250. That is the average number of resumes sent in for a corporate job opening, according to a recruiting study. Only four to six of those 250 people will be called for an interview. And only one person gets the job.
You want that one person to be you. But if you have recently applied for a job, then you know it is not easy to go from 250 down to one. And your resume is a big part of the equation.
I know how challenging it can be to look for a new job. Condensing your work history into a few bullet points is hard. Add in the fact that different employers respond to different messages and metrics? Well, it can feel like writing the perfect resume is impossible.
That is because it is. There is no such thing as the perfect resume. The only thing you can do is truthfully show how your work has helped your previous organization(s) reach their objectives.
At Aha!, we receive hundreds of resumes each month for just a few openings. And we know exactly what skills and characteristics we are looking for, so the team is able to quickly identify who might enjoy working at Aha! and will have a lot to offer.
Let me state the obvious. It is important to read the job description and apply for roles where your background is a match. This seems simple, but the most common reason why people do not move forward to the interview stage is a lack of relevant skills. It is true -- plenty of people apply for jobs for which they just do not have the skills required.
But if you do have the skills and are still not seeing results, it might be time to take another look at your resume. I am assuming that you have already done the basics and your resume is well structured and written. So, what is next?
Here are a few reasons your resume is likely being ignored:
You do not show results
This is your chance to show off how you delivered results and made a real impact. If your job titles and experience are common enough within your industry, then show off how you achieved within that role. Rather than saying you "performed XX duties as XX manager" include some results-driven data points, such as financial, team growth, or other impactful metrics.
You use too much jargon
Sure, there is some industry-specific language that translates across organizations. It makes sense to use those terms sparingly and where appropriate. But hiring managers reviewing hundreds of resumes gloss over the ones filled with buzzwords and acronyms. Focus on using clear language that highlights your duties and achievements.
No one should lie on their resume. But perhaps there are a few instances where the truth is being stretched a bit far. Most hiring managers are savvy enough to spot these kinds of exaggerations. And even if the embellishments on your resume manage to land you an interview, the journey will likely stop there once the prospective employer uncovers the truth.
When you are searching for a job, your goal is to get from 250 to one. That means your resume has to be a standout. You want hiring managers to quickly see your skills, the results you drove in the past, and the potential you can bring.
What do you think is most important to highlight on a resume?