If your current resume is not achieving interviews for you, it could be for a number of reasons. Usually, it is because the structure and content of the document are not compatible with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) algorithms nor contain relevant keywords to the positions you are targeting. It could also be as a result of the overall appearance of the document, or, the content itself does not sell your value proposition to hiring organisations. Our free resume health check will critique the document structure, layout and content, providing advice and information on where your resume could be improved or if it is beyond salvation. Our detailed resume health check is free and there is no need to purchase any of our professional services. We generally provide a full detailed report within 48-hours. Unfortunately we cannot provide Resume Health Checks outside of Australia.
Why most resumes are rejected by hiring organisations
Despite your qualifications, despite your experience, despite your skills – it’s the ‘Look and Feel’ of a resume which usually determines if it will even be read AND the inclusion of keywords relevant to the positions you are applying for. Imagine a hiring organisation’s HR person has picked up three resumes submitted by three individual applicants:
The first resume contains 682 words spread over 4 pages: there are great chunks of ‘white space’ with each page having about 35 lines of information; the applicant’s name and contact information itself takes up about a quarter of the first page on its own! The first section on this resume is labelled ‘Skills’ and includes a dozen dot-points including ‘Great Communicator’ – ‘Teamwork’ – ‘Highly Organised’ – ‘Quick Learner’ – etc. The second section on this resume leads straight into ‘Experience’. The resume also uses about four different fonts many of which are capitalised, bold, underlined or all three. This resume is rejected half-way through the first page.
The second resume is the exact opposite, it has 3,322 words spread over just 2 pages: this one has very narrow margins, a too small body-text font and absolutely no ‘white space’ to segregate sections. The first section on this resume is a long list of achievements which don’t indicate what job they relate to and 43% of these are in fact just statements such as ‘built a customer focused team’ – ‘awarded best employee of the month in January 2017’ – etc. This section is followed by ‘Experience’ with every position having an average of 23 dot-points to list every task the applicant did in this role. This resume is rejected half way through the first page.
The third resume has a totally different ‘look and feel’, it has 1,411 words spread over 3 pages: the margins are good, the ‘white space’ has been used well to segregate sections, the section headings are clearly defined, the font choices for both section headings and body-text font are appropriate, and the intro is an ‘Overview’ which provides a summary of the skills and knowledge the applicant has attained via qualifications and experience. This is followed by an ‘Areas of Expertise’ section which provides a snapshot of meaningful skills the applicant can transfer to a recruiting organisation. This resume is completely read.
Whilst you may consider that your resume is fine, and it lists all your experience, qualifications and skills – it is, after all, the first impression you present to a hiring organisation and ultimately evidences your professionalism and ‘value proposition’ irrespective of whether you are applying for a customer service role or a senior management role. The effort you put into presenting yourself on paper will be perceived by hiring managers as the effort you will put into the advertised job position.
Free detailed resume health check
- Will your current resume pass through an Applicant Tracking System?
- Does the information on your resume include multiple ‘keywords’ that are generally contained in position advertisements and position descriptions that you would apply for?
- Does the template you have chosen present you professionally?
- Is your choice of font type and font size correct?
- Does your current resume ‘sell your value potential’ to hiring organisations?
- Does your current resume make you stand out from other applicants?
- Do you have the right information on the first page of your resume?
- Do your responsibilities read like a Job Description?
- Are your ‘Achievements’ quantified or just statements?
- Will the information you have provided under each job position generate interest from hiring organisations?
- Is your resume too long or too brief?