. For example some people are using video or infographic resumes. One gentleman landed a job at GQ by formatting his resume like a copy of the magazine.
This isn’t to say that you should be frivolous or do something that doesn’t make sense for your niche, but you might consider stepping out of the box.
14. You Must Link to Your Social Media Profiles
When hiring managers look at your contact information, they really don’t care about your street address. They are looking for your email address, mobile phone number, and the links to your LinkedIn and other social media accounts.
Take some time to review your resume and make sure that you have these ‘must-dos’ covered. You’ll soon find that you are in a much better position to get called back for interviews.