The competition in the job market remains as stiff as ever. You send out resumes to your dream companies; you wait with eager anticipation. Two weeks later, you’re in near tears. Letters that say a variation of “We do not have any openings at the moment,” or “You’re not a fit for our company,” fill your inbox. Some companies didn’t even utter a “No.” Months on, it will all become a familiar story to you.
But you see therein lies the problem: your resume. Even if your achievements are worth bragging about–your Latin honors, your social work–your resume doesn’t do those merits justice. Your resume is a reject pile subscriber. Here’s probably why.
You didn’t consider your resume’s length.
Resume length is an oft-debated topic. Some recruiters prefer single-page resumes; others feel it isn’t enough. People who go for longer resumes, say a two-pager, do so because of all the skills and details that can be added to it. Some even submit resumes with three or more pages.
However, a study by ResumeGo attempted to end that debate. Their research showed that recruiters often prefer two-page resumes regardless of the level of the job. These hiring professionals also believed that the longer resume offered the best insight into a candidate’s credentials and work experience.
Ask yourself: did your resume summarize all your capabilities? Or did it only show all your weaknesses?
You didn’t tune your resume.
You’ve sent your resume to dozens and dozens of companies, but no one got back to you. Why? The job market isn’t a casino where you gamble your resume at the tables and hope for the best. Each company looks for a specific person to fill their opening. You should adjust your resume’s objective, skills, and achievements to what the company wants. You won’t buy a product that you don’t need right now; why would hiring managers take a chance on you?
A resume for a journalist position should show your writing, investigative, and interpersonal skills. If a company wants a marketing-savvy employee, flaunt your marketing-related achievements. Shape your resume to show that you’re the one they want.
You didn’t highlight the right skills.
Related to the second one, some of the biggest cliches in resumes are often in the skills portion. “I’m a hard-working person.” “I have leadership skills.” Those are generic skills already. You don’t need to highlight them. You should shine a light on the skills that will show companies how they can depend on you.
If you’re an artist, give them your portfolio. If you want to work in IT, show your certifications, from your Cisco to Java to your Network+ N10-007. Getting Google-certified might give you an edge if you want to work for marketing. Show the right skills for the right job.
It simply doesn’t look professional.
Appearances are everything when it comes to resumes. Every mistake you make ruins their impression of you. HR saw it, but you never saw that glaring misspelling of compulsory (which you spelled as “compulsary”). You still use your e-mail address from Grade 5 with the handle “kweenjhennypink1996”. You used Comic Sans as the font for your resume, thinking it shows your fun side (it doesn’t). Keep your resume professional to make a better first impression.
When you think of the times that you didn’t get hired, always remember: it’s not them, it’s your resume. You’ll get a job someday. Just make sure your resume isn’t the one destroying your chances of landing it.