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4 Key Reasons Resumes get Overlooked

Posted April 21, 2014 by Sally Calloway in Building Your Brand


A full 98% of the general public prepares their resumes incorrectly. That is primarily because they do not:

  1. Target their resumes precisely to the positions they seek by matching their qualifications with the job requirements (instead, they prepare a “laundry list” of their employment background); A one-size-fits-all resume will no longer cut it in this competitive employment market. It used to be the case where you could put one generic resume together and send the same version off for various opportunities. Go ahead and do that if you would like to increase your chances of getting overlooked. The rules have evolved with the employment market.
  2. Incorporate all of the relative keywords from each job description within their resume that are applicable to the positions sought (so their resumes are screened in, not out) More and more companies are adapting Applicant Tracking Systems into their recruitment process. ATS’s are programmed to boot out resumes that do not match the objectives of the job description. Whether your resume is read by a *robot or a human, it must be infused with key words from each job description and be tailored and customized to illustrate your value offerings as they relate to the objectives of the job
  3. Highlight their achievements efficiently. The bullet points listed under each position on a resume should read as CAR (Challenge-Action-Result) statements that showcase the applicant’s quantifiable examples of success to prospective employers. Avoid simply listing your responsibilities. In fact, if the words “Responsible for…” are currently on your resume, remove them. Use statements like “Played an integral role in a major software conversion cleaning up $28M in endowment and current funds to maximize accuracy of account balances.” This speaks to the challenge, action and result. To help you generate strong CAR statements for your resume, refer to your performance reviews and ask yourself the following questions:
  • What am I held accountable for?
  • How is my performance measured, and what metrics or benchmarks am I responsible for achieving?
  • Did I achieve those goals? If so, by what percentage or number?
  • How has my contribution to, or ability to carry out my duties exceptionally well benefited my department and the company?
  • Did I develop and implement any initiatives that became best practices?
  • What recognition have I received? (Employee of the Month,  promotions as a result of exemplary work, other awards and recognition?)

Don’t underestimate your value or short-change yourself when building your resume. Even if your role is to file paperwork all day long, or enter information into a database, if you do your work well, you play an important part in keeping your boss, or the company organized, on task, and running efficiently.

4.  Invite the reader in to want to read the resume rather than glance at it for 6 seconds and toss is aside; (based on format, design, content, and readability). Does your resume still include an “Objective Statement”? If so, remove it. Objective statements have become obsolete. Employers want to know what you have to offer, not what it is you are seeking. It is all about WIFT (What’s In It For Them? not “Me”) The length of your resume should be determined by how well your experience and accomplishments align with the objectives noted in the job description. Shorter resumes that include the most relevant information based on the objectives of the positions, while retaining achievements and topical areas of expertise tend to have a better chance of landing in the “Yes” pile. Your resume should have sufficient white space so that your information is digestible, and so that your high impact statements show accomplishments at a glance.

These and other areas are critical to demonstrating to prospective employers how suitable a candidate you are for their business. The rules have changed and so must your strategy.

To see if your current resume can compete in today’s employment market, and to help guide you to build or revise your resume with a competitive edge, you may download my free Resume Score Sheet at http://www.careercoachsally.com, and access other tips, tools and free resources to help turn your resume into an interview magnet.

* Click on the link for tips on building an ATS optimized resume that kicks robot butt: http://careergirlnetwork.com/kickrobotbooty/


About the Author

Sally Calloway

As a Certified Professional Career Coach, Expert Resume Writer and Employment Trends Analyst, Sally Calloway has discovered new rules, and little-known, proven strategies that every job seeker needs to know. Throughout her 15-year span of career development experience, Sally has collaborated and consulted with human resources professionals and recruiters across the globe, and with renowned organizations including Disney and MGM International. In her former role, Calloway served as the College director of career services for eight years. She taught career success classes and provided career services to thousands of students and graduates helping them land internships and employment despite the downturn of the employment economy. Currently as an author, speaker career coach, and expert resume writer she coaches and mentors job seekers of all levels from recent college graduates to C-level executives, and former military personnel. Coach Sally has transformed thousands of resumes into job-winning machines that recruiters rave about through her powerful “value-stacking” resume building technique. Her revolutionary job interview techniques help candidates interview with ease and confidence, land offers on the spot, and more money. Sally Calloway has a passion for helping job seekers effectively illustrate their accomplishments on their resume and communicate their value with confidence in interviews so that they can achieve their career dreams. For a free resume critique, you may email your resume as a Word attachment to coachsally49@gmail.com For speaking inquiries, Sally Calloway may be contacted via email at: coachsally49@gmail.com