You've done all the research, studied the “Top 15 Interview Questions You Should Know How to Answer”* or delved into “6 Reasons Why You Didn't Get the Job”*, you're primed and ready and totally confident in your abilities to begin your job search.

You've posted your resume on every possible jobsite out there. You review the job postings, even send out a few tentative resumes with dynamic cover letters and still, nobody calls or you get the standard “Thanks for Applying” emails. What's wrong?

Recruiters catch a lot of flak for not recognizing candidate qualifications. You hear stories about keyword scanning software that pitches out most candidates – even the most qualified ones. I cannot speak for every recruiter, but I can tell you that I personally review every resume I receive. However, I do use keywords to search for candidates with specific qualifications and honestly, I'm just not finding you.

Obviously, there are tons of opportunities out there right now and strong candidates are harder and harder to come by. However, the fact that I'm not finding you could also be due to the fact that your resume does not tell me who you are or what you've done. You assume I'll know that you have specialized experience just based upon the companies you've worked for – and I might, if I receive the resume, recognize that you do, or at least research the company to find out. However, if I'm searching for candidates I may never find you if the experience is not spelled out on the resume. For example, if I'm searching for a Production Manager who has a strong background in injection molding within a Tier I automotice environment, my search parameters may totally overlook the fact that you have that background if you simply put that you worked for XYZ Company as a Production Manager. It's really almost impossible to review every single Production Manager resume out there.

For all the flak that recruiters catch – most of us are not stupid. However, we do depend on technology to help us with what we're searching for. Because of this, it is important to spell it out – on the resume indicate that XYZ Company is a Tier I automotive supplier of interior trim, tell us that you were over X number of people in injection molding, assembly, etc.. In short, give detailed information about every company that you list on your resume, and then go on to give specific detailed information about your role within the company.

I know this goes totally against all the “one or two page resume” lectures that you've heard. However, if no one can find you, or if, when they receive your resume, they still have no idea what you've done, it doesn't matter just how concise you've managed to make the resume. Don't sell yourself short in an effort to be brief – and don't make it so difficult for me to find you or understand what you've done that I pass right over you.

*Made up Titles Meant to Poke Fun at Thousands of Blogs related to the Top # of Reasons

Views: 367

Comment by Esfandiar Bandari on August 26, 2014 at 4:18pm

This is an excellent post. It is amazing how much information is missing or missed when reviewing resumes.  Then remembering what to ask during the interview is another major problem. and its Report -- RSR were exactly developed to address those problem and minimize the risk of miscommunication and bad hires.

As you point out you cannot fit everything into 1 page resume.  But I think candidates are trying to optimize their chances.  According to Wall Street Journal and CareerLadder most recruiters are so flooded with applications, they will not go past the first page.  If you believe the Ladder study they spend only 6 seconds per resume!  That is why the machine should do the work for you, and leave the recruiter to do the deeper due diligence.  

Thank you for your post.  

Comment by Linda Ferrante on August 26, 2014 at 11:09pm

"I can't add in what I don't know, but I can always take out what's not relevant'.  I tell candidates this all the time.  There are so many 'experts' when it comes to writing resumes, I actually feel bad for candidates sometimes!  Put in the buzz words, show your accomplishments, TELL ME WHAT YOU DID, and we can go from there. 

If I don't see it in your resume, I don't know to call you.  I certainly cannot call every single resume we get, hoping for one that has all this hidden experience.  

Great post!

Comment by Pam Sisson on August 27, 2014 at 8:33am

Thanks Linda, Estandiar - I cannot imagine any recruiter worth their salt who doesn't go past page 1 - I can pretty much review the whole resume in less than one minute (but definitely NOT 6 seconds).  The ONLY way to optimize your chances is to make sure I know what you've done!  I emailed 3 separate people in one week to advise them that they didn't appear to have the requisite experience for a position only to receive an email back from all 3 saying, yeah, I've done that it's just not on my resume.  I guess we're supposed to be mind readers now too!


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