ALWAYS REMEMBER: The primary purpose of a successful resume is to win an interview.
Melissa Davis is the Information Technology Recruiter at Abel Personnel, as well as a successful Certified Professional Resume Writer. From her experience, it is important that you know exactly what a company is looking for. Put yourself in the employers’ shoes and ask, “Who would make the perfect candidate?” Once you can answer that as best as possible, determine what it is about your background and who you are that makes you best suited for the job. Crafting an effective resume means convincing your potential employer that you are “just what the doctor ordered.” This is the first C of the 5 C’s of Resume Writing.
Prepare a convincing and clean resume that will put you in the best light possible. Be clear about the direction you wish to take and back up your statements with concise, clear, consistent facts about yourself.
The 5 C’s of Resume Writing
Four Major Reasons Your Resume is Rejected
1. THERE WERE TOO MANY APPLICANTS
On average, each corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes. Of these candidates, four to six will be called for an interview and only one will be offered the job. Because we have such easy access to online job postings, it’s common to feel like there must be something wrong if you don’t get a callback. The problem is that even if you’re completely qualified and are a great candidate for the position, you may get passed over due to the sheer volume of candidates applying. Often there are so many applicants that determining which candidates should move forward is like finding a needle in a haystack.
How to Fix It
You should focus on getting your resume in front of the right eyes by targeting your search. Often that means reaching out directly to a hiring manager via LinkedIn or through a mutual connection in your network. That’s a talent that Abel Personnel brings to the partnership in securing your next career move.
2. YOU DIDN’T CUSTOMIZE YOUR RESUME TO THE JOB YOU WERE APPLYING FOR
With the number of applicants increasing, many hiring managers and recruiters default to either using an Applicant Tracking System or doing keyword searches to determine if candidates are qualified. Keyword searches are an easy way to determine if it’s worth taking the time to look at a resume or not.
How to Fix It
The best way to ensure that you come up on keyword searches is to go through the job descriptions that you’re interested in applying to and integrate those keywords and phrases throughout your documents. Do your desired job descriptions utilize keywords or phrases that you can use in your resume? Does a job description have a more eloquent way of wording one of your job duties? If you’re not using current job postings to help you write your resume, you’re doing yourself a disservice. See how industry professionals talk about jobs and utilize that in your documents. Using industry jargon will also help you appear more professional and knowledgeable about what you do. Your Abel recruiter will also discuss your resume and work history with you to glean any additional key words that will support your career goals or qualifications to a specific position.
3. YOUR RESUME HIGHLIGHTS YOUR JOB DUTIES AND NOT YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS
Studies show that hiring managers and recruiters look at individual resumes for an average of 6 seconds each. Because recruiters and hiring managers don’t have time to thoroughly go through every document, you need to make sure that your resume immediately reflects your achievements and what you can bring to the company.
How to Fix It
Anyone can say that they’re great at their job, but very few people can actually show it. When you’re noting your achievements, think about how you can quantify what you’ve done. Some examples of questions to ask yourself include:
- How many people did you manage?
- Did you increase productivity or sales by a percentage or dollar amount?
- Did you save the company money?
- Did you secure any partnerships?
- Did you get awarded or recognized for anything?
- Did you work with any big budget or notable clients or partners?
The more evidence that you can provide to your claim of being a great employee, the stronger your document will be. By including hard metrics and facts, recruiters and hiring managers will be drawn to look at the numbers and immediately recognize your achievements.
4. YOU DIDN’T USE ACTIVE VERBS IN YOUR RESUME
Subjective terms and clichés are seen as negative because they don’t convey real information. Instead of using the phrase “results driven,” try saying something along the lines of:
This sentence shows that you actively pursued a client and generated results. Using active verbs and integrating metrics creates a stronger claim than using common “resume phrases”.
How to Fix It
Still struggling with verbiage? A handy way to find action verbs is to use the Thesaurus (Shift+F) in Microsoft Word. Remember, active verbs that articulate achievement and motivation are extremely important. Don’t use the same verbs over and over again, try to use different versions to make your document interesting and ensure that you don’t continually repeat the same information. If you need additional guidance or suggestions, Abel Personnel is here to assist you!