Candidate throwing their resume at every job post-to see if it sticks. If you weren’t already aware, most companies these days use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to receive, organize, review, and search the resume that everyone sends in for consideration. This means that if their ATS software cannot detect how you match the basic qualifications of the position, you are simply lost in the mix. Your resume and information will NOT appear in search results because it does NOT match any of the key-words. Once a resume makes it into a company’s ATS, a Hiring Manager can request all the resumes