|Determine why you might have been|
rejected and resolve to overcome the
reason the next time.
Rejected at the resume stage?
You can often chalk it up to your resume not matching the keywords the company sought when it did a keyword search of submitted resumes.
For example, if you are an accountant, the company recruiter will type in words like “reconciliation,” "forecasting," “general ledger,” and “profit and loss statements” into their search system to see if they show up on your resume.
If you used different words to explain the same duties or neglected to include the key words at all, your resume will likely be rejected before a human being ever really looks at it.
- Paste the job description text into the free Wordle.net template and print.
- Paste your resume into the template and print.
- Compare the two pictures. The biggest words in the job description word picture are the words the company used most often. This tells you that these words could very well be the words they will look for in your resume
- Adjust your resume to better reflect the job description keywords.
- Include a skills summary near the top of your resume that includes relevant keywords (including the same key words used elsewhere in your resume).
- Even better tip: Spit back the exact job requirements in your summary in order. For example, if they say that they someone who can post content to a content management system, add to your summary: "Highly capable of posting content to a content management system."
|Add key words or the exact job requirements in order into the summary section of your resume.|
Other reasons for rejection at the resume stage:
You may have way more experience than the job description calls for … if that’s the case for you, take these steps to improve your chances:
- For these lower positions, max out your experience to no more than 15 years on your resume (any more than that and you sound too seasoned and expensive). You may event want to list less than 15 years of jobs.
- Delete irrelevant past duties and even entire past jobs if they don’t relate to the position, particularly if their deletion doesn't leave a big gap on your resume.
- Explain in your cover letter (and on interviews) that you are only seeking a position where you can do exactly what they ask for and reinforce that you are not striving for a higher level job.
- Add a bold statement near the top of your resume to reinforce that you are specifically qualified for the opening. For example, if applying for an accounting coordinator position at an international corporation, write:
Proven accounting coordinator experienced in
For example, I can recall an interviewer who commented that it appeared as if I had had too many jobs over a relatively short period of time. Even though the rest of the interview went really well, I could tell my response to her questions on that topic … or even my attempt to follow up with an explanatory email … did not sway her away from her original concern.
Rejection message example:
Other ways to improve your chances
- Share your resume and cover letter with professionals or friends and ask for their input. Use common sense to determine whether their suggestions have merit.
- Conduct mock interviews so you can work out any kinks before they could count against you.
- Take action on deficiencies ... particularly typos and grammatical errors in your resume and cover letter ... to better impress hiring companies. As singer Joan Baez wrote, "Action is the antidote to despair." And taking strong, positive action to improve yourself can do another thing … it can help you … Get a Job!
Need help improving your chances of getting hired? Check out the Getajobtips.com Services page.
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