Resume Tips: Avoiding Missed Opportunities

Here are a few scenarios that may sound familiar to you if you’ve been on the job market for a while:

Within the first five minutes of your interview, your employer frowns sympathetically and says “I’ll be honest…We really need somebody with application development experience. And I’m just not seeing that here on your resume.” You’ve spent at least 30 percent of your entire working life completing tasks related to application development. How did this message not get through?

You submit your resume and after receiving no response, you contact the company to follow up. The manager on the line tells you: “Oh…I’m sorry. We need someone with XYZ certification.” You’re currently enrolled in a certification program that you’ll complete about three weeks from now. But your resume didn’t mention this. So it ended up in the trash. 


You submit your resume for a grant writing position, and two minutes after you click “send”, you realize that the biggest grant award in your entire job history somehow didn’t make it onto the page. It happened a long time ago, so you’ve started taking this accomplishment for granted. And you simply forgot to mention it. Oops. 

Missed opportunities are one of the biggest resume killers in the job search marketplace. But here are a few considerations that can prevent this from happening again. 

1. Plans, ambitions, and incomplete accomplishments are still accomplishments…and they still count.

You don’t have a college degree in hand. But are you enrolled? Have you completed at least one semester or are you two credits away from graduation? Include this detail in your resume. The same applies to graduate school, state licensing exams, certifications, and training programs of all kinds. You may think the end goal is all that matters, and employers don’t want to hear from you until you’ve officially crossed the finish line. In reality, most employers are looking for candidates who have the skills, ambitions, and experience they need. End of sentence. 

2. You had help and support…but you did it.

Don’t leave an impressive or relevant accomplishment off of your resume because you didn’t achieve your victory alone. No one achieves anything alone. Of course you had help, and you’ll explain this and share the credit when the moment arrives to do so. Just don’t skip this detail altogether.

3. Don’t forget about your biggest fish.

This happens more often than you might realize. Some of our career accomplishments loom so large that they fill our personal sky and we fail to notice them after a while. It may take a conscious effort to remember them and add them to your resume. Keep a running list of your biggest victories as you move through every year of your career, employed or otherwise.

4. Don’t be afraid to name drop.

This matters more for your cover letter than your resume, but don’t fail to mention your important connections. And remember that not all valuable connections are people or mutual contacts. Some connections you may have with your potential employer include shared former employers, shared alma maters, even shared hometowns. If you have an opportunity to form a bond, use it.  

Keep Your Resume Compelling & Complete

Don’t let big opportunities slip through the cracks. Visit LiveCareer and find ways to stay in control of your job search and your professional future.  

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