Are you sending out your resume but not getting any calls for interviews? You're not alone. Lots of people struggle to get their resumes noticed by potential employers. But the good news is that there are things you can do to improve your chances of getting called in for an interview.
As a career coach, I've found most people are making one or more common mistakes which prevent their resume from getting them interviews. Here’s the top 5, and what you can do about them:
1. Your resume is too generic: If your resume looks like it could belong to anyone, it's not going to stand out to a potential employer. Make sure that your resume is tailored to the specific job you're applying for. This means highlighting the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the position, using language that matches the job description and is aligned with the company culture.
Let's say you're applying for a marketing position. Instead of using a generic objective statement like "seeking a position in marketing," tailor your statement to the job you're applying for. For example, "Experienced marketer with a passion for developing creative social media campaigns and driving brand awareness." This statement immediately sets you apart and showcases your relevant skills and experience.
2. You're not highlighting your achievements: Employers don't just want to know what you did in your previous roles, they want to know what you achieved. Make sure that you're highlighting your accomplishments, such as exceeding sales targets or implementing a new process that saved the company money. Highlight your strengths and the skills you demonstrated to show the unique value you’ll bring to your new role.
Let's say you're a sales professional applying for a new job. Instead of simply listing your job duties, highlight your achievements, such as "Increased sales by 25% in Q3 by implementing a new customer outreach program." This not only shows your accomplishments but also gives potential employers an idea of what you can achieve in their organisation.
Or, let's say you're an Executive Assistant. Instead of simply listing your responsibilities, highlight a specific accomplishment, such as "Organised and executed an offsite executive retreat for 15 executives with a budget of $50,000, resulting in a 40% increase in executive engagement and team building." This achievement showcases your ability to manage large projects, budget and deliver successful events.
As a further example, HR Managers can showcase achievements by stating "Implemented a new onboarding program for new hires resulting in a 30% reduction in turnover rates in the first 90 days." This not only demonstrates your ability to create and implement programs but also shows that you can impact the company's bottom line by reducing the cost associated with employee turnover.
Remember, employers are looking for people who can not only complete tasks but who can make a positive impact on the company. Your specific achievements will differentiate you from other applicants, highlighting you as the ideal candidate for the job!
3. Your resume is too long: Employers receive hundreds of resumes for each job opening, so they don't have time to read through long, detailed resumes. Keep your resume to one or two pages and only include information that's relevant to the job you're applying for. Remember to format the text so that it is scannable and easy to digest.
For example, let's say you have 15 years of experience and want to showcase it all on your resume. Instead of listing every job and every task, focus on the most recent and relevant experience. You can summarise older experience in one or two lines and keep the focus on your most recent, relevant and impressive accomplishments.
4. You're not using keywords: Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan resumes for specific keywords. If your resume doesn't include those keywords, it might not even make it to a human reviewer. Make sure that you're using keywords that are relevant to the job you're applying for so you make it through ATS and show up in search results.
Let's say you're an executive assistant applying for a job, and the job description mentions "calendar management," "meeting coordination," and "project management." Make sure to incorporate those keywords into your resume. For example, "Coordinated the executive's calendar, scheduled meetings and managed project timelines, ensuring successful completion within the deadline."
5. Your resume is too generic: If your resume looks like it could belong to anyone, it's not going to stand out to a potential employer. Make sure that your resume is unique to you and has a strong professional summary statement. Use language that sets you apart from other applicants.
Let's say you're a medical receptionist who has recently graduated from studies. Instead of a generic objective statement like "seeking a medical receptionist position," focus on your unique skills and experiences. For example, "Recent medical assistant graduate with experience in customer service and patient care. Skilled in medical terminology and proficient in Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software. Excited to apply my passion for helping others to a new role in a medical setting." This statement is more specific and shows your unique value as a candidate.
When you're ready, here's how we can help you:
If you're not sure how to make these changes to your resume, a professional career coach can help. At Views PD, we specialise in helping job seekers create resumes that stand out and get noticed. We can help you identify your strengths, highlight your achievements, and tailor your resume to the specific job you're applying for. Reach out to us today: