I just hired four new people over the last month. This is great news. The bad news is over five hundred people applied to these positions and only four got hired. Out of 523 resumes; we phone screened 44, interviewed 23, and hired 4.
After reviewing all 523 resumes, I am able to tell you why job seekers didn’t get to the interview stage (which really is the main goal of the resume after all). The majority of the resumes were “unqualified” because I was unable to decipher what kind of skill sets the job seeker has that are relevant to the job I am hiring for. Sounds like that should be simple; but it is not. If I have to “decipher” anything on a resume, I can just move to the next one since I have plenty of inventory. What is sad is that I know there are some good candidates in this batch who were one resume writer away from getting an interview. If I’m thinking that, so are most employers and it is the main reason so many struggle in their job search.
“Your resume and how you respond to an interested employer has to be spot on if you want a great job. Unfortunately, out of over 500 resumes, only a handful got the memo. Hopefully we can help.”
Your resume is your golden ticket to the interview. Here is a list of resume and communication errors from this group of 523 resumes that drives me crazy:
- Different FONT styles and sizes in resume. If you start with Calibri (11), stick with Calibri (11) throughout the entire resume.
- Include your address in the header of your resume. If you don’t want the job, don’t put your address. Employers want to know where you live.
- Do not highlight your resume key points in color. It looks horrible.
- Next to phone number, no need to add the word “cell phone”. Everyone has a cell phone today.
- Don’t put references on the resume. Spend more time on making sure your skills match the job you are applying to.
- If attaching a resume document (.pdf or .docx) to an online application, name your resume file using your first and last name. Your resume document file name (SAVE AS) should be “John Smith Accounting Resume 2017”. Your resume file name is very important and should contain your name and a main skill set keyword. Also looks professional.
- Your cover letter sucks. 62 of the 523 resumes had cover letters that mentioned some other employer’s job, not mine. This just goes to show that many of you struggle with your job search because you apply to so many jobs, you forget to change your cover letter. You will be automatically disqualified if you do this.
- Voice mail. If you are in a job search, make sure you have a nice voice mail message. Also, make sure you check your voice mail and return calls promptly. I left so many messages for people and didn’t get many calls in return. I know it’s not cool to listen to voice mails (or return them), but for the better jobs out there internal recruiters leave messages all the time.
- Answering your phone during a job search. If you get a call and don’t recognize the number, please answer it professionally during a job search. Believe it or not, this is your FIRST impression with a possible employer. While most of my calls ended up in voicemail, those who did answer the phone did it in a way that made me feel like a bill collector. Once they established I was an employer, the tone of the phone call changed to normal. Start with normal in a job search.
- Know what jobs you applied for. If I hear “what company are you with again...” by another job seeker, I am going to lose my mind. When an employer calls, you should be expecting their call and know what position you applied to at their company.
- Don’t add your picture to the resume just yet. HR people still don’t like this.
Hope this all makes sense. This is real information and so many of you are making a few of these errors during your job search. For the best jobs, you can’t afford to do this. Get a professional resume writer!