When you send out your resume, you have high expectations. What is your positive response rate back? How many times do companies call, requesting to set up a phone screening or interview? At Fly High Coaching, we hear all the time that no matter how many resumes our clients send out before seeking help, they only received a few positive responses. It can be frustrating to put extensive amounts of time, energy, and effort into a job search and not see the results you’re looking for. Depending on your geographical market and job targets, with a highly converting resume, you’ll likely see a positive response rate between 10-30%+. If you aren’t getting interview requests that frequently, it’s a good idea to examine your resume and discover how to create a great resume.

The majority of mid-size, large, and enterprise organizations utilize software called Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to filter resumes submitted online.  The ATS generally scores a resume based on how closely it fits with the job description. If the submission receives a high score, it is usually moved along in the interviewing process. If the ATS gives a resume a low score, the applicant usually receives some type of rejection email or message. If you haven’t achieved a positive response rate from your resume submissions, there are probably some edits you can make to improve. Here are the top three reasons why your resume isn’t getting you interviews and how to create a great resume by reworking yours!

 

1. Your resume sounds like everyone else’s

When most resumes are read, they sound like a compilation of a person’s past job descriptions. Many people even believe that it’s OK to copy and paste their current and past job descriptions into their resume as it relays what they have done in the past or at present. While it is important for the reader and interviewer to know what your role was, pasting someone else’s work into your resume with out their permission is plagiarism. Yes, even if it is from documentation from your hire, it is still plagiarizing another person’s efforts. In addition, when people paste job descriptions into their resumes, word tenses tend to be incorrect and cause confusion. This leads to a dry, baffling read. Ideally, you’d want to rewrite the key roles and responsibilities you had in a job, utilizing compelling and vivid language. Also, including your unique key contributions, accomplishments, and achievements help you stand out.

 

2. Not using the right keywords

Earlier, we mentioned the role that the ATS plays in the candidate screening process. This system scans your resume, looking for keywords and critical information that the employer has highlighted at a certain frequency. It then renders a score based on this information. Knowing the appropriate keywords can be challenging, since they aren’t common knowledge. Are you seeing similar skills, requirements, and/or other verbiage in numerous job posts during your search? If so, you might be picking up on industry specific keywords. It’s not enough for your resume to just use a few of the right keywords. Your document must have enough of them used with some degree of regularity.

 

3. The resume formatting is off

Many professionals feel drawn to extremely creative resume formats that include images, charts, and graphs. Some of our clients present us with beautiful resumes, but are disappointed with their performance. While resumes that focus on the visual aesthetic are often appealing, they can make it harder for you to land an interview. Even though the technology to automatically screen resumes exists, different ATS have various capabilities. A lot of ATS don’t have the ability to scan for words after reaching an image or shape that is unknown to their system.  At that point, some of the software will just generate a low or failing score for your resume. Your resume should not be passed over just because of a system issue! Having your resume done with a simple format can increase the odds that it is properly scanned and scored by an ATS.

If you’ve been diligently applying for jobs, but not getting a lot of requests for interviews, you might feel frustrated and start to lose confidence. A low, positive response rate to submissions is often influenced by your resume. At Fly High Coaching, our clients know we strive to increase your positive response rate and help you land the job. You might ask, “What are some of the basic steps on how to create a great resume?” The first question to ask yourself is, “does your resume sound generic or common?” Your resume should stand out and present you as an accomplished professional. Another thing to consider is if you are using the appropriate keywords for the industry and role. Finally, evaluating your formatting to see if it’s simple enough to be read and reviewed by technology screenings is important. These keys to resume success can help you find a great starting point for improving your response. What tweaks could you make to improve the positive response rate of your resume submissions?

Fly High Coaching provides expert Resume Makeover packages to help you increase your response rate and help you land that dream job. Use our tips on how to create a great resume to improve your odds.

Already in the interview process? We also offer interview coaching and our Ace The Interview guide to help you seal the deal!

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Porschia Parker-Griffin

Porschia Parker-Griffin is a Certified Professional Coach, Business Consultant, and Founder of Fly High Coaching. When she is not coaching, Porschia enjoys traveling, cooking, and working with animals.
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