Do you know what’s on your resume? A bit of a silly question, I know. However, I ask it sincerely because it’s easy to unintentionally send a resume that doesn’t speak to recruiters or hiring managers. And in those cases, your chance of getting a call is minimal. Let’s find out why this happens and then how to fix it.
A common resume example
Let’s say your most recent role was office management where you wore many hats—administrative assistant, receptionist, and payroll processing. For your next job, you would rather focus on one task. You’re hoping to find work as a receptionist. However, your summary still generally refers to office manager as your goal even though you’re applying to receptionist roles.
While the difference may seem subtle, it really can have a major effect on resume readers. They see your recent experience, along with your stated intention to target office management, yet you’re applying for receptionist work.
What happens next
This varies, based on the resume reviewer. In many cases, they’ll see you as over-qualified for the role since you’re going from a complex role to one with a much stronger focus. One step further, they may feel you’re trying to take what you can get for right now but will continue looking for the dream job after hire. In that case, you’ll likely leave your job in the somewhat near future, putting the employer back to square one in their search. So as a result, they move onto the next applicant instead of seriously considering you.
Or instead of going down that track, they just feel a general sense of confusion. Based on the resume, it just looks like a mis-match as opposed to an over/under-qualified situation. Regardless, the result is the same—onto the next applicant.
So what can you do?
At a very basic level, have a solid understanding of what your resume says. While it’s possible some recruiters would call to clarify your path and intention, most will just assume your resume means exactly what it says.
By tailoring your resume to the job, you can ensure each one clearly shows the reader how this job is in alignment with your career path. That way, your strength as a candidate really jumps out. And don’t forget, tailored cover letters help, too!
Written by Adam Lafield, Recruiter & Marketing Specialist