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December 2, 2020

5 Reasons Why Your Resume Isn’t Getting the Right Attention

We’ve all been there. Looking for our first job, frustrated with our current position and seeking new opportunities, or looking to rejoin the workforce after a hiatus. 

Finding a job can be exhausting. Often, we find ourselves sending our resumes out countless times, only to receive little to no response. This doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of employment. In fact, you could be the perfect candidate with the ideal experience, the right attitude, and the drive to fulfil each role you apply for. 

So, why have you been rejected so often? 

It could be your resume. 

Below, you’ll find five of the most common reasons that your resume might not be getting the attention it deserves.

1. You’re Lacking a Laser-Focused Summary 

Make sure that your resume starts with a summary, but not just any summary- one that makes an impact. 

You need a summary that describes who you are, what qualifications you hold, and what value you have to contribute to your prospective employer. 

This will immediately create the lens that you want your potential employer to see you through. It will help shape your narrative as a potential employee, as well as convey your readiness to fulfil the role. 

Your summary will also immediately tell the reader which aspects to pay attention to, and will paint an accurate picture of your professional capacity. Furthermore, your summary should include a descriptor of no more than two or three keywords that represent your experience, skillset, and the abilities you’re known for. 

A concise summary is key to grabbing attention, and as most recruiters only look at resumes for a few seconds before making a decision, this is where you need to shine.

2. Your Resume is Too Open-Ended

While it may seem like a good idea to make your resume slightly more diverse and open-ended to create a broader range of opportunities, tailoring it for the job you want is always a better option. 

Have a look at the requirements posted in the job advertisement, and make sure that you highlight those elements in your resume. This will prove to be helpful in getting you through any software screening algorithms, and will further enhance those aspects of your previous experiences when you reach the interview process. 

Tailoring your resume to the jobs you apply for makes it easier for the reader to imagine you in the role you’re applying for. If you’re keeping an open mind and pursuing different roles in different industries, keep a basic outline, and then create a few versions more tailored to specific roles. 

3. You’re Not Demonstrating Your Value

While you may be highlighting your actions and responsibilities in previous roles, you aren’t painting a picture of the value you added. 

Actions are great – it shows that you’re able to do the tasks set for you. However, you need to put more emphasis on the impact that your actions have had. 

Did you achieve anything extraordinary?

 Share the results and successes of projects you’ve worked on. Highlight your results, not just your actions. This will demonstrate your value, and set you apart from other candidates vying for the same role. 

Your value to any previous companies can be demonstrated in numerous forms, including customer satisfaction, efficiency, company growth, savings, profits, revenue, awards, and special achievements. 

4. Your Personal Brand Isn’t Conveying the Right Message

Everyone has their own personal ‘brand.’ As such, it’s important to choose your words carefully to convey the right message in your resume. 

Ensuring that you use the right words is key, as the subtleties of language can help you accurately convey your brand

This brand should be built on the qualities associated with the role you’re aspiring to fulfil. For example, if you’re hoping to fill a role focused on the execution of activities, make sure you use words such as ‘tactical’ and ‘diligent’.

On the other hand, if you’re hoping to secure a role that’s more strategy-based, go for words like ‘proactive’ and ‘strategic.’ 

Where possible, try to adopt the vocabulary of your desired role and industry. Some industries may refer to customers as ‘clients’, ‘users’ or ‘stakeholders’. Make sure you research what the correct terms are, as this will show that you’re experienced and familiar with the industry.

5. You’re Not Coming Across as Positive Enough

Any job change that you go through should be seen as an excellent opportunity to branch out and grow professionally. 

To achieve this, you need to project complete competence and confidence in your resume. Your resume creates a first impression, and it needs to be a good one. 

While you might not feel certain that the role or roles you’ve applied for are the perfect fit, you need to make it seem that this role is ideal for you. 

Your resume needs to assure the reader that while you may not have fulfilled that exact position in a previous job, you’re a perfect fit for the task. 

You can begin by strongly positioning yourself in your summary. More so, convey your strengths in a way that makes you adaptable to any role. For example, add that your characteristics include being a fast learner, or someone who can quickly advance and adapt to new surroundings. 

By positioning yourself as positive, sincere, hardworking and passionate about what you do, your resume will outshine others that fail to convey the same attitude.

Your resume should accurately sum up your experience and what you can offer an employer. If you’re not getting any attention, the chances are that you need to rethink your approach and rework your resume accordingly. These tips can go a long way to helping your resume get noticed, and securing you the job of your dreams.


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Lee Anna Carrillo is a community manager at Resumoo. A resume writing service, and career resource database. Resumoo is owned by Ranq Digital LLC, a marketing and media company located in Charlotte, NC.

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