Even for a few weeks, the job search can be frustrating (though a few weeks on market is perfectly normal for most positions in most industries). And as weeks drag on and turn into months, job seekers often face an unsettling question: Can the length of an extended job search actually hurt a candidate’s chances of bringing the search to an end?
I’ve sent out ten resumes so far during my job search, and I’ve received only one interview invitation. The other nine resumes resulted in nothing but silence. Why? Am I doing something wrong?
Without a doubt, the most important section of your resume will located at the top of the page, just under your contact information. This is the section your reader’s eyes will move to first, and depending on the circumstances, this may be the only part of the resume that he or she actually reads and remembers before putting your resume down.
You’ve discovered a post for the job of your dreams! Or you’ve received a message from a recruiter, or you’ve learned about an open position through a friend or contact. And since the position is perfect for you in every way, you want to get your resume into the manager’s hands as quickly as possible. There’s no time to lose! So you sit down in front of your screen, type, edit, customize, glance quickly over your work, fix a stray typo, attach resume to cover letter and…send. Done and done.
Your career decisions have been impeccable. You’ve done everything right, you’ve never made a single professional mistake, and until you were laid off a few months ago, your career plans were right on track. But that was then. At this point, you’ve been on the market for what feels like an eternity and you haven’t landed a single interview invitation. What’s going wrong? Could the problem be lying somewhere within the text and layout of your resume? The answer may be yes, and if it is, here are three common resume issues that may be holding you back.
When resumes tend to slip toward the bottom of the pile, the most common reasons tend to relate to poor organization and weak information flow. And when a resume’s flow of information starts to fall apart, this is often a result of inconsistency. To hold your reader’s attention and keep your information easy to process and remember, make sure this information is organized in a parallel structure that stays consistent through each section and subheading. Consider these tips.
Ideally, you’d like every person who lays eyes on your resume do a double take, then reach for the phone, dial your number and offer you a million dollar position on the spot. But the modern job search is a little more complex than this, and sometimes the first gatekeepers who encounter your resume will be recruiters, not employers. And as it happens, recruiters and employers have slightly different goals.
Your resume is broken. Or maybe it isn’t broken, exactly, but when you compare it to your friend’s resume, or your mentor’s resume, or some of the sample resumes you see on sites like Free Resume Builder, it just doesn’t seem very competitive. What’s wrong? And more to the point, how can you make some adjustments that will bring you into the winner’s circle and start generating the interviews you need? Here’s a quick way to start trouble shooting the source of the problem.
Every now and then, it’s nice to return to the basics and provide a simple reminder of the standard elements of a professional resume. Of course your resume may not follow this exact pattern, and of course the details of your subheadings will vary widely based on your industry, level, position, and personal goals. But if you start with this simple structure, you’ll be on your way to your next position.
From your own perspective, your resume may seem perfect. You haven’t noticed a single misspelled word or grammatical problem, and your credentials seem identical to the ones your potential employers are looking for. But for every fifty resumes you send out, only about three results in interviews for acceptable positions. You’ve been on the market for several months, and you still haven’t received a single reasonable offer. Here are a few possible reasons this may be happening.