If the response you’ve been getting to your resume has been less than overwhelming that usually means that there is a problem with your resume. The purpose of your resume is to get an interview. The purpose of the interview is to get you the job. Ineffective resume = no interview. No interview = no job.
Nothing can be more frustrating in a job search than when your resume is greeted with silence. It’s safe to say that job seekers start out with a fair amount of optimism as they approach a job search. They send out resumes confident that the skills and qualifications they possess will land them a new position fairly quickly. As the weeks go by that confidence begins to fade; as the months go by any optimism they felt at the beginning of their job search has been replaced with frustration and self-doubt. In 2011 the average job search took eight months.
The lack of response to your resume can quickly make you question yourself and ask why you aren’t getting any action. If only there was someone whose job it was to contact the applicants that were not called for an interview and let them know why they did not get an interview. At least then you would have some idea of what it was that made you an unappealing candidate. Unfortunately, you rarely find out what it was about your resume that eliminated you from consideration and you are left wondering why you didn’t get a call.
I’m sure you’ve heard that hiring managers are overwhelmed with applicants or that they only spend 10 seconds on your resume. Whether or not either of those is true there are some things that you might be doing that may have a bigger impact on whether or not you get called for an interview.
If you are sending out the same resume to every position you are really hindering your job search. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you MUST customize your resume for every position you apply to. You are not going to get a call back if the resume you submit does not meet the requirements of the position.
Many companies have strict application process requirements. They might want it in a certain format and sent to a specific person. If you disregard these requirements you can pretty much kiss any chance of a job good bye. Why would they want to hire someone who can’t even follow the directions on how to apply for the job?
If your resume is too text dense your reader will be overwhelmed by the very sight of it. Too small margins, tiny text, and inadequate spacing can all turn off your reader. No hiring manager wants to read through endless text to find out if you are the perfect candidate. If they can’t easily find it they are going to move on to the next resume. Don’t waste their time; make sure the information they want to know is easy to see at first glance.
Your phone isn’t going to be ringing if you are applying for positions that you are not qualified for. That’s not to say that you can’t apply for a position if you haven’t done every task that it requires. If you have experience equivalent to what they are asking you may be considered. However, just because you’ve never missed an episode of CSI doesn’t mean you’d make a good crime scene investigator. Apply wisely to positions that are within your expertise.
This one seems like a no brainer but you’d be surprised. Make sure your contact information is correct and up to date. You should use a professional email address and voicemail. Perhaps a potential employer did call but when they got your, “Yo, leave message” voicemail they just hung up or maybe they could not bring themselves to email [email protected] (unless of course you are in the party business then that might work).
These are just a few of the many reasons why you might not be getting any response to your resume. Take a look at your resume and see if you are guilty of any of the above. If you are it’s easy to fix! Try changing the offending aspects of your resume and send out a new version. Play around with it until you find the winning resume for you!
by Megan Koehler