Who you are in the eyes of hiring managers is defined by what’s written on your resume. It doesn’t matter what work experience you have or how much you know — if your resume doesn’t adequately showcase your achievements, your interview chances go out the window.
With just how easy it is for your resume to be tossed aside, you want to do everything in your power to make your resume as impressive to hiring managers as it can possibly be. Unfortunately, many job seekers fail in this area because of these 5 common reasons.
1. You’re rushing it
Being unemployed or in the midst of a career change can be stressful. There are a lot of job application deadlines to meet and not a lot of time to complete them. Unfortunately, this often forces job seekers to do a rushed job with their resumes, which can end up being a very costly mistake.
Whether it’s forgetting to rearrange your bullet points in order of importance or leaving out a minor, yet important job duty, mishaps are more likely to occur as a result of poor planning. It’s important to make sure you identify when exactly your job application deadlines are, and then give yourself at the very minimum three days to write your resume and tailor it to each specific job description if necessary.
2. You didn’t have your resume critiqued by others
It’s not enough that you’ve proofread your resume from start to finish a hundred times. You need to also get others to proofread it too. As the writer, it’s hard to really get an unbiased sense of how others will perceive what you’ve written, so if you haven’t already, be sure to have family members and friends go through your resume. But, don’t just stop there! Take advantage of online resume communities like /r/resume on Reddit where you can post your resume for review. The more opinions and feedback you get the better.
3. You didn’t include your LinkedIn profile
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, consider creating one. If you have one already, then be sure to include a link to it at the top of your resume. Recruiters want to know that you’re someone who’s serious about your job search and career. Having an active LinkedIn profile helps demonstrate this to them.
Of course, you also want to be sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and well-written. If you’ve half-heartedly pieced together a LinkedIn profile a long time ago without putting much thought to it, you’re going to want to fine-tune it a bit before including it on your resume.
4. You wrote it yourself
Just like how you might hire an accountant to do your taxes or a mechanic to fix your car, you might want to consider hiring a professional resume writer to write your resume. If writing isn’t your strong suit, you may be much better off finding an online resume writing service to write your resume for you. This won’t be free though. A quality resume writing service usually charges a few hundred dollars, so you’ll want to decide for yourself if it’s worth it or not. This CNBC article details what you should know before picking out which resume writing service to ultimately go with.
5. You focus on duties, not achievements
What’s the difference? Well, a duty is simply what you’ve done. For instance, you “answered customer questions and manned the phones.” An achievement, on the other hand, describes how well you did it. You can say something like, “increased customer satisfaction levels by 20% due to exceptional customer service.”
By highlighting tangible achievements in your bullet points, you separate yourself from other job applicants who are competing for the same job. Now hiring managers are able to get a better sense of how good an employee you were instead of simply learning about what day-to-day activities your job entailed.
About the Author:
Peter Yang is the CEO of ResumeGo, a national resume writing service and a regular contributor for CNBC, Glassdoor, and Inc.com. Previously, he was a hiring manager and recruiter with over 20 years of recruiting experience.