Of course, you’re feeling confused and frustrated. With the Great Resignation still underway and job openings at a record high, you might have started your job search thinking it would be a piece of cake.
Now, you’re stuck wondering why you’re not getting more job interviews, even though you’re pretty qualified for the roles you’re applying for these days. But, before you assume you’re doomed or out of luck, here are three resume mistakes that might be the culprit:
Your resume focuses on the wrong results.
It’s not your fault. Most resume advice tells you to make your bullets results-oriented. But, results-oriented bullets are pointless if they focus on the wrong results. Your resume could have tons of numbers and accomplishments that make you proud. But, if those bullets aren’t necessary for the job, hiring managers and recruiters might read your resume and think you’re awesome, but they won’t know why they should interview you for the job opening they’re looking to fill.
Want better advice? Make sure your bullets are relevant and results-oriented. If you’re not sure if you have the wrong results on your resume, take a moment to read a job description for one of your desired roles. Then, read your resume to see if it speaks to the specific relevant needs of that type of role. If it doesn’t, then you’ll know where to start to land more job interviews.
You’re not telling the full story.
A few signs you might be making this mistake: you leave things off your resume because it was a team effort and you don’t want to appear as though you’re taking credit for it, you don’t include relevant skills because it wasn’t a part of your official job title, or you don’t mention certain accomplishments because it only happened a couple of times.
While you might mean well by leaving these things off your resume, underselling yourself and not telling the full story makes recruiters and hiring managers assume you don’t have the experience needed for the roles you want. The good news is that, as a career coach, I know first-hand that a few changes can make a huge difference.
To start, sift through your resume and, for each bullet, ask yourself: “What’s the story behind this?” If the story behind the bullet is more compelling than the actual bullet, update the bullet to illustrate the true story by adding relevant details to showcase your expertise.
Your resume is full of distractions.
No, this isn’t about the format of your resume. Sure, the wrong format can be distracting, but there’s another element that’s not talked about enough that can distract from your expertise. Most job seekers don’t notice it because when you’re constantly working on your resume, it can be hard to see this mistake. But, the distraction is jargon.
Jargon, in terms of your resume, is any word, accomplishment, or result that would be difficult for others outside of your company or industry to understand. Jargon is a distraction because, even if your resume sounds great, it’ll leave recruiters and hiring managers thinking you’re better off staying where you are – even when you know you have the necessary experience to do the job.
To catch and remove jargon, pull up a few job descriptions of your ideal role and study the language they use to describe the responsibilities and qualifications for the position. Next, read your resume to see if you describe your experience the same way. Then, remove any terms that don’t align with the role you’re pursuing next.
If you’re guilty of any of these resume mistakes, then that’s good news! That means there’s still things you can do to improve your job search. If you’re willing to tackle these three resume mistakes, you’ll be in a much better shape to land more interviews for jobs you’ll love.
Adunola Adeshola coaches high-achievers on how to take their careers to the next level. She is the author of the guide How to Go From Zero Interviews to Dream Job Offers.
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