I have been doing a lot of interviewing lately. One thing that really amazes me is job seekers who apply to open jobs don’t understand this very simple concept:
Your resume must allow the employer to immediately know that you are qualified for the job.
It sounds so simple. However, I understand why a job seeker doesn’t fully grasp this concept. For one, most are not professional resume writers or professional job seekers. Secondly, many job seekers think that an employer can decipher from their unorganized wordsmithing what you actually do relative to the job that they have available. Trust me, employers are not doing this, especially if they have a lot of resumes to go through.
Here is another thought you must keep in mind:
When a “live” recruiter isn’t reviewing your resume, technology (applicant tracking systems-ATS) is and kicking you out for the same reasons.
Yes, humans and computers think the same way.
So what is your resume really missing that will make a huge difference? The answer is very simple.
You must be able to take your experience and re-write it in a way that showcases you can actually do the job. This portion should be at the top of your resume.
You’re applying to an office manager position. However, you have only been an administrative assistant for the last five years. You read the job description and it is exactly what you are currently doing even though your current employer calls it an “Administrative Assistant”. You must get the word office manager in your resume title and follow it up with the competencies you have that match the job description. You most likely will have to change this for each job you apply to. IF you find yourself not having the experience, STOP applying to that job and find a job that does fit. Don’t just apply to apply.
A clean resume is the key. I always suggest a professional resume writer but if you do it yourself, use the “next door neighbor” test. Knock on your neighbor’s door and ask them to read your resume and see if they know what you do in one sentence. This feedback is priceless.