Hiring authorities don’t spend much time looking at resumes. 99% of hiring managers don’t even try to carefully examine and analyze each and every resume they have on their desk or on their computer. The vast majority of people assume that they do but that is not so. 10-20 seconds is what it takes to review a resume or CV in order to decide which pile it will go to. It is just a matter of glance rather than a deep and systematic analysis. This is one more reason to be very careful when creating your resume – if it has only seconds to grab the attention of a potential employer then it is to be flawless.
1) Wrong Content. When it comes to writing a resume, one of the biggest challenges is to choose what content to include and what would be better to leave out. Many people include material that they understand while forgetting that people who can grant you an interview may not have the same understanding. HR managers don’t have the background knowledge that you have. They probably don’t know much about the companies you worked at unless you explain them. The key point is to craft your resume in a way that a high school senior could clearly understand where you are coming from and what skills you can bring in to the company. Another big temptation is to include everything you have ever done in your entire life. Remember how long will take for hiring authorities to review your resume – your credentials and experience should be appropriate for the job opening you are applying for. The company who is looking for a professional call center manager isn’t really interested in your fishing hobby…
2) Distracting formats. Some people believe that when they use graphic formats they have more chances to get an interview invitation as opposed to those who use common formats for their resumes. However, most resumes don’t get read because of so-called “professional graphic design” – most HR managers consider them distractive rather than attractive (the exception is when you apply for a graphic designer job).
3) One resume for many job openings. For most people the job seeking process comes to this simple algorithm: create a resume and cover letter – find suitable job openings – send your resume to all of the companies who are offering a good job. That is the easiest way, but not quite effective though. It takes time to highlight different parts of your resume and customize it for different job opportunities, but it pays off in the long run. The key is to read job opening carefully with all its requirements and desired/required qualifications – there are a lot of tips there that will help you decide what skills and experience you will need to highlight.
4) Wrong resume strategy (if any). Most people don’t even think of having a resume strategy at all. They don’t even think such a term exists. If you ask a person who is looking for a job about his/her strategy for ensuring the resume will generate the attention of employers and land an interview, you will likely get nothing more than “What are you talking about?”. If you have never heard about strategic activities you could do before applying for the job and after sending out your resume it doesn’t mean there aren’t any.
It may seem like it is something too complicated, but in fact, those are easy things everybody can do to increase the chances of receiving an interview invitation. The aforementioned 4 mistakes are not the only mistakes people make when creating a resume. However, these 4 keep average job seeker from getting an interview.