When you are searching for your next role, getting your resume out into the world is the top priority, but did you know that your resume will only go to work for you if it connects with the right people, showcases your thought leadership and industry expertise, and sells your value?
Here’s a typical scenario:
You’ve put every ounce of effort into creating a resume, leveraging your network, and unearthing employment leads. You’ve uploaded your resume onto online job boards and company websites.
And then … days turn into weeks and you have not been contacted for an interview … and you are left wondering why.
You know your resume is the linchpin to creating a positive, lasting impression and it markets your experience to potential employers and yet you are being overlooked.
Here are 3 reasons why you might not be connecting with employers.
1. Your Value Isn’t Clear
First, there can be a variety of reasons why your candidacy faltered, but often at the top of the list is: You didn’t make your value crystal clear. The cold-hard truth is hiring managers simply do not have the time to figure out if you are a ‘right-fit’ for their organization.
To position yourself for your next role, you need to make sure the hiring authority instantly knows two key things:
- Who you are (what do you do / what solutions do you offer?).
- How you deliver results significantly better than your competition.
Once you’ve answered those two key questions you will be able to transition your resume from a boring listing of employment details to one that will attract interest.
2. Your Resume Isn’t Dressed for Success
Formatting your resume correctly will help you connect with your target audience easier and attract more attention. Prospective employers do not have time to put the pieces of your career together to figure out if you are the ‘right’ candidate; therefore you must make your information easy to find at a glance.
Open a blank document and start outlining your information:
- Your Name + Contact Information, including a link to your LinkedIn profile.
- Target Role + Branding Statement (Make your value obvious!)
- Your Career Summary (Clearly convey who you are and what you offer!)
- Top 3 to 5 Accomplishments Aligned with Your Ideal Employer’s Needs (Shine a bright light on what you are known for!)
- Your Work Experience –dating back 15 years or so. (Support your candidacy by highlighting your career success stories!)
- Your Education
The job of your first line of your resume is to get people to read the next line and so forth; therefore, it is imperative you avoid stuffing your resume with details that bury essential information.
Each section of your document needs to go beyond your experience and showcase your value.
Start with a branding statement … one powerful sentence that describes your secret sauce –that is what you are known for.
Director of Manufacturing: Providing Best Practices and Transformational Solutions that Strengthen World-Class Operations and Bridge the Gap Between Marketplace Needs and Production Capabilities in Today’s Global Marketplace
Sales Executive: Steer Business Development Initiatives that Power Entrance into New Markets + Drive Revenue Growth
Medical Coder: Drive Efficiency and Productivity of Medical Coding Teams While Ensuring Compliance with HIPPA Laws
Follow up your brand statement with a brief summary of your key experience, attributes, and qualifications. This short paragraph provides the reader a cursory glance at your top selling points.
Integrate keywords throughout your document and keep each piece of information centered on your value offer by looking beyond what you did (tasks/duties/responsibilities).
If your primary method of searching for a new role is by responding to open jobs via online job boards, your document needs to be applicant tracking system (ATS) friendly. (Companies sort through and screen applications using pre-defined specifics, including keywords and geographic location.) If your resume isn’t optimized, it won’t be flagged for further consideration.
3. You’re Invisible Online
According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers turn to social media to screen candidates during the hiring process and 35% of them are less likely to interview applicants they can’t find online.
Perform an audit of your social media accounts for anything negative:
• Inappropriate photos or videos.
• Discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion.
• Public comments about your previous company, fellow employees, or management.
• Tagged or posted photos with drinking or drug use.
Having an online presence that is wholly aligned with your professional resume is a must in today’s tech-driven job search landscape.
Related article: Was your resume ghosted online?
Pay particular attention to your LinkedIn profile. Does your headline + summary contain keywords?
Leverage the power of this social media platform by taking the time to provide a quick snapshot of your value + career success stories. Both your summary and headline are keyword-driven so integrate industry-specific keywords throughout. Your summary is not a cut and paste of your resume but rather a more personal narrative about who you are, your talents, goals, and successes.
Don’t forget to include a CTA (Call-to-Action) at the end of your summary … I welcome connecting with like-minded industry leaders … Contact me via email @ …
By taking the time to tweak your resume + create a plan of action that supports your professional image and career goals, you will reinforce your candidacy!