Guest Post: Can Your Resume Really be the Reason for Not Landing a Job?

Everyone knows that your resume is the end-all to your job search, right? Well, you would be surprised at just how much can be accomplished without ever handing over a resume. Now, many readers may be gasping with anger at this very moment, but let me explain how you can overcome resume hurdles.

Networking is Everything

One of the most underrated areas of a job search is networking. When you know recruiters or have friends in human resources, this can open doors that would otherwise file away your resume. While it is unfortunate, the business world is much friendlier when you know someone.

This can be done through the typical social networking avenues, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, but let’s go down to a local level. Perhaps you have found that everyone wants experience. Oftentimes, you may be lacking in one or two skills listed. What can be done in this case? You can either learn a new skill, or you can start going local.

By going to local recruiters, you can find temporary work that will be able to push your skillset further. If there are local networking groups, attend them and start to make friends with recruiters. Do you speak another language? There are many language-specific networking groups teeming with opportunity.

The goal is to tackle your job search as if you never had a resume in the first place. You can even go one step further and start analyzing your top 10 potential employers. These are the ones you would love to work for. I know that I have had many companies I wanted to apply for, but I never dug deep enough.

Now, do your research on these companies and really reach out to the right people. If you already know a recruiter, whether it be on a social networking site or their children attend the same school as yours, you have an instant benefit over someone they do not know. With the majority of job openings being filled with referrals, your biggest opportunity is not your resume alone, it is who you know.

Revise Your Resume

Obviously, you will want to go further than just networking. While networking can boost your chances greatly, why not perfect your resume at the same time? You want to be able to open all of your opportunities. These simple tips will ensure your resume stands out from the rest.

  • Be Concise: Studies show that recruiters spend 10 seconds overviewing a resume. If you do not make your resume concise, add bullet points and headers, you will lower your chances dramatically.
  • Links: Not only can you add your LinkedIn link, but adding past employer links is very helpful as well. This way, recruiters will be able to quickly learn about your past employer.
  • Qualifications: Tailor your qualifications to a specific employer. List 3 – 4 great qualifications that will be added to your cover letter. Being specific will be the key to success.
  • Keywords: Applicant Tracking Systems are used to filter through resumes, but keywords are not reader-friendly in some cases. Instead, use these keywords as headers.

Now you will be able to tackle your job search from all fronts. Not only will you have a solid network of friends to help you along the way, you will have a resume that sticks out as well.

About the author: Helen Evans is marketing manager for job search site