Editor's Note: This is a guest post from one of our Edit This® business partners, Krystal Yates with EBR Consulting. Krystal is a guru when it comes to resume writing, and we've partnered up on several projects in that arena to help job seekers get found. You can learn more about what Krystal does on her website and blog. EBR is also on Facebook.
During the first week of May 2019, EBR Consulting sent resume proposals to 157 job seekers. Twenty-three of those job seekers said almost the same thing:
"I think I have a good resume, but I have sent out XX (20-100 depending on the individual), and I don't get any callbacks for interviews."
For the most part, these folks are qualified candidates, so why wouldn't they at least get a telephone interview? There are several reasons. Let's first talk about the small business hiring manager who does not use an Applicant Tracking System.
Here's a Facebook quote from a friend who hires personnel for a chain of yoga studios:
"Small rant. When you graduate college, it should be reasonable to assume that you know how to put your name on your resume before you submit it. I learned in 3rd grade that I would not get credit if I didn't put my name on it. Why is it a lost art to put a name ON A RESUME?! As a hiring manager, it is really easy for me to just move on. If these people knew how many times they are getting passed over for something that simple. I need a warm body that can say hello, smile, and learn to fold a bath towel. I need a pulse, I am not asking for much beyond that. Put your name on your application and resume!!!"
People leave off names, emails, and phone numbers (or put the wrong information) and can never figure out why they aren't getting contacted. Hiring managers also do not enjoy trying to read resumes written using cute fonts, so those won't get much attention.
One of the big reasons hiring managers don't call can be that you failed to stand out. What makes you unique? Too many people recreate their job descriptions on their resume. If it is hard for you to find accomplishments in your experience, consider hiring a professional who will find the words for you.
If you are applying for jobs with larger companies, you could be the victim of the Applicant Tracking System mentioned earlier. If your resume isn't formatted correctly or optimized with the right key terms, there's a good chance it will never get past these initial screens.
What does an ATS reject for format?
The ATS cannot read tables, charts, graphs, and some artwork. If your resume contains a cool diagram that shows how you built a new product sales plan from the ground up – it can't be read, and your resume falls in the "Black Hole." Keep it simple.
The ATS scans your resume looking for keywords that have been supplied by the hiring manager. As I said in my book, Insider's Guide To Your Dream Career, "While it is impossible to know exactly what keywords each organization is looking for, there is often a pattern. I find that pulling several similar job descriptions and searching for the recurring skills tends to be effective. Include industry buzzwords, as well as standard software."
The bottom line is that resume writing has changed over the years. If you aren't keeping up, it could cost you on your next opportunity. If you don't know where to start, consider hiring a professional like EBR Consulting.
Final thoughts from your friendly, neighborhood writer and editor at Edit This
Thank you to Krystal for sharing these thoughts on resume writing. She is a dear friend, and her team at EBR genuinely wants you to succeed. At Edit This, we work with Krystal's clients as well as our own to be that go-to resume writer they can always count on to find the right words. When you add in Krystal, who can tackle everything from resume writing to career coaching, talent acquisition, and small-business HR, it creates a win-win situation for everyone – especially for you as the client!
If you'd like to learn more about what we do at Edit This, including resume writing, click here to see our list of services.
Thanks for reading!