When Well-written Resumes Don’t Work
by Linda Matias of www.careerstrides.com
Job seekers spend more time fretting over their
resumes than any other process during a job search. This is because most
believe that the resume serves as a magic bullet. But no matter how
great you sound on paper, the reality is that a resume can get you only
so far in the job search, even if it is well written.
The job search is made up of several key
components including your outlook, job search activities, and interview
performance. Each component builds on the next and if you lack strength
in one area, your search will be handicapped. Below are telltale signs
that your job search may be in jeopardy and the quick fixes you can
incorporate to increase the chances your job search will be successful.
Signs You Have an Unenthusiastic Outlook
- You are quick to dismiss someone’s advice by
making statements such as, “That doesn’t work. I tried it.” Solution:
Keep an open mind when someone is offering you guidance, even if you
have heard the advice before. Sometimes it takes a few times for a
message to penetrate.
- After an interview you find yourself making
comments such as, “The moment the interviewer saw me, I could tell he
wanted someone younger.” Solution: No jobseeker is the perfect
candidate. Some are too old, others are too young; some don’t have
much experience while others have too much.
- You send out emails that read, “I sent a resume early last week and followed up, and you never returned my phone call.
Are you ignoring me?” Solution: When you feel overwhelmed, frustrated
or just plain angry, take a walk and clear your head before you send
an offensive email.
- You aren’t taking personal responsibility for
your own job search, instead blaming external factors for your lack of
progress. Solution: There are some aspects of your job you can’t
control, but the ones that you can (e.g. the number of calls made per
day, networking events attended), take seriously.
Signs You Are Taking the Passive Approach
- You haven’t developed a job search plan and are
flying by the seat of your pants. Solution: Don’t wing it. Take the
time to map out a strategy and write it down. Don’t rely on your
memory. There is something about writing down thoughts that makes you
- You’re going it alone without the guidance of
an interview coach and/or career coach. Solution: Partner with someone
who will provide objective and constructive feedback. In doing so, you
will be able to identify areas of strength and those that need
- You adopt the
if-they-are-interested-they-will-call-me approach and never follow up.
Solution: Take the initiative to call employers to inquire about the
status of your application.
Signs Your Interview Skills Could Use Some Work
- You are always second best. Solution: Call past
interviewers and ask them why you didn’t receive an offer. When you
make it that far in the process, interviewers are more likely to
disclose the reason you weren’t selected.
- You walk out of an interview saying, “Darn it!
Why did I say that?” or “I wish I had mentioned my experience in
________.” Solution: After each interview, jot down everything you
said that didn’t work, and how you would rephrase it for the next
interview. Then, when you get home or back to the office, write a
thank-you note to the interviewer(s) that mentions the lacking
information or carefully revisits what you wish you hadn’t said.
- Every time you leave an interview you believe
your performance was strong, but you never receive a job offer.
Solution: Work with a Certified Interview Coach or a professional who
specializes in interview training who will be able to assist you in
discovering and correcting the problem.
Certified in all three areas of the job
search—Certified Interview Coach ™ (CIC), Job & Career Transition Coach
(JCTC), and Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW)—Linda Matias is
qualified to assist you in your career transition, whether it be a
complete career makeover, interview preparation, or resume assistance.
She is also the author of "How to Say It: Job Interviews" (Prentice
Hall, August 2007). You can contact Linda Matias at linda @
careerstrides.com or visit her Website
www.careerstrides.com for additional career advice and to view
We offer a confidential consultation. Information gathered online or
in a one-on-one meeting will not be disclosed to any outside source.
learn more about our services:
- Email: evaluation @careerstrides.com
- Phone: (631) 382.2425
- Address: 34 East Main Street, #276 Smithtown, NY