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

Sally Calloway is a Career Coach and an Expert Resume Writer known for landing an interview and getting an offer for every position she's applied for. Her passion for career development began back in college when her resume stood out among thousands of applicants landing her an interview to intern for "The Late Show With David Letterman". Bombing the interview ignited her pursuit to help others achieve their career success. Sally coach's job seekers and career changers of all levels, developing a competitive personal brand that resonates with their target audience through various communication platforms; social media profiles, resumes, job applications, job interviews. From college students to C-level executives, Coach Sally provides expertise in communicating a unique value proposition so that even passive career success seekers can stand out, land the job and get promoted.

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