5 Reasons Why Your Resume Isn’t Actually “Job Ready”

You’ve spent a few hours agonizing over every detail of your resume and cover letter, and as far as you’re concerned, both are perfect. At least, they’re as perfect as they’re ever going to be. A few more tweaks and pokes won’t make or break your chances, and you’d like to wrap this up and move on to the next job post.

But before you close the book on this opportunity, take one last look over your resume and attend to these final issues. You aren’t quite finished until every I is dotted and every T is crossed, and when it comes to the job search, these tiny details can have a bigger impact than you may realize.

1. Skim one last time over the company website.

Of course you’ve taken a look at the company website at least once. You’ve read through a few recent blog posts to get a feel for this organization’s culture and priorities, and you’ve learned a few things about the company’s history and its mission. But before you click send, look again. There may be a few details you didn’t catch or some overlooked bits of information that might help you make your case.

2. Take one more look at the job post.

As you glace back over the job post one last time, ask yourself two quick questions: have you missed any opportunities to align yourself with the needs of this position? And have you ignored or overlooked any important warnings? If you missed the fine print at the bottom of the post that says “HTML experience preferred” and you failed to mention the HTML course you took this past summer, don’t click send until you work that detail into your application.

3. Find the typo.

It’s in there. There’s a 100-percent chance that your resume contains at least one grammatical error. If you really, really want this job, you’ll spend a few extra minutes searching for it before you submit. If the job is just a job—one of dozens you’ll apply for today—then spend at least 30 seconds giving your materials one last look.

4. Remove ALL references to the position you applied for earlier.

Most applicants use a template for their resumes and cover letters so they don’t have to rewrite each document from scratch. That’s completely fine, but if you do this, you owe it to yourself to look over your materials and carefully tailor each submission one last time.

5. Scan for negativity.

Every statement in your application should be honest, but also positive. Look over each phrase and sentence one last time to remove any wording or punctuation that suggests impatience, rudeness, resentment, entitlement, or disrespect for your readers or yourself. These implications can be very subtle. If in doubt, edit, reword, or delete.

NOW You’re Ready to Send Your Resume

After you’ve crossed off each of the steps above, it’s time to let go. Turn back to your job boards and network contacts and start over again from the beginning with the next opportunity on your list. This time, visit LiveCareer for tools and templates that can make the resume creation process easier and more effective.  

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