How to Generate More Interviews With Your Resume

thisonewoman

By Anish Majumdar, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). It’s a situation pretty much everyone finds themselves in at some point during their careers: sending your resume out to scores of recruiters and/or hiring agents…and not hearing anything back. Before you consider giving up on your ideal job, remember that the issue isn’t you so much as how you’re coming across on the page. As the owner of a career development firm that works with jobseekers in this position, I know firsthand how big of an improvement a few simple changes to the resume can make. Here are 3 powerful tweaks you can execute that will immediately increase the amount of attention your resume receives:

1) Develop a Clear Job Target

Specificity is one of the keys to a successful search in today’s job market. Instead of going the “one size fits all” route with regards to your resume, research open jobs using sites like Monster and Indeed and start developing a database of positions that interest you. While you should ideally end up with a single job target, it’s perfectly fine to conduct a job search across multiple targets. Just be sure to develop a separate resume version for each.

Insert the EXACT TITLE of the position you’re applying for right at the start of the resume. This will minimize the chances of your document being mis-categorized or lost in digital limbo during the submission process.

Develop an opening paragraph that highlights why you’d be a great fit. Key experience at a previous job, a recently acquired degree or training certification, even soft skills such as team building/leadership or managing multiple client priorities are all examples of what might work within this section. Keep it brief, no more than 3-4 lines, and make sure it comes across as genuine.

Create a “Core Competencies” section. Look through the job postings you’ve gathered and make a list of skills that are frequently requested (that you actually possess). Now create a section beneath the opening paragraph that lists these skills. For example, a Marketing specialist could have terms like Marketing Plans, Corporate Branding/Rebranding, and Trend Tracking & Analysis within this section. Utilize bullets to differentiate between terms and keep things tidy.

2) Structure Your Work History to Support Career Goals

At its core, a resume is a personal marketing document. While most jobseekers know to leave off negative information such as why they were let go at a particular job or other workplace conflicts, it’s the savvy ones that understand the importance of emphasizing and de-emphasizing positions within the “Professional Experience” section to support their career goals. Ask yourself the following questions to determine the optimal layout of this section:

Is the position directly relevant to the job I’m after? If so, begin the position with a few lines describing unique responsibilities, followed by a “Key Accomplishments” or similar section offering bulleted accomplishments. This approach provides the necessary context and really makes an impact visually.

Can I use the position to highlight soft skills or a unique aspect of my background? Many jobs that aren’t directly related to what you’re presently after can still hold value in these 2 areas. Use the same approach as above but make sure these positions take up less space within the document.

Is the position a liability? If you took on a role that was a significant step down in terms of responsibilities, salary, etc. or simply didn’t work out, then it’s worth considering leaving off entirely. As long as it doesn’t create a major time gap within the resume, then simply skip to the next position. If it does, then briefly encapsulate the position within 1-2 lines and move on.

3) Eliminate Red Flags

One of the most frequent reasons resumes get rejected is due to “red flags” that pop up during the evaluation process. Here’s the thing: being upfront about a potential vulnerability gives you the opportunity to control it, whereas ignoring it basically guarantees that it’s going to be perceived as a negative. Here are the major causes of red flags and how you can keep them from becoming a barrier to your candidacy:

Lack of a clear link between stated career goal and work history. It’s important to use the opening paragraph you developed in step #1 as a kind of running theme within your resume. Make sure that the skills and attributes mentioned here are expanded upon throughout your work history, particularly with regards to recent jobs you’ve held. Don’t be afraid to be a little redundant if necessary. A clear link is crucial to establishing credibility during the hiring process.

Significant time gaps in your work history. While a gap of a few months between jobs won’t raise any eyebrows, anything over 6 months needs to be addressed. Create a “Career Note” of a few lines and place it directly within your work history, between the 2 positions in question. Examples of information to include here can range from managing family responsibilities and fulfilling a personal life goal to taking an advanced training course or exploring new career avenues. Just make it clear that you weren’t sitting around doing nothing.

