As a job seeker, you may believe you are doing all the right things. You have a resume, you’ve posted it on all of the job boards, you’ve let your friends and family know that you are looking for work so why isn’t anyone calling?
It can be frustrating when this happens week after week, and for some, month after month. Well I want to show you what you may be doing wrong from a recruiter’s perspective and then help you fix it.
- Typo filled resume: Believe it or not, I’ve had some folks with great experience turned down by employers because there are spelling errors in the resume. Spell check is your friend, but especially in the case of submitting your resume to employers. If you have 1 or 20 misspelled words, for certain companies that is enough reason to pass you by. Employers view it like this, if you couldn’t be bothered to correct your spelling errors (when it’s so easy to do nowadays), then what type of employee will you really be? They would rather not find out.
- Hard to read resume: This is another one that will lead to the recruiter hitting the reject button on your resume. Make sure your fonts are all the same, the size of font doesn’t require a magnifying glass, and that things are properly spaced, punctuated and bullet pointed. For great resume samples click this link here.
- Graphics on your resume: In today’s world, the first time anyone will see your resume will usually be on-line. Graphics sometimes translate into crazy characters that do horrible things to the alignment of your resume. When recruiters see rows of crazy characters they don’t try to find the actual words, they just hit ‘reject’ and move on to an easier to read resume.
- Silly email addresses: I don’t care if this is your first job at Target or your 50th job at a fortune 500, please get a free email address that is professional in nature. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen addresses like “Big694u@whatevermail.com”. Some recruiters may call you, but most won’t.
- Resume does not match the job description: Your resume should come really close to the description of the job. For example, if the opportunity is for an administrative assistant and your resume highlights your sales ability you probably won’t get a call back. Recruiters and hiring managers are going to go with the most obvious match to the role. Make sure your resume is clear.
- Music on voice mails: Remove it. Music is wonderful, but no one wants to have to sit through rap,rock,or even Beethoven when all they want to do is leave you a message. Chances are they will hang up, and move on to the next candidate.
- Unprofessional voice mails: True story: I called a candidate once who I’m guessing was in the middle of a some type of crisis because her voice mail said “Thank you for the call. I am making several changes in my life at the moment. If I do not call you back, YOU are one of those changes.” Needless to say it was a hilarious voice mail, but one that made her seem pessimistic and unprofessional. If she was willing to risk putting her personal business on a voice mail for strangers (during a job search) what type of energy would she bring to the office?
- Low Energy: Being professional does not mean being “cold”, nor do you have to sound like you work for a mortuary (unless, of course, that is the job). When you answer the phone, you should sound upbeat and enthusiastic without sounding spastic or manic. The oldest trick in the book is to answer your phone with a smile on your face. A smile can actually be heard through the phone, and it makes the person that called want to continue the conversation.
- Missing or Incorrect Information: It’s surprising how many resumes out there will have phone numbers that are no longer in service, or email addresses that bounce back. Sometimes people will send resumes with no contact information whatsoever. Make sure that your resume gives us a way to contact you.
- Short Job History: If you’ve had 7 jobs in the last year, that can look really bad to employers. In today’s market we understand that many folks are contracting, and that some of those contracts may have shorter tenures. In order to combat that you will want to list (next to company name) that this job was a contract role. This immediately identifies you as someone who is trying to work and places the work history in a better light.
These are some of the things that I have seen as a recruiter, and I hope that they help you to take another look at your resume as well as overall presentation when job hunting.