1. Your resume is not relevant to the position available.With the economy in the toilet, more and more people who have been unemployed for a long period of time are running out of options and broadening their job searches. Some are desperate, willing to take fast food or janitorial jobs. Although you may even be applying for many different types of jobs, it should not look that way to employers. You need to illustrate why you are the perfect fit for their open position. When sending a resume for a position other than what you have traditionally done professionally, you need to modify your resume to reflect how what you have done in the past relates to the position for which you are applying. Remove association memberships and certifications that are totally irrelevant. Think of the skill set that the hiring authority for that position will be seeking and target your resume to emphasize those attributes. This applies to career-changers as well. Everything on your resume should be as relevant as possible.
2. Your resume is not getting past the computer. Many firms and agencies now use computer software to scan resumes in order to pare down the number that must be read by human eyes. The software searches for “keywords” which are commonly used vocabulary words specific to the position available. If your resume is lacking in keywords, it may never pass that first test. If you work in marketing, some specific keywords would be: relationship building, social media, public relations, generate revenue, ROI.
3. You are “overqualified”. Not only do you have the necessary skills for the position, you have an excess of additional skills or education above and beyond what is required. For example, you may be a career business manager, but you are applying for a receptionist job or a retail cashier job. Employers see you as a very temporary employee who will quickly move on when you find the position you are really seeking but are unable to secure at the moment. In addition, you may have more qualifications than the supervisor of the position for which you applied. Hiring managers may see you as a threat to their job, believing you have set your sights on their job and plan to move up the ladder quickly. If you are overqualified, consider either 1) explaining in your cover letter your reasons for applying (retired, resigned last job to return to college full-time, etc.) or 2) modifying your resume to exclude higher qualifications while highlighting what skills you have that may be equivalent to the position.
4. Your resume has errors. Hiring personnel notice these things and it does matter. You all have spell-check and grammar checking software. Use it. Otherwise, you look downright lazy. Beware of using manger where you should use manager; spell-check says it passes, but it doesn’t tell you when you have incorrectly used it.
5. You have unexplained gaps in your work history. Explain any gaps in your cover letter. Although employers may not ask, they notice gaps and want to know why they occurred. If you had an accident or illness, reassure the employer that the situation has been resolved and you are ready to return to the workforce. If it was a choice, definitely say so. It’s common for women to be stay-at-home-moms for a few years. Mention anything you did during the gap to stay current on information, skills, and technology in your industry. Include relevant associations in which you remained active.
It is taking longer for those in the current job market to secure job offers, so the above situations may not apply to you. It may simply be that you are in an occupation in which the market is flooded with applicants where employers are getting hundreds applying for a single job. However, many individuals are victims of the above mentioned mistakes.
Krista Mitchell is a Certified Professional Resume Writer crafting resumes designed to showcase your qualities with maximum impact. My job is to provide you with your custom sales tool to generate job interviews. FREE resume reviews offered. http://www.composureresumes.com~pages for the next chapter in your career~