What might be keeping you from receiving the interview phone call

When I recently asked a good friend of mine, who is the Marketing Director for a large nonprofit organization, what was the most frustrating part of her job, she immediately replied, “hiring new people.” She went on to relate how 400 resumes were received within two hours of posting an opening for a Marketing Assistant. When I asked how many of the 400 resumes she felt were good enough to warrant a call for an interview, my friend responded, “less than 10…and a few of those are borderline.” This is today’s reality for hiring managers.

Here are some of the most common errors on resumes that prevent candidates from being added to the short list of people to be called for interviews:

No results – Bullet points that read like a laundry list of duties and responsibilities rather than specific examples of accomplishments and “how” those results/outcomes were accomplished. Don't just tell them that you can do something well – prove it by using specific examples demonstrating exceptional outcomes.

Lack of metrics to quantify stated accomplishments – Telling them that you “increased client satisfaction” packs no punch unless you quantify that claim with some sort of metric (percentage increase on client satisfaction survey scores, percentage growth in referrals from existing clients, dollar or percentage increase in repeat sales, etc.)

Poorly written and/or formatted – Resumes that contain grammatical or spelling errors, bullet points that are not clear and need to be “interpreted” (by the way, hiring managers have neither the time nor the patience to figure out what you are trying to tell them in your resume), formatting that makes it hard on the eyes to read (font size and style, too many lines used as separators, margins that are too small or too big, etc). 

Resume not customized for the position being sought – The more generic your resume sounds, the less skilled you appear. You are trying to convince them that you are “the one” to fill their open position. Remember – the hiring manager’s objective is to find “the best person available,” someone who is going to make them look great to their boss. If a hiring manager sees a resume customized for their open position, you’ve already made a positive impression by demonstrating that you understand the need to focus on the skills and requirements as noted in the job description. 

The good news is that all of these problems are correctable…and easily so. Yes, there is a greater investment of your time required to develop that “killer” resume, but – aren’t you trying to convince them that you are that one out of 400 other candidates that they should hire? 

As you write your resume, put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager who wrote the position description for the job you are seeking. Are you (the hiring manager) going to be “wowed” enough to move you (the candidate) to the next step and schedule an interview? 

Create a “wow” perception that will become the hiring manager’s reality. 

Read More on Business & Finance
Volume 3, Issue 12, Posted 2:20 PM, 06.14.2011