3 Reasons Your Resume is Ending Up in the Trash

Posted in Career Best Practices, Job Search Tips

 

Tired of clicking the "Submit" button on countless job applications – only to receive a standard rejection letter or (worse yet) never hear anything back at all?

 

It's enough to discourage the most stalwart job seeker.

 

The harsh reality is that recruiters typically only spend about six seconds reviewing your resume, before deciding whether to give it a thorough review – or toss it in the trash.

 

Six seconds?! That's longer than you've spent reading this post!

 

So beyond meeting the basic requirements (e.g., including correct contact information; ensuring your resume is free from typos and is less than two pages) what should you do to ensure your resume makes it into the “must call” pile?

 

Start by avoiding these three mistakes that send otherwise great resumes straight to the garbage:

 

Failing to do your research.

The more closely your qualifications match the job's requirements, the more likely a recruiter is to give you a call. Makes sense, right?

 

So do your homework. Research the employer and the position you want. Scour the company’s website and social media platforms. Conduct a thorough online search, using the News tab. Learn everything you can about the company’s mission/vision, industries served, competitors and recent accolades, and find out everything you can about the job.

 

Not customizing your resume.

Having in-depth knowledge about the employer and position is pointless unless you use it to your advantage. Grab the recruiter's attention by:

 

  • tailoring your “career objective” statement;
  • including relevant keywords;
  • aligning your skills and experience with those of the available position;
  • explaining how your value translates into the job's specific requirements. 

In other words, show the employer what's in it for them.

 

Choosing the wrong format. 

When it comes to resumes, no single format fits everyone's background and history. You need to choose the one that best highlights your strengths and positions you as the ideal candidate. Options include:

 

  • Chronological. This format is right for you if you have a continuous, logical work history which shows increasing responsibility.
  • Functional. Choose this format if you: want to put the focus on your skills; have gaps in employment; have a diverse work history; or are changing the direction of your career.
  • Hybrid. If you need the best of both worlds, consider this format. A hybrid resume combines the sequential elements of the chronological resume with the summary of skills/qualifications found in the functional resume.

Looking for a job? 

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