A key component of performing a job search is working on and sending out your resume. However, sometimes it pays to take a second look at your resume, especially if you’ve sent it out to a variety of companies and haven’t heard anything back. While there are various reasons why your resume has not received the response you would like, don’t give up. This just means that it's time to start rethinking your resume format and strategy in order to revamp your approach.
Why Your resume format May Not Be Working
There are many reasons why an employer might pass on your resume. For example, one reason could be that your resume features a resume objective rather than a resume summary statement. Adding a resume objective to your resume format used to be the standard, but these declarations are now classified as unnecessary.
Often times, resumes are unsuccessful because they contain too much filler information. Recruiters tend to pass over resumes that contain too much fluff or feature unnecessary information.
It’s also possible that your resume format restricts your ability to express your personality. In other words, it doesn't say anything about who you are as a person, so recruiters are unsure how you would fit in at the company.
Five Things You Can Do to Improve Your Resume
1. Resume Summary Statement
If your resume features a resume objective, replace it with a resume summary statement, which is an overview of what you bring to the table and gives the recruiter insight into what they can expect from you. If a recruiter sees a resume summary that has what they are looking for, they are more inclined to finish reading the document. Summary statements should be around two to three sentences, depending on what you want to say. An example of a resume summary is: "Graphic designer with 10 years of experience in designing magazine layouts and websites. Proficient with Photoshop design software."
2. Cut the Fluff
Cutting the fluff is another way you to make your resume stand out. Check if the words you are using help highlight your skills and experience. If they do not, cut them out of your resume. Use concise language to explain who you are and what you can offer a particular company.
3. Personal Branding
If you want to be noticed by an employer, you need to show how you could benefit that company. Brand yourself as someone who would add value to their team. Think about the honors and achievements you have made in the past, and apply them to the requirements of the position. Personal branding helps you market yourself to future employers, which may lead to more responses.
4. Highlight Your Achievements
Many people list their job duties but forget to add their accomplishments. Employers already know what the duties of most positions entail; what they want to hear is how you turned those duties into accomplishments. For example, if you were appointed to an office committee that was responsible for reducing employee absences, explain how your efforts made a difference.
5. Get Specific
In addition to adding your accomplishments, do not forget to add specific information. It’s one thing to state how you helped grow your former company's customer base, but you might also want to include some percentages. Stats and figures help give an overall picture of your ability to succeed.
If you would like more tips on how to improve your resume format, check out LiveCareer for more advice.