You’re ready to admit that your resume just isn’t working. You’ve submitted your application to dozens of employers and you haven’t received a single interview invitation, not to mention an offer. And at this point, you’re starting to run out of patience with the job-search process.
The clock is ticking, bills are piling up, and it’s time to get serious and face the facts: Either your resume is missing some crucial element that employers need to see, or it contains some damaging element that it’s time to find and remove.
But what is it? What’s going wrong? And once you find the source of the problem, what steps can you take to resolve it? Here are a few moves that can help clear up the issue and get your search back on track.
1. Show it to someone.
If you’re the only person who’s actually had a chance to see and review your resume prior to submission or publication, that’s no good. You have a circle of friends, family and professional contacts all around you who may be able to offer valuable perspectives and advice, but only if you let them. Hand your resume around, and solicit honest feedback. Chances are, your support network will find errors and confusing claims that you can’t see.
2. Review professional samples.
A great resume stands out in a crowd. It’s concise, smart, well-written and beautifully formatted. It gets attention and it inspires hiring managers to reach for the phone and arrange an interview. But some of the qualities of a great resume are intangible, and they’re easier to demonstrate than describe. If you need a visual presentation or a model that can show you the path forward (instead of just telling you), that’s fine. Check out some resume samples , and learn what fits best for your target position.
3. Get serious with cuts.
Roll up your sleeves and get out the red pen. It’s time to stop fooling around. Attack every sentence, phrase, verb, or subheading in your resume that isn’t pulling real weight. Eliminate empty buzzwords like “paradigm” and “synergy.” Then go after meaningless self-descriptors—terms like “hard worker” and “highly motivated to succeed.”
4. Recognize your awesomeness.
You’re awesome. So stop hedging and holding back. As long as you aren’t stretching the truth (implying you completed a project on your own when you actually worked with a large team, for example), feel free to toot your own horn. That’s what resumes and cover letters are for, and if there’s ever an appropriate place and time for out-and-out bragging, this is it. Dig through your career history with a microscope and find every smart, profitable, boast-worthy thing you’ve even done. Make a list of all of your accomplishments, no matter how small. Then choose the best items on the list and give them a place in your profile. If there’s even a small possibility that your target employers will want to hear about it, let them have that chance.
Your resume should be your ally and your most important job search asset—it shouldn’t be an obstacle that stands in your way and keeps you from getting where you need to go. Visit LiveCareer for an award-winning Resume Builder that will put your application in the winner’s circle.