Way back when I first started my career, I used to send out mountains of resumes and hardly got a call. Talk about discouraging. And I never could figure out the reasons why. Then I started asking around and doing research. My job searches have never been the same since.
In my research, recruiters, hiring managers, and human resources told me over and over that most of the resumes they get are flat-out lousy. Yeah, such feeble attempts may be enough to get a candidate job with someone — somewhere. But think of how much better they’d do if their resume was high enough quality to stand out from this sea of mediocrity. According to some dumpster rental services, most of the things that they can see inside the dumpster aside from food are resume. Hence, it is very evident that most of the recruiters would just throw away applicants resume if they find it mediocre.
Here are the six reasons why my resume got thrown out without hardly being read.
I was always good at grammar and spelling, but not perfect. And that’s how your resume has to be – flawless. Many hiring managers will crumple your resume up as soon as they see a single typo. Why? Simple. Such goof ups send the signal that you aren’t careful with your work. Not a good sign for your job search.
Lack of focus
All too many resumes are just a generic cataloging of where the candidate worked and how long he was there for. In contrast, your resume should be a highly customized marketing document, in which you precisely tailor your experience to focus on the employer’s needs for the job.
Most resumes ignore the crisp, compelling details that can add real power to a resume. Instead, they describe projects with flat, unsubstantiated claims like “Successful,” or “Important.” To add punch to those claims, let your resume tell the reader why the project was important. For example, bring in the numbers with something like, “Directed key business development project that increased revenue by 127% in one year.”
Nothing to differentiate experience
Much of the weakness on a typical resume comes down to the fact that the candidate hasn’t taken the time to really understand what makes him unique compared to other people vying for the job. Examine your individual blend of experience and skills and emphasize what make you special. Then have your resume emphasize that.
Responsibilities instead of accomplishments
Everybody lists the general nature of jobs on their resume. But any employer who might care about those jobs almost certainly already knows what those jobs are all about — nothing different from anyone else in that position. So do your resume a favor and focus on your unique accomplishments. And if you don’t have any, start working on some at your current job.
Focused too much on personal needs
Finally, few resumes look at the hiring decision from an employer’s perspective. Take the time to think of what would matter about you to a hiring manager. Key in on those things and write your resume accordingly.