You've spent hours perfecting your resume and mailing it off to prospective employers, but the phone's not ringing. Most hiring managers sift through many resumes through the course of a single day, so your document must instantly grab attention if you want to secure a spot among the top candidates. Consider these seven possible reasons why your resume keeps getting rejected.
1. Lack of Relevant Keywords
Many employers use software to scan application materials before they ever reach a hiring manager's hands. Make sure your resume contains multiple keywords from the job posting. It's also a good idea to review the company website and industry publications to find keywords that are relevant to the position.
2. Outdated Objective Statement
It's no longer necessary to kick off your resume with an objective statement. Hiring managers are more interested in discovering what value you can bring to their organization. Rather than an objective statement, start your resume with a career summary that describes your relevant achievements and skills.
3. Inconsistent Presentation
When the hiring manager looks at your resume, cover letter, application materials and LinkedIn profile, he should notice that each of these sources paint a consistent portrait of your skills, education and career history. Review all of these sources to ensure the dates and information are accurate.
4. Irrelevant Information
You may think it's necessary to list every job you've ever worked, but this tendency to overshare could land your resume in the reject pile. Don't include work experience that's more than 10 years old, and eliminate any positions with skills that aren't relevant to position for which you're applying.
5. Out-of-Focus Accomplishments
Hiring managers don't just want to know what you can do. They also want to know what you've done. When listing your achievements, provide quantitative proof to put it in perspective. For example, rather than just stating that you "sold office supplies," tell how you "topped company sales records by 25 percent."
6. Over-the-Top Formatting
Fight the urge to dress up your resume with garish graphics and fancy formatting. Unless you're applying for a marketing director position, it's best to hold back on any creative inclinations when crafting your resume.
7. Terrible Typos
A simple slip-up on your resume can turn off a potential employer in an instant. Hiring managers want employees who pay attention to details, so make sure every aspect of your resume is perfect. Ask a trusted friend or family member to proofread it before you send it off.
Your resume is the all-important document that can help you land an interview with the company of your dreams. It's your only means of selling yourself as an ideal candidate before you actually shake hands with the hiring manager. Review these seven reasons your resume keeps getting rejected, then make the necessary adjustments so you can start preparing for interviews.
Photo courtesy of Sira Anamwong at Flickr.com