Have you ever spent hours tweaking your resume for the perfect job opportunity only to hit submit and never hear anything again? If you’re like many job seekers, you’ve spent a fair amount of time wondering whether some of your resumes have simply become lost in space. In fact, some statistics say that as few as 2% of applicants receive a call for an interview. The 98% that are screened out? They might not even receive as much as a confirmation email.
Unfortunately, these numbers are nothing if not bleak, and the last thing I want to be is the cloud that rains on your job-searching parade. Fortunately, if I have to be today’s black cloud, I can at least be one with a silver lining. There are some techniques you can use to dramatically increase your application-to-interview return on investment, and none of them involve going back to school or getting more experience.
1. Put Format at the Forefront
There are some career coaches who will tell you that your resume’s format isn’t as important as its content. Some will even advise that you take a non-traditional route, such as recording a video resume or writing a career summary. While there is certainly a time and a place for stepping outside the box, an online job application isn’t one of them. If your resume format isn’t in a predictable yet impressive style, you’re likely to get rejected immediately, not because your potential employers don’t like creativity, but because their systems simply can’t read your content. If most of your resumes seem to fall into a black hole, check your format against current standards.
2. Get Specific
If you want to make it into the top applicant list, your resume needs to do more than list the skills you have and computer programs you know how to use. If you’re applying for an accounting position, everyone who wants to be taken seriously for the position will know how to create a balance sheet. But not everyone will be able to say they presented the CEO with data that allowed her to better allocate resources and cut costs by 50%. These types of accomplishments not only help you stand out, but they also translate your skills into deliverables that senior leaders will be able to use to help them achieve their goals.
3. Include a Cover Letter
Some applicants, recruiters, and career coaches will tell you that cover letters are a thing of the past, but I’ve met many hiring managers who prefer the humanizing nature of the cover letter and are more likely to reach out to someone whose story intrigues them. When you write your cover letter, focus on filling in gaps that your resume may leave or identifying a common thread among positions. You should also tailor your cover letter to present a clear picture of why you would be a strong contributor to the organization to which you are applying.
4. Don’t Rely on Online Applications
While I don’t think online applications should be entirely abandoned, you should know that they are often among the hardest ways to get a job. In addition to applying online, you should build and leverage your network, reach out to recruiters, and strengthen your online personal brand to increase your chances of landing your dream job.
If you feel like your resumes are getting lost in space, a few adjustments can help the right employers find them again. My colleagues and I at Morley Career Solutions will be happy to talk with you about your job search process and resumes. Feel free to send us an email or book a call to learn more about how to increase your resume’s visibility and impact.
Book a free call here: https://morleycareersolutions.com/contact