If your resume is not winning you frequent interviews, then it is not doing its job. Here are some quick fixes to turn that around.
I recently met a woman at one of my local LinkedIn workshops who was frustrated in her job search. She had applied to many, many jobs, but had not landed any interviews.
I quickly reviewed her resume and could tell in an instant why it was not impressing employers. I suggested a few improvements that she could quickly implement and share these with you here. (Her revised resume worked! She landed an interview the next week and is now working at a job she enjoys.)
1. Address the employer’s needs
Change the focus of your resume to address the employer’s needs not yours. How can you help them achieve their goals? Position yourself as the solution to their problem and highlight your differentiators.
2. Target a specific role
These days, companies are looking for specialists, not generalists. Focus your resume on a specific role, so the reader can quickly see where you’d fit within their organization. They won’t guess – if unsure, they will move on to the next resume and you just missed out on the opportunity.
3. Make sure your resume is age-neutral
Employers are concerned that as a seasoned worker, your skills may not be as sharp as they used to be or you are too set in your ways. Show them that is not true. Don’t include any work history prior to 2000 and play up your tech skills. And please, lose the AOL email address! That screams “Dinosaur!”.
4. Don’t underestimate the importance of ATS compatibility
Your resume must be compatible with the Applicant Tracking Systems that almost every company uses today to screen incoming resumes. If you don’t get through this online filter, no one will ever see your resume. Work with these systems by using clean document formatting and including the keywords relevant to your role.
5. Show them you have what they need
Don’t just list your responsibilities or tasks at former jobs. Use quantified achievements to show how you added value to the organization. How did the company benefit from you doing your job so well? Use #’s or %’s where possible to describe your accomplishments.
A weak resume is the #1 reason for a stalled job search. The second most common problem is wasting your time on online job boards. For more information on better ways to spend your time, read this. There are a lot of great jobs out there and one has your name on it – go get it!
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A Certified Career Transition Coach specializing in overcoming employment barriers, Trish McGrath has been helping people across industries advance their careers since 2009. Whether you are looking for a complete career change, competing for your next promotion or trying to identify your best fit career, Trish will make sure that you are prepared for success. An experienced resume expert, job search coach and LinkedIn trainer, she guides her clients through the job search process to make it less overwhelming with quicker results. Contact Trish at (860) 658-6480 or firstname.lastname@example.org to see how she can help you build a more satisfying career.