The job market is vastly different now. Most job announcements require you to apply on line or forward your resume without the chance to discuss your qualifications in person. Hiring managers and recruiters are faced with a full “inbox” of resumes for every job opening. Because the process of identifying qualified candidates takes time, effective hiring managers use the process of elimination to “filter” the candidate pool. Here are common examples of what can send your resume to the “NO” file and how to avoid them.
• Don’t tell the employer which job you are applying for. Most employers have more than one job opening, but not the time to determine which one you are responding to.
• No dates of employment… or, conflicting dates… or, maybe just one date. These are red flags and hiring managers won’t contact you for clarification.
• Your resume shows you live in another city or state and you don’t explain why you are applying for a job over 500 miles away. It may be as simple wanting to move back to the area where you attended college, but unless you explain it in a cover letter, an employer isn’t going to call you.
• You don’t have the required experience or qualifications. Unfortunately some job applicants do this often enough that their name becomes very familiar to hiring managers – and not in a good way.
• Don’t read or follow instructions when applying. If the job announcement asks you to “submit resume via email”, do that. A telephone call or personal appearance asking for an interview gives the appearance that you can’t follow instructions and even worse, are trying to circumvent their hiring process.
• Mistakes on your resume: spelling errors, grammatical errors, conflicting dates, or an “objective” that was meant for another job.
Looking at your resume from the perspective of a hiring manager will improve your chances of hearing from employers and landing the job that is right for you for you.