If you’re submitting your resume and not hearing back – this is probably going to be a question you want answered! As a resume writer, this is a question people often ask before working with me. When you submit your resume over and over again, and still do not hear (even though you are qualified for the job), there may be a problem with your resume.
In general, there are three main reasons you do not get any interviews after you submit your resume.
Wrong format resume: Not ATS compliant
Candidate Tracking Systems (ATS) are human resources software designed to streamline the recruitment process for companies. With hundreds of job applicants on every opening, it is impossible for recruiters to read every application. ATS ranks your resume based on their suitability for the job description. If your resume does not have an ATS compliant format, they may never reach the recruiter in the first place.
Some tips on how to effectively design your resume for ATS:
- Use a single column format. A two-column resume is often not ATS compliant and the data may eventually go awry.
- Remove graphics, photos, charts and images. All of this content is not ATS compliant and could eventually cause the information to be completely missed.
- Use a clean design and stick to simple fonts / balls. Maintain a standard resume structure with specific headings, narrow down tables and use standard fonts and bullets to ensure data is processed accurately.
My article on candidate tracking systems, the ATS-friendly resume guide, will walk you through all the details you need to know about candidate tracking systems and how to make sure your resume meets these requirements. If you would like to learn more about how this software works, please read this article.
Resume without a destination
A resume without a goal does not make clear what you are doing or what you want. I usually define a non-target resume as one that I can not identify what the person wants or does in the first 5 seconds.
Today’s resume should be very focused on the position for which you want to apply. Unfortunately, many people still submit general resumes that highlight their skills and abilities very broadly. A general resume that does not focus on the requirements of a specific role will simply not work anymore. It should be clear to the recruiting professional that you are suitable for the job.
Your resume should prove that you have a clear work goal, and here’s why:
- Resumes written by those who are unsure of what they want tend to be unfocused and scattered. This is not what a recruiter wants to see.
- Recruiters and HR people only want to see resumes that match the advertising requirements.
Think about it from the point of view of a recruiter or human resources person:
If it’s not immediately clear why you’re qualified for the job, why send your resume to a recruiting manager? Even the recruiting manager will not see how relevant your experience is – and they probably will not be happy with the recruiter for sending a resume which is not what they are looking for.
What if you’re not clear about the type of job you want?
I often hear from clients who are unsure what they want to do – or are considering two different types of roles. If you are not sure what you want to do, you may want to get some clarity before writing your resume. Career coaching and counseling can help!
If you are considering two types of jobs, you may need to create two different versions of your resume. My video – Do You Need Two Resumes – provides more information on this.
Continue without a plan
A resume without a plan does not prove that you have the abilities to do the job.
Unfortunately, it is not enough just to have a clear goal. It certainly helps, but the next important thing you need to do is come up with a plan to show the recruiter or HR Pro that you have what it takes to get the job done efficiently.
How do you do that? Research! Fortunately, job postings tell you what hiring professionals are looking for in a candidate. To make a plan, all you have to do is research the publications you are interested in and put together a plan to convince the reader of your resume that you can do the job. Remember – you do not have to meet all the requirements to do so – most successful candidates do not have everything.
Three steps to creating a resume plan
Step 1: Review the job posting in detail. Carefully read the job postings / job descriptions and identify the keywords you see over and over again.
Step 2: Write down the keywords you notice. Keywords = skills, abilities and skills that are important for the job.
Step 3: Comparison – Are these keywords consistent between jobs?
Candidate tracking systems come into play here as well. The ATS scans your resume for relevant keywords and content. Reviewing the job advertisement and identifying the appropriate content will ensure that your resume will pay attention.
Not getting interviews and interested in more information?
Download my free review list to learn more about the three simple steps you need to take to write a resume that will start bringing you interviews.