Resume Reject

Not landing a job interview? Check your resume for these call back killers

08/10/2013BY: Tracey Mesken

A good resume is your golden ticket to exciting new job opportunities.  It is a personal advertising statement that, when done well, will deliver cut through and land you at job interview.  On the flip side, there's only one place a bad resume is going, and that's on the 'thanks but no thanks' pile.

If you find yourself firing off resume after resume with limited success in landing that crucial face to face interview, it could be time to assess where things might be going wrong.

Here are three resume blunders that can prove a major barrier to a potential employer viewing you as a hot candidate.

Blunder #1: Lies and empty statements

OK, sure, it is safe to assume that many people pad out their resume a little in the pursuit of looking really good "on paper" but if there are downright false statements on your resume, you can be guaranteed they will come back to bite you eventually.

Social media and the internet makes it increasingly difficult to hide from your past.  Adding to this, anything that a quick web search doesn't turn up can be quickly uncovered with a simple phone call or background check.

Your best bet is to be honest with employers about your employment history and qualifications.  Don't alter job titles or the tenure of employment and don't claim any experience that you don't have.  That said, there's nothing wrong with leaving irrelevant information off your resume.   If a past position doesn't add any value to your application, it's better to avoid it completely.

Blunder #2: Spelling and grammatical errors

You would think the need to proofread and spell check your resume goes without saying right?  Not so apparently.  A study published by CareerBuilder in September 2013 has revealed that typos and spelling errors are still the most common resume mistake, leading approximately 58% of employers to automatically dismiss a candidate.

Take the time to read, re-read, and re-re-read your resume for grammar and spelling. Then get a friend or family member to read it as well.  Don't forget about formatting either - make sure that everything looks neat and tidy on the page, both when on a screen and when printed.

Blunder #3: Lack of focus or strategy

When sending your resume to a apply for a job, remember that you are just one of many, many applicants for the position.  If your resume  is generic and lacks any sort of alignment to the job you are applying for, it's not going to be able to compete with a resume that has been specifically tailored to the requirements of that role.

Make sure your resume addresses the specific needs of the job you are applying for.   Most job advertisements come with a summary of the key role functions that you can use as a guide.  For example, if you're applying for an administration job that requires knowledge of particular software programs - highlight the fact that you know how to use those, providing examples where possible.

It's also a good move to align your digital resumes - such as your LinkedIn profile - with your paper one to make sure everything is consistent and up to date.  A prospective employer these days is highly likely to go digging into your online identity so ensure that you go to the same effort to look just as good "on screen" as you do "on paper".

With tougher market conditions meaning more active candidates seeking employment it is important that you take a little extra time to ensure your one shot at cut through is your best.