Why your resume will be dismissed even when you are qualified

If you keep applying for your dream job in vain, or eyeing that promotion which seems so near yet so far, it could be that your resume is underselling you. A high impact resume enables you find immeasurable confidence in yourself. It conveys a rewarding journey and articulates your career value. It is that important tool that needs to be drafted strategically to serve as a background check and sets the foundation for a career raise or change. Getting the right people into the right roles is of paramount importance in organisational success. You could be the right person for a promotion but your resume may lack necessary items to market you. There are items that you might overlook which end up underselling you to the employer.

1. A vague first impression

Your resume will be read by a human being. Strategise it in a way that it will leave a distinct and memorable impression on the employer. Make it count. What impact do you make when you enter the office? Do you communicate positive energy? Focus that energy to your resume preparation. It should concisely state your value as the suitable candidate. Allow it to communicate your career story to catch the reader’s eye. Display a well-thought content structure. Put across well-placed and compelling phrases and rich, relevant content. Your resume should communicate that you have a lot to offer. The employer will readily call you for an interview because it would be exciting to discover the person behind it.

2. Omitting your key achievements

Mentioning your responsibilities without articulating your achievements is a grave mistake. Market yourself as an achiever; someone who can nurture ideas through to results. Recruiters receive numerous applications and can quickly overlook one or many that do not make an impact. Gone are the days when papers were a testament of how well you can perform.

Your achievements will show that:

·  You do not have to be retrained from scratch.

·  You are the kind of person who is proactive in going an extra mile.

PS: Quantify your accomplishments with verifiable numbers. Numbers provide an informed justification to give you the step up or career change you aspire to have. Be careful to pitch numbers that carry weight and have relevance. Be humble, brag politely and professionally by showing your impact in increasing profits, regional resource utilisation, prudent spending and saving time! Use your positive performance reviews to put yourself out there.

3. Failing to highlight your unique skills

You are not the only one who can do the job you are eying. You need to highlight your unique competences that will set you higher above the rest. What attributes will colleagues describe you with when you are not in the room? Your unique skills needed are not cliché things like good communication and organisational skills; rather a set of skills that you have picked up over the course of your working experience that will help you execute your role. Apart from helping you stand out from the pack, such skills will help recruiters gauge the value you will be adding to their institution.

4. Lack of focus

You clearly do not want to be sloppy in your resume preparation if you want that raise. The hiring manager will not take you seriously when you have spelling mistakes and lack appropriate punctuation. The good thing with technology is that nowadays, there are numerous online tools you can use to ensure that your resume is error-free.

5. No cover letter

Do not limit yourself by not providing a cover letter. A cover letter gives you an opportunity to introduce yourself, address the hiring manager directly and communicate why they should pick you. Personalising your letter to the target company shows your commitment to the role you are seeking. State your intentions and qualifications upfront. The cover letter also gives you the platform to include your salary and relocation information especially when the prospective employer asks for it. Eliminating this crucial information from your cover letter could result in your application being tossed out.

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