He sat down every morning and would send applications to different companies. He never lost hope that one day, he would be called for interviews. It’s barely, one year down the line and no call or response has been made to him.
Tom was the ideal candidate for all the financial positions yet his CV had always been dumped and this did not augur well with him. Indeed, he was stressed until he sought a solution to his problem.
Just like Tom, most of us appear to be applying for jobs and sending in CVS that elicit no response at all, yet you are always qualified. It may be that your CV is fatally flawed.
A resume may be the only opportunity you have for making a good first impression with a prospective employer, and getting your foot in the door for an interview. It is, therefore, worthwhile to invest some time making it the best resume possible.
If you’re sending out lots of resumes without getting many calls for interviews, it’s time to conclude that your resume isn’t doing its job. You might be making the following mistakes:
- It’s not specific. Employers want concrete specifics. It’s not enough to say that you “revitalized” a department or “publicized” a program. What exactly did you do and what did it result in?
- It leads to your education, even though you’ve been out of school for more than a few years. Your education should go beneath your work experience because employers are most interested in what work experience you’ve had. Leading with your education just buries what will make you most attractive to an employer.
- It wastes space on things that are irrelevant, like descriptions of your employer’s business. Some candidates devote two to three lines per job to describing the employer itself—its size and the nature of its business. Hiring managers might want that information when you move to the interview stage, but your resume isn’t the place for it. Your resume should focus on you and you alone.
- It includes irrelevant details, such as your age or your children’s names. Employers don’t care about these details, and including them will come across as naive and unprofessional.
- It describes you in subjective terms. Your resume is for experience and accomplishments only. It’s not the place for subjective traits, like “great leadership skills,” “strong writer,” or “creative innovator.” Hiring managers generally ignore anything subjective that an applicant writes about herself because so many people’s self-assessments are wildly inaccurate; they’re looking for provable facts. If you have those traits, list the accomplishments that demonstrate them instead.
- It just lists duties and responsibilities, not accomplishments. In a job market that’s flooded with candidates, a resume that reads like a series of job descriptions won’t excite a hiring manager. What will excite a hiring manager is a resume that shows a track record of achievement, so you need to list specific accomplishments, not just duties.
- It is very long. The longer your resume is, the less likely an employer is to see the parts you want them to see. The initial scan of your resume is about 20 seconds—do you want that divided among three pages, or do you want it focused on the most important things you want to convey? Short and concise means that employers are more likely to read the parts you most care about.
- It lacks uniqueness: It’s generic. If your resume reads just like dozens of other candidates’, no employer is going to call you. Your resume needs to convey that you’re an exceptional candidate, not just an average one who’s no different from other applicants. Which leads us to…?
- It’s full of dense paragraphs rather than bulleted lists. Employers will only skim your resume initially, not read it word-for-word, and large blocks of text are hard to skim. An employer will take in more information about you if you use simple bulleted points.
I know sometimes making the perfect CV it's easier said than done. Trust me, I have been there before.
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