Lack of necessary education and/or training. If you’re currently obtaining a degree or advanced training in a particular area, don’t wait until graduation to leverage it within your resume! Simply add the words “In Progress” as well as the anticipated graduation/completion date when listing it within the “Education” section and you should be good to go.

*Note: this piece originally appeared on Lifehacker.com.

Anish Majumdar is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Founder of ResumeOrbit.com, a consulting firm that specializes in Resume Development, LinkedIn Profile Development and Executive Bio Letter Development for senior and mid-level professionals.

Interested in having Anish create an exceptional new resume for you? Please select your Career Level below:

Executive

Professional

Medical

Don’t Let a Bad Resume Keep You From Landing the Perfect Job!

Did You Know?

 Recruiters spend an average of only 6 SECONDS evaluating an executive resume.

 The typical corporate job posting receives IN EXCESS of 250 resumes, with the first one usually being submitted within 5 MINUTES of the job posting going live.

That means your resume needs to immediately CUT THROUGH THE NOISE and get you noticed as a top performer. Nothing less will result in an interview.

Does this Sound like You?

✔ You know you’ve got what it takes, but can’t seem to articulate it on paper. 

✔ Your resume is outdated, filled with clichés, and ignores modern requirements such as industry keyword integration. 

✔ You’re trying to change industries, or elevate to a new level, and are unsure about how to make your experience support that.

✔ You have career gaps and other potential “red flags” within your work history that you don’t know how to handle. 

✔ Most importantly: YOU’RE NOT HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS YOU’VE BEEN SEEING. 

If this sounds like you, it’s time to stop doing what you’re doing and let an expert take the reins.

I’m one of the most sought after Career Strategists and Executive Resume Writers in the world. I hold a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) certification from the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC), am a leading member of Career Directors International, and a featured career expert for Careerealism.com, Practicelink Magazine and many other publications. Full Bio

Why Use ResumeOrbit.com?

Surveyed clients report an average 50% reduction in job search times, and usually negotiate higher salary offers. This is the power of a focused, branded executive presentation. 

CPRW Logo

#1: Stand out from the Competition.

Whether you currently have a resume or are looking to have us create one from scratch, you can rest assured that we will work closely with you to develop a powerful professional marketing tool that communicates unique value to employers and is 100% compliant with the standards of your industry. We regularly coordinate with hiring managers and executive recruiters in the U.S. and abroad to ensure our documents yield rapid results.

Lock

#2: Pass Scanning by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

Identifying and implementing key phrasing strategies and industry keywords are essential to your resume passing scanning by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) such as Taleo and Kenexa. These types of software often serve as the initial “gatekeepers” between your resume and a hiring manager responsible for determining who gets called in for an interview. Does your current resume make the grade?

Trophy

#3: Minimize Areas of Vulnerability.

We’re experts in identifying and addressing potential “red flags” in your resume. A seemingly tiny oversight or misrepresentation is all it takes to lose out on an opportunity. We will make sure that your new resume is something you feel confident about, and sets the stage for a successful job interview!

AnishPicNow1

     Message from Anish Majumdar, CPRW and Founder of ResumeOrbit.com:

     When our company opened its doors in 2009, some of my very first clients were family and close friends. I was honored that they’d entrust me with such a critical part of their job search efforts, and realized immediately the benefits of a 1-on-1 approach that’s geared towards identifying those qualities which set a person apart, and communicating them in a way that captures the attention of employers. While our business has grown significantly since those early days, with clients hailing from over 50 countries, our approach remains the same: Identify unique value. Create resumes that are impactful and authentic. And above all, treat every client with the same respect and spirit of collaboration that you’d show family.

If you have any questions now or during the resume creation process please don’t hesitate to send me an email or give me a call at 212-203-0272. I answer and return all client calls and would be happy to address any concerns you may have.

Ready to take your career to the next level?

getstartedred