Have you been applying for jobs and sending your resume out at every opportunity only to be met with total silence? The jobs are out there and you know you are capable, so, what’s the problem?
“Remember, your resume is an advertisement of yourself, and if it is flawed, you are seen as flawed.” says Michael McAuliffe, president of Family Credit Management. “The objective is to make you look as good as you can on paper while being honest.”
Perfecting Your Resume
Sixty-one percent of recruiters will automatically dismiss a resume because it contains typos, according to CareerBuilder. Start by combing over every line, eliminating typos, inconsistencies, spacing issues and other errors. At some point, put your resume aside and return to it a bit later with a fresh pair of eyes or even ask a trusted friend or family member to take a look at it as well.
Be sure your resume is in the right format for your industry. Some industries favor a straightforward listing of previous positions, others favor highlighting accomplishments and skills attained. If you aren’t sure about your industry’s resume preferences, you can easily Google this information.
The Hiring Process
Beyond typos and formatting, there may be another factor killing your prospects. More than half of job candidates are eliminated from the online job search by an applicant tracking system, which filters out resumes that don’t match the job description. This means if you don’t use the right words and put them in the right order, your resume will never be seen by human eyes.
Here is a typical hiring process for a medium-sized company which gets around 100 to 200 applications per position, according to Dr. John Sullivan, an internationally known HR thought-leader in Silicon Valley:
1. The 100 to 200 will get filtered down to around 25 applications and given a 20-30 second view.
2. Of the 25, they will get a second look and filtered down to about five to 10 applications.
3. These five to 10 are assessed and maybe tested to narrow it down to three to five.
4. Those three to five candidates will get an interview.
5. Only one person will be hired.
Cracking the Code
Want to crack the code that will get your resume viewed and short-listed, and land you an interview? Consider leveraging free resources designed to help. For example, Family Credit Management, the non-profit credit counseling agency, has expanded their services to include a free resume review service. By emailing your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with which position you are applying for or what type of job you’re seeking, you can get free feedback and pointers on your resume from financial experts. To learn more, visit familycredit.org.
“Navigating the job market is never simple, however, smart strategies can help you become more effective in your hunt,” says McAuliffe.