When an employer tells you, “We decided to go a different direction, but we appreciate your interest,” you may translate that in your head to, “You don’t have the skills for this position.” However, rejections like these often result from how your resume was formatted and written rather than an actual lack of qualifications.
What can you do to make sure that your resume ends up in the interview pile and not in the paper shredder?
A resume is a living document that highlights your many experiences. Along with your cover letter, it’s the first narrative that an employer sees. Employers ask themselves three things when they assess these documents:
- Can you do the job?
- Will you do the job?
- Will you be a good fit for their team?
How you put your resume together determines its final destination. Here are some important checkpoints to address:
- Am I highlighting my accomplishments and talking about outcomes?
- Put another way, is this document a results-oriented resume?
- Do I have any data to demonstrate those results?
- Do my listed skills align with the skills in the job description?
- Have I highlighted my most relevant experiences?
- Do my experiences demonstrate the skills that I have included?
- Do I have a good balance of hard work-related skills and soft interpersonal skills?
- Am I representing myself truthfully?
- Is it one page long?
Spending more time on your resume increases the likelihood of your being selected for an interview. Ensure that you can answer “yes” to the nine questions above and find three people to give you feedback. A good resume is like a good essay: it can take a few drafts to get it right!
A savvy job applicant invests time and energy to create an excellent document. They also seek expert input. The SEC provides many resume review resources online and in-person. Make an appointment today with Gayle Townsend, Assistant Director of Career Development, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 509-527-5183. She will provide you with in-depth feedback and help you think critically about developing a resume that will land in the YES pile.