There are job seekers who work hard to produce a resume that will land them interviews. They do their homework, research information about their employers, tailor their applications to highlight relevant accomplishments and so on. However, sometimes even such meticulous approach to resume writing and job search in general may not bring a land an interview. The question is how come your well-written resume raises eyebrows of hiring managers, and even more importantly why. Today we would like to list some of the red flags decision makers may have about your resume. Again, we will not be talking about things like great formatting, bullet points and quantified achievements - these are basic things for developing a good resume. Instead, we will try to help job seekers investigate why their well-written application is ignored.
What Can Possibly Be Wrong?
There are several reasons why your resume may remain ignored by the hiring authorities even though you are qualified for the position and you resume looks great. First of all, you may have listed some titles that people on the other side may not understand. The thing is that some companies and organizations use creative approach when assigning titles to their employees and it is all good unless you remain in the company. But when you leave, your prospective employers may have a hard time understanding what your former title meant. So you have to make sure you do not leave only those cute and original titles on a resume without explanation. The best thing is to mention the title you held and in brackets provide the one that reflects your actual responsibilities. This should also help you pass applicant tracking software if your employer uses one.
Another thing that may raise eyebrows of those making hiring decisions is a location that makes no sense to them. For example, you live in Ohio and want to go live in Honolulu. As a result, you apply for jobs in Honolulu tailoring your resume for those openings and don't get expected response rate... Most likely, your Ohio address on a resume looks too confusing for employers. You have to understand that employers would hesitate whether you know anybody in the area or whether you would like it here or not. They will be reluctant to hire someone who can hate the area and quit soon. Therefore, use your space on a cover letter to explain why you are targeting jobs in that particular area. Address all of the potential objections hiring authorities may have.
Lastly, gaps in your career history may be the reason why you don't receive the invite. You can have a great employment history but if you've got some gaps, employers will wonder about these missed spots. The biggest mistake is to assume that no one will care about those career gaps. It is then necessary to address the issue immediately in the application package. Brief statements can be made on a resume as well as in a cover letter. There are different ways how employment gaps can be explained in the aforementioned documents but that is the subject of another blog post.