Advertising, we are surrounded by it every day, in print, on the TV and on the internet. An advertisement is designed to sell a product or service. It clearly shows us the benefits that we, the consumer, can gain if we purchase it. The advertisement shows us how this product or service will fill a need that we have or make our life better or easier.
There is a résumé myth that says the purpose of a résumé is to get you a job. Well the real purpose of a résumé is to advertise you! Résumés have changed. No longer are they a one-size-fits-all generic list of employers, with job duties and a list of your education.
Today’s résumés are marketing documents that need to:
- Advertise you as the perfect fit for the job opening you are applying for – to show employers what you can do for them and how you can add value to their business.
- Demonstrate that you can fill the need and in the process make the hiring managers life easier.
- Generate enough interest in you that you receive a request for a job interview.
Hiring managers want to see what you can and have already done. More importantly, they want to see that you have successfully accomplished what their job description requires. They want to see examples of what you have accomplished, how you have saved money, made money, saved time, made something easier or better for your current and previous employers. It’s not enough to say you can do it you need to supply the “hard proof” and submit the “evidence” to make your resume stand out among the competition.
As a job seeker your résumé and cover letter needs to showcase and match your transferable skills to the particular job opening for which you are applying.
When hiring managers, recruiters and staffing agencies receive hundreds of résumés and applications for a position they will look for ways to quickly eliminate people so that they can get the pile down to a manageable size. They only give a résumé a 7 second glance before they make a decision to keep it or reject it. Understand that the resume has not been read at this point, they have merely given it a glance.
If you are applying for jobs but are not receiving interview opportunities, something is wrong. Something is knocking you out of the list of candidates. You need to know that any of these items can eliminate you from the maybe pile. So here is my
Top Ten List of Reasons Why Your Resume is Deleted and Never Read
- No clear job target or one that does not match the job description
- Not following instructions (not meeting their minimum requirements, not submitting all of the requested documents, not applying in the specified manner or within the time limits given).
- Not following business etiquette (sending a cover letter, using appropriate and business communication in your emails, not signing your email, not sending thank you letters and being gracious to everyone you speak with on the phone, etc.).
- Typos, misspelled words, incorrect usage and faulty punctuation
- Using a questionable email address like – email@example.com
- Use of personal pronouns throughout the résumé
- Listing non-relevant hobbies or interests (big game hunter when applying for an accounting job – however this would be great to list if you were applying for a position with a sporting goods company that focused on hunting, fishing and camping, say Bass Pro Shop).
- Listing non-relevant volunteer or community work (volunteered to present a summer reading program at the local library when you are applying for a pharmaceutical sales position – this would be a good thing to include if you were applying for a teaching position).
- Including the old standard line at the bottom of your résumé, references available upon request. Today’s employer expects that you will provide them with a prepared list of your professional references.
- Not demonstrating a match of your transferable skills to their job description requirements and not including the required keywords and industry verbiage for the job.
So what does your resume look like? Has it been generating invitations for job interviews?