Applying for jobs can be really hard and can also feel really simple to feel like you’re a failure because you’re applying for jobs, and maybe you’re not hearing anything back. Wow there are definitely a lot of things that are completely out of your control. When it comes to the job search there’s definitely something that you do have control over and that’s your resume.
If you were passed up for a job offer or even for that interview, stop dwelling on the past let us use this as an opportunity to be proactive about moving forward for a better future. In this post, we are going to go over some common reasons why your resume did not make the cut the first time around and what you can do to change that.
Here are four major reasons why your resume was rejected and how to fix them moving forward
1. There were too many applicants on average
Each corporate job posting attracts 250+ resumes. Of these candidates, only about 4 to 6 on average will actually be called for an interview. Guess what only one will get the job because we have such easy access to these online job postings. It is common to feel like there must be something wrong with you if you did not get a call back.
The problem is even if you are a great candidate and you are very qualified for the job you might be passed up just because of the sheer volume of resumes and applicants that are applying. Oftentimes, there are so many applicants that finding the ones that should move forward is like finding the needle in the haystack. It is really challenging how to fix it; you should focus on getting your resume in front of the right eyes by targeting your search often. That means reaching out directly to a hiring manager via LinkedIn or through a mutual connection in your network.
2. You did not customize your resume to the job you were applying for
With the number of applicants increasing, many hiring managers and recruiters default to either using an applicant tracking system or doing keyword searches to determine if you are qualified. Keyword searches are an easy way to determine if an applicant actually has the skills and experience that the recruiter and the hiring manager is looking for.
How to fix it: The best way to ensure that you come up on keyword searches is to go through the job descriptions that you are interested in applying to and integrate those keywords and phrases throughout your documents. Do your desired job descriptions; utilize keywords or phrases that you can use in your resume.
Does a job description have a more eloquent way of wording one of your job duties? If you are not using current job postings to help you write your resume, you are doing yourself a disservice. See how industry professionals talk about jobs and utilize that in your documents. Using industry jargon will also help you appear more professional and knowledgeable about what you do.
An added bonus, you can optimize your LinkedIn profile by taking those same keywords and putting them there as well
3. Your resume highlights your job duties and not your achievements
Studies show that hiring managers and recruiters on average only take about six seconds to review a resume because recruiters and hiring managers do not have time to thoroughly go through every document.
You need to make sure that your resume immediately reflects your achievements, and what you can bring to the company.
How to fix it: Anyone can say that they are great at their job but very few people can actually show it when you are noting your achievements, think about how you can quantify what you have done. Some examples of questions to ask yourself includes, how many people did you manage? Did you increase productivity or sales by a percentage or Naira map? Did you save the company money? Did you secure any partnerships? Were you awarded or recognized for anything? Did you work with any big budget or notable clients or partners? The more evidence that you can provide to really support the claim that you are an amazing employee the better and it will be super impressive also. It is a great way to stand out.
4. You did not use any active verbs in your resume
Subjective terms and clichés are actually seen as kind of big natives and the reason why is because they do not really convey anything that feels real and authentic. Instead of using the phrase results-driven, try saying something along the lines of pitched and cultivated relationship with enter the company name securing ₦10,000,000 partnership for 2016. This sentence shows that you actively pursued a client and got a result and it is a result that we can actually understand that ₦10,000,000 deal using active verbs and integrating metrics creates a stronger claim than using common resume phrases.
How to fix it: Active verbs must articulate achievement and motivation, which is extremely important. Do not use the same verbs over and repeatedly. Kind of weird but it is also boring and it does not show any creativity. Make sure that you are using different active verbs to start new sentences and talks about new activities and those bullet points in your resume. Therefore, those are four major reasons why your resume was rejected. Securing a new position can seem intimidating especially with the number of applicants that are out there so you really want to make sure that you are doing your best to avoid some of the easy mistakes that will make your resume go straight to the no pile instead of the yes pile. However, remember knowledge is power and now that you know what these mistakes are and how to fix them, you can move forward in a better way and hopefully have better results.