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Reasons Employers Aren't Calling You for Interviews
What employers want: the basics to know
Submitting resumes for jobs is both an art and science. The days where job seekers could just blast the same generic resume to 50 employers and have a job in a week are long gone. We now live in a globalized world and competition for jobs is fierce. In fact, it's so competitive that open job postings easily get hundreds or even thousands of resume submissions. Standing out is nearly impossible, so only the most sophisticated submissions are going to get noticed.
Not having a solid strategy in place will hinder job prospects, and being lazy when submitting yourself for jobs will certainly be noticed by experienced recruiters and human resource managers.
As a subject-matter expert in the HR field, I see at least 100 resumes a day, and most of the applicants employ the same, tired techniques from the 1980's -- and those strategies weren't even recommend then, and especially not today.
Objective statements are dead, so don't use them
Objective statements are dead -- so 1980's. Most human resource professionals agree that you shouldn't use them for the following reasons:
- They take up valuable space on the top of your resume
- Most object statements are very generic and serve no value-add to the resume, so don't add distractions or date yourself
- You may actually say something in the OS that they don't want, so you disqualify yourself from the position
- Isn't it blatantly obvious what your objective is since you've submitted your resume for the job?
What to use instead
Use a "qualification summary" to replace the objective statement. This gives the applicant an important head start because the HR team can quickly determine if the candidate is right for the position.
Your online presence
Do HR professionals care what's on your social media profiles?
How social media can destroy your chance of getting the job you want
Although there are countless stories featured in the media about employees who are "fired over a Facebook post," many job seekers don't seem to heed the warning. The fact is that employers who are considering hiring a candidate are probably going to check social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Why resume format matters
Resume format is a critical part of getting selected for an interview -- for both practical and technical reasons.
The technical reasons
Many job seekers don't know that human resource departments use software programs to weed out applications that they don't want. Since hundreds of candidates usually apply, human eyes don't gaze upon resumes until there is a short list. Applicants MUST use key words from the job description so that the software considers them a viable candidate.
The practical reasons
Your resume must look sophisticated and modern because it represents you. It's virtually the only tool you have to make a great first impression. If your resume looks sloppy and unrefined, then the employer will think the candidate doesn't have the aptitude for the position.
Sampel action words to use
Remember to use past tense for past jobs and simple present for current jobs.
How to use resume action words to stand out
The resume action words help define your role with current and past employers. Listing duties and responsibilities is fine, but starting your bullet points with an action word sounds more professional. It won't be possible or practical to use one on every bullet point, but you need to find a healthy balance. The action word you use will depend on your profession (and of course the message you want to convey). Ideally, the action words should match the job description.
Resume vs CV
If you're going to be applying for a position in another country, be sure to format your resume to fit that region's standard. Not only do different countries use different sizes of paper, but outside of the United States for example, many countries us a CV: Curriculum Vitae (which is Latin for the course of my life).
Don't forget the differences in grammar
American English and British English have many distinct differences, like spelling for example. Don't forget to change your Microsoft Word document to adjust for the language difference so that you don't look unprofessional.
Why customizing every resume for each job submission is critical
Lazy job seekers often use the same resume for every single job submission, which is a huge mistake. Recruiters and HR managers know almost instantly when a resume hasn't been customized for that particular job opening.
If you're saying to yourself right now, "That's crazy. I refuse to put that much work into the job application," then you are guaranteed not to get the job. The person who is willing to do it has a much better chance of scoring a job.
When you don't have a job, your 8-hour a day job is to find a new position, so put in the time needed to impress the employer -- it's almost the only chance you have at beating out the other job applicants. And, not even to mention, customizing the resume to fit the needs of the employer will help you beat the screening software mentioned earlier in this article.
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© 2014 Brian Daniel