Is there anything more frustrating than sending out dozens of résumés only to receive a minimal (if any) response from employers?
The answer is no. Absolutely nothing is more frustrating than that.
One of the biggest (if not the biggest) challenges that the job seekers face is sticking out and being noticed in their job search. If you could just get in front of your potential employer, you know you’d be able to win them over with your charm. You just know it. The problem, however, is that you’re not reaching that stage of the process, so where can you improve?
The answer is most likely your résumé, and fortunately for you, there are a number of quick changes you can easily make that will increase your possibility of being contacted by employers.
1. Remove Your Objective Statement: The employer knows what your objective is…to get a job. You obviously need to elaborate, but the résumé isn’t the place to do so. Use your cover letter to explain your passions, skill sets, and overall reason why you think you’re a fit for the position. The résumé just isn’t the place for it.
2. Add More White Space: For a long time we were told to keep résumés to just one page. The problem there is that to keep all your valuable information to one tiny little page, you most likely have crammed everything together and maybe even reduced the font size. No. No. No. This is torture for recruiters, hiring managers, and résumé readers everywhere. Tiny print is awful to read and it’s easy to lose your place when reading a large block of text. White space will keep the résumé flowing smoothly and will also create an enjoyable experience for your reader.
3. Only Include What’s Important: This could be confusing, so let me explain. If you’ve listed a specific position on your résumé that just isn’t related to the job you’re applying for, the best thing to do is include minimal information about this job. The basics will work here, and those include dates of employment, company name, job title, and a couple of your responsibilities. If you include too much information about this role then you’re basically telling them that this is where your experience is, and showing them that you don’t have related experience.
4. Keep Formatting Consistent: Be as consistent as possible throughout the résumé. This means keeping fonts the same throughout. This means keeping the spacing after sections exactly the same. This also means if you add a period at the end of bullet points, then you guessed it, you should follow that same exact protocol up and down the pages.
5. Include Your Education First: As you know, most employers require certain levels of education. Include education information at the very top, than that eliminates the guesswork for the employer.
6. Customize the File Name of Your Résumé Each Time You Apply: The worst file name ever for your résumé is “MyRésumé”. Another really bad one is “résumé”. If your goal is to get lost in a black hole then that’s exactly what you should name the file. Instead, try including your first initial, last name, the word resume, and then the company name. The example would look like this: “RDeMatteoResumeCompanyABC”. This ensures you stick out immediately and also helps them locate your file in the system later.
7. Find a Proofreader: This could be one of your classmates at Porter and Chester Institute, a family member, or a friend. You’ll be amazed at how many mistakes another person finds on just their first time reading through, even though you noticed nothing wrong after 20 times.
The most important part to remember about the job search is that it’s a process. Try not to get stressed out or too worried when things aren’t going your way. Try these 7 little changes and continue to evolve and change if you’re still not hearing back from employers.