“I have talked to a lot of people lately who aren’t getting interviews and who can’t figure out what the problem is. They tell me they know their resume and cover letter are fine (and often someone has looked those over for them and verified that), and they can’t figure out why they aren’t getting calls for interviews. I’ve started asking to see their resume and cover letter anyway — despite their confidence their resume and cover letter aren’t the problem. And you know what? Nearly always, those are the problem. The people who told them their resume and cover letter were fine were wrong — they didn’t have the experience or the insight to know what makes a really great resume or cover letter. And as a result, these job-seekers have been continuing to apply with mediocre materials and continuing to not get interviews, and are frustrated because they can’t figure out why.”
That comment came from the blog, Ask a Manager, authored by Allison Green, a manager of human resources (among other things) who I turn to often in my resume-writing research. I chose to share Allison’s opinion because I agree with it wholeheartedly. I, too, have reviewed many resumes thought to be fine or good only to identify, immediately, why they are not fine or good, and why these resumes aren’t, and never will be, short-listed for interviews. There is an overwhelmingly common approach out there toward resume-writing that kills any chance a resume has for being read, and that approach is writing the resume from a subjective point of view rather than an objective one.
Subjectivity vs. Objectivity
Everyone thinks they have a lot to offer an employer, particularly those who have a lot of work experience. It’s natural to write their resume from their own point of view. Since they are the subject of the resume, they, therefore write subjectively. But what about the employer? Where is he in the resume-writing process? The employer is the object of the resume so shouldn’t we have him in mind, his point of view, and write objectively – for him?
In other words, put yourself in his shoes. You have received 100 resumes over five days in response to your ad for a Shipper/Receiver for your warehouse. Now, over the weekend, you must sit down and try to whittle a hundred same-old-same-old, humdrum, mind-numbing resumes (that could have been written by a robot), down to five, (even remotely) qualified, candidates to call in for an interview.
Are you excited to get started reading the endless, repetitious, yawn-invoking lists of bluntly-stated job duties people list on their resumes thinking they are showing you all their great experience and skills? You’ve advertised for a Shipper/Receiver. Are you the least bit interested in someone’s daycare duties 15 years ago? Multiply that kind of resume by 100. Sound like a fun weekend?
If you are sending out resumes and getting no response, chances are very good your resume is not good. It is not responsive to the job ad (and as I’ve pointed out many times, if you aren’t writing your resume for a specific job, your wasting your time), it contains a lot of meaningless information that is irrelevant to the employer, and it is written from your perspective, not his.
Give the Employer What He Needs
The employer’s perspective is simple: He needs to find a qualified person to fill a vacant position. If you are qualified, and maybe even experienced enough to fit the bill, there is no reason he shouldn’t want to meet you. Unless, of course, you’ve sent him a badly-written resume that doesn’t clearly show him how you are qualified and experienced to meet his needs.
Resume-writing is not easy, especially nowadays with employers wanting to read about your achievements and accomplishments, not just your work history and what skills you claim to have acquired. But you can give yourself a break by writing your resume from his perspective. Doing so gives you a whole new perspective on, and appreciation of, what an employer will consider relevant and valuable information.
If you haven’t read my article, 5 Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes on Their Resume, do it now!
Alright all you job-seekers, there it is for today. Remember, since I am an expert resume-writer I can develop your resume and cover letter for you, so don’t stress! Believe me, there is no shame in getting a professional to write such an important document for you. Give me a call at 403.563.0408! And, as always, I want your feedback and comments so I can make this blog really useful and helpful to all job-seekers.
Thanks for your time today!