Hiring managers receive stacks of resumes for open positions, and many of those resumes only get a cursory glance before being moved to the reject pile. If you're not getting interviews in spite of your qualifications, it may be time to build a better resume. Take a look at your current resume with a critical eye, and revise it to avoid these common flaws.
Not Easy to Scan
Hiring managers only take an average of six seconds to decide whether to keep your resume for a closer look. If the hiring manager can't extract any useful information about your qualifications in those six seconds, your resume is unlikely to be read. Create a better resume by incorporating white space so that sections are easy to peruse at a glance. Organize headings to clearly identify information, and use bullet lists to delineate items such as accomplishments or experience. Although some creativity is acceptable, try to stick to common labels and section order so that scanning your resume is less work.
Too Much Information
Although you want to highlight your unique qualifications, don't pad your resume with a lot of extraneous information. Avoid wordy descriptions and large blocks of text. Better resumes list accomplishments in short sentences or simple phrases with an emphasis on the most important information. Don't include a long professional history unless it is essential to show the breadth of your relevant experience. In general, resist listing irrelevant jobs, hobbies or volunteer work.
No Clear Point
Your resume may have a great layout and just the right amount of information, but if the reviewer can't quickly grasp your main selling point, then the resume is still likely to hit the reject pile. For a better resume, first avoid including an objective statement. This type of statement simply says you want the job, and the hiring manager already knows that information. Instead, use the space near the top of your resume to sell yourself to the company. If you have relevant work experience, share a brief career summary highlighting your top accomplishments. If you're switching fields or looking for an entry-level position, consider adding a personal branding statement that clearly states your strengths and the values that make you uniquely suited to fill the position.
Not Specific Enough
A vague resume is nearly as bad as an overstuffed one. Whenever possible, quantify your accomplishments. Remember that most of the applicants will have relevant experience. Your specific accomplishments set you apart and tie in with your personal branding to draw a good picture of your fit for the position. When hiring managers run across better resumes with numerical data to back up achievements, they are likely to pause and take a second look.
After spending time finding just the right jobs to apply for, take the time to make sure your resume gets read. Streamline your layout, remove unessential information and include specific accomplishments for a better resume that pulls reviewers in and makes them want to learn more.
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