|By Jennifer Farrell,
Proposal Team Lead at Eagle
You’ve worked hard on your resume. It’s an amazing document. You are flushed with pride and so you submit to a staffing agency. You are confident that this time you will get the call back. But you don’t. So what went wrong? There’s a strong possibility that what you think you’re saying and what is being read are completely different. Does your resume fit into some of these categories?
|What you write:||What you think it says.||Why we don’t call you back.||What you can do about it|
|A resume that closely follows the same format as a thesis.||You are an intellectual and we’d be silly not to call you.||We don’t understand how to read your resume to be able to match your experience to an open role.||Dumb it down. Keep your sentences short, sweet and to the point.|
|The same descriptor words for each bullet point, like the word “expert” or “utilized”.||You are an “expert” at every single task listed. You have “utilized” everything, so you are the best person to hire.||There are hundreds of other candidates that know how to sell themselves better.||Use a thesaurus. Pick your most used descriptor word and change it up.|
|Your life story, how you became unemployed, why you didn’t like your last placement, a personal appeal about your finances.||Hiring Managers will make an emotional connection and will call you back because you “deserve a break”.||We have concerns that you have the potential to be an HR nightmare to our clients.||Separate your personal life from your business life and focus on selling yourself based exclusively on your abilities.|
|Five different roles under the same client placement. You are a Project Manager… no a Business Analyst… no a Risk Specialist.||Your professional abilities are limitless. You can easily transition from role to role and are flexible and adaptable.||We don’t know how to classify your skill set. We have doubts about whether you can perform all the different roles you claim.||Create 2 or 3 different resumes to highlight your different skill sets. One resume for Project Management, one resume for Business Analysis and one resume for Risk.|
|References available upon request.||That you have references lined up and are therefore trustworthy.||Other candidates make it easier for us by providing three solid professional references.||Obtain blanket permission from your references to use them and then provide us with the information we need to make an informed decision about your hiring potential.|
All things being equal, the real reason you aren’t getting called-back might be because your resume is confusing, dense, or too personal. If you want to fix that, ask a couple of friends to read your resume and provide honest advice. Too often, we don’t even realize the impact of the written word — so get help and feedback to improve your resume. If you have a resume-related question I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and I’ll write you back personally.