Your resume is your ticket into a job interview. But if you’ve sent out dozens of them – and haven’t gotten a single call back – then there’s a problem. You’re probably wondering: “Why am I not getting responses to my resume?”
If you’re like many candidates out there, the culprit is some of these common resume mistakes:
Your resume looks dated.
If you haven’t written a resume in a long time, then chances are, you’re taking an out-of-date approach. For instance, you don’t need to include your entire street address on your resume. Simply include your email, cell phone, and city and state so the hiring manager knows you’re local. In addition, skip the objective; instead, list a summer of qualifications highlighting your most relevant skills and experience at the top. Finally, don’t state that “references are available upon request.” This simply takes up valuable real estate on your resume.
There’s too much fluff on it.
Today’s hiring managers want candidates with a proven track record. So if you only include tasks and responsibilities, or you use hyperbolic language, it’s a turn off for the hiring manager. Rather, use hard-hitting, factual statements about your accomplishments and back them up as often as possible with actual numbers. For instance, “renegotiated vendor contract with office supply company that saved 15% on future orders.”
The format is difficult to read.
Hiring managers expect experienced job candidates to submit a polished resume. So if your font size is too small or inappropriate (think Comic Sans), or the copy is dense and hard-to-read, then you’re going to get overlooked – even if you have extensive experience. That’s why when formatting your resume, you should:
- Choose a professional-looking font and make sure the point size is 11 (10.5 is ok if you need the space!)
- Bold job titles and the names of employers.
- Use bullet points under job descriptions to highlight your duties and accomplishments.
- Make sure there’s plenty of white space on your resume. Keep in mind, it’s best to submit a two-page resume that is well-formatted and easy to read than a one-pager that looks jam-packed.
You’re not taking ATS systems into account.
In today’s world, a human doesn’t often lay eyes on your resume until it’s been screened through the applicant tracking system (ATS). These systems are designed to organize and sort applications, as well as screen candidates based on specific criteria. That’s why you need to format your resume in an ATS-friendly way.
To help you, here are some tips on getting through ATS systems:
- Name your resume file properly, such as “Joe Smith Resume.” Don't go the “Joe Smith Marketing Resume – Version 27b” route.
- Use standard headings such as “Work Experience” and “Education” throughout your resume. Don’t try to get creative.
- Get rid of any unusual font types, images, tables or fields that could filter you out of the running.
- Be consistent with how you order jobs under “Work Experience.”
- Use some of the keywords in the job posting throughout your resume.
- Don’t put your contact information in a header or footer; include it in the body of the document.
- Send in your resume as a Word document.
Many times, candidates don’t understand why they’re not getting called for interviews. But it’s almost always because of one or more of the resume mistakes listed above. If you need help with yours, contact the resume writing experts at ResumeSpice. We’re here to help and just a call away at 832.930.7378.