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Diagnosing Zero Results on Resume Database

Resume Problem Shooting

Someone posted their resume on a job board database, was getting a lot of views, but no results and had a question about what to do about it. Putting aside the obvious recommendation, which is to ensure that you should be pursuing other avenues than just resume databases, here is some more specific feedback: There may be other factors at work of course, but the reality is that an effective resume is a focused, results-oriented, easily scannable and readable resume. If you are not getting results, then consider these six questions:

1. Is Your Target Clear?

Make sure your resume is laser-focused on your target job. There is simply too much internet noise for your average recruiter to decipher who you are professionally. If it isn’t obvious, you will likely get overlooked.

2. What to Exclude?

That means, you can’t and shouldn’t put everything in your resume. From your target should flow priorities about to what to include and what to exclude, what to emphasize and what to deemphasize. Think about what the job requires. Then think about what you have to offer relative to the job requirements. What specific examples can you give to prove that you have the skills, and the relevant experience and the track record of performance that makes you a perfect candidate?

3. Is the Resume Results-Oriented?

Consider your resume. The focus should not be on duties and responsibilities, but on what you accomplished. How you met the challenges you were assigned. How you generated results. A resume that focuses on reciting the job description of past jobs is not an effective resume.

4. Have You Included Sufficient White Space?

One of the things we resume writers get paid for is design. Like it or not, the words on your resume are only a part of the battle. Design counts. If your resume is too dense, it will likely not get read. The font and styles you use play an important role in effectiveness.

5. Is Your Resume a Suitable Length?

The question of resume length is tricky. While there is no one rule as to exactly how long every resume should be, experienced hiring managers and recruiters know a too-long resume when they see one. In my experience, most too-long resumes are a result of a lack of focus.

6. Have You Double Checked Grammar & Spelling?

Interviewers might be flexible on spoken English, or in the case of Quebec, French, in an interview context (unless the job absolutely requires perfect mastery). However, the resume and cover letter are different. As written documents, they require perfect spelling and near perfect grammar. If English or French is not your first language, I strongly recommend that you have a native speaker edit your documents. There is, of course, a lot more to writing an effective resume. However, these pointers cover some of the most common culprits.


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