Resume Facts You May Not Be Aware Of

By Martin Buckland - Executive Career Management Professional

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So often I hear the words: “I’ve sent out hundreds of resumes and haven’t had ONE phone call”. Does this sound familiar? There are numerous reasons why the phone isn’t ringing. In this blog, we’ll look at some of the top obstacles that may be silencing your candidacy.

Realize you’re not the only person applying for the job; on average, 250 resumes are received for each job posting. First applications arrive 200 seconds after a job is posted. With so much competition, you must ensure your resume is distinctive and unique to you. Avoid using a downloadable template or your resume will resemble the same format used by your competition.

You posted your resume to a job board and forgot about it. While your resume may land on page 1 for a few minutes after uploading it, within 24 hours your resume may have been pushed down to page 5, 10, or 15 on the job board site. Go in every day and make a small change to refresh your resume. One viable suggestion is to alternate daily between adding a middle initial to your name and removing it.

76% of resumes are ignored for having an unprofessional email address. “Unprofessional” can mean a Hotmail address or a customized address such as hiremenow@live.com.

Got a picture on your resume? 88% of recruiters reject a job seeker for putting a picture on their resume. Your LinkedIn profile and a professional biography are the appropriate places to display a profile picture.

ONE single spelling or grammar mistake and your resume lands in the recycle bin. Bam! Gone!

Your resume contains an Objective statement. I haven’t created a resume with an Objective statement in over a decade! A 2014 resume is a marketing tool. It’s not about what you want (“I want a job”) but about answering the employer’s question “Why should I hire you?” Visit my Social Hire blog “A 10 Step Guide To Creating Your Personal Brand” or search my website for blogs on defining your Personal Brand then create a compelling personal brand statement in the upper third of page 1 of your resume (the area I refer to as ‘above the fold’).

You used a Functional format. The best resumes are written using a Combination or Hybrid style, which incorporates a personal brand statement and keywords in the upper third of the document, followed by career history written in reverse chronological order. A Functional format, with headings such as Leadership, Finance, Management, etc… is the least preferred resume style by hiring influencers.

Your resume lacks achievements. Who cares what you were responsible for; a future employer wants to know what you accomplished in each role. How did you save or make the company money? Boost customer service? Win awards? Gain new customers? Entice the reader with quantifiable career achievements (hint: aim for at least 1.5 accomplishments per year of employment).

Your resume has a career gap. A resume must relay your entire career history including any gaps for personal reasons. It is perfectly acceptable to say you scheduled a Personal Sabbatical to raise a family, travel or take care of a family member.

Your resume wasn’t scannable. It’s highly likely your resume, submitted via email or posted online, is going to be scanned by computer technology called Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software. ATS is centred upon keywords. If your resume doesn’t contain the right keywords for the job and employer and isn’t formatted correctly to pass the computer scan, your resume will be instantly transferred into the online recycle bin.

Can you be found online? As of 2013, 94% of recruiters surveyed indicated they either use or plan to use social media as part of the recruitment process. You need to be where the hiring influencers are looking.

Digital dirt. Have you Googled yourself lately? While you’re in control of what you post online, you’re not in control of what others may share about you. One in three employers has rejected a candidate because of online content.

As you can see, there are numerous reasons why the phone may not be ringing. Inject new life into your job search by refreshing your resume, reinventing your online profile and checking to ensure your answering machine has a business appropriate recorded message. The phone is about to ring.

 

About the Author:

Martin Buckland is a career management expert, Online Professional Networking Strategist, Social Networking Career Strategist, and a Certified Social Media Career Strategist.

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