Why You May Not Be Getting Contacted for an Interview! I hire people. Well, to be accurate, I am a human resources consultant, and I perform all functions in the human resources field for clients, either full-time in a company or virtually part-time for a company. Briefly, accounting is all about money; marketing is about customers; and human resources is all about employees, starting with hiring the best, managing well to keep them, and separating them from employment, if need be. Companies need all three of these important functions to be successful.
Getting back to hiring, the first glimpse I have of an applicant is when I review their résumé for an opening. And that is when I see where the problems start. A bad resume may be why you may not be getting contacted for an interview. So, what follows is a collection of advice on what not to do:
Starting with the résumé header, what if the contact information is omitted? Or, the contact info is in an odd place on the résumé, discovered only after I hunt for it. Another peculiarity I have seen is only a street address, such as 1441 78th Street W. What city? What state? I am left to wonder.
Email addresses are great on a résumé, as it is easier (and cheaper) to email than to call sometimes. But have a professional email address: Don’t do “shortitaliangirl@” or “blackbeautyqueen@” or “latinabikerchick”. While your friends know your email as this, it is a bit TMI for employers. Back to calling rather than emailing, while calling an applicant is common, a frustration is reaching a voice mailbox not set up. Nothing more needs to be said about this.
If a job advertisement states that local applicants will be preferred, and you just moved into the area, either change your address on your résumé or note in your cover letter/email that you are now local and recently moved here.
Yes, job objectives are passé but I need to understand what kind of job you are qualified to do and seeking. Your résumé may feature a summary-type area that is jam-packed with sentences but does not really say much. Are you an engineer or an outside sales rep? Make it easy to identify this. If you’re are a plumber, please don’t spell it as “plummer”. No, I am not kidding, it happens.
Visually, a one- or two-page résumé that has an enormous amount of bullet points is hard to read. The late great Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, never used a single bullet point on his new product visual presentations (think PowerPoints). As Seth Godin explains in a 2007 ebook called Really Bad PowerPoint, “The minute you put bullet points on the screen, you are announcing ‘write this down, but don’t really pay attention to it now.’ People don’t take notes at the opera.” Limit the bullet points. Avoid, if possible, a more than two-page résumé. The exceptions are a CV required to show your publications, or other similar lifetime works produced as an academic or a physician or other terminal degreed professional.
If your resume leaves off in 2013, I am going to want to know why and what you have been doing since that time up until now. Account for it. If your resume lacks any dates of employment, I may wonder if you worked there for a week or two years. If you list your job titles, but not the companies, it will paint an incomplete picture, and any consideration of you for the job will discontinue. Are you a job hopper? Have you had 5 jobs in nine and a half years? Explain it in a cover letter. Still using WordPerfect? Upgrade. Did you do an indeed.com standardized résumé? That is great! But proof it! Key advice: do not write your résumé in the first person, that means no “I” or “me” or “myself”.
After your interview, if you are seriously considered for hiring the employer will check your references. Do not put them on your résumé. Sure, it seems easy to do. But they go on a separate page to be presented at the appropriate time. Remember, past behavior is a predictor of future behavior, so good companies check references.
Please only apply for jobs for which your qualifications match those in the job ad; why waste your time? This could be a key reason why you may not be getting contacted for an interview.
Now that you know many of the key reasons why you may not be getting contacted for an interview. Lastly, consider hiring a professional résumé writer. You can avoid many mistakes and a lot of stress by getting help. Look at the credentials of the writer, or get a referral from someone you know who is satisfied with their outcome. You may see credentials such as these: Jean Juchnowicz, MBA, SPHR, CBM, CPRW (certified professional résumé writer). Yes – that’s me! I would love to work with you to update your résumé. Let’s get you that job you are qualified for!
Career Advice Simplified is an experienced and full-service career services coaching company providing clients with strategic career planning, career coaching, résumé reviewing, résumé writing, cover letter creating, biography constructing, interview preparing, social media profiling, and personal branding. If you have the desire for a stepped up career, we have solutions. Win the game of job hunting with our specialists. We provide resume and career services in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Venice and all along the Suncoast!
Jean is a certified senior-level human resources executive/consultant, adjunct professor, management trainer, professional speaker, resume writer, career coach, and author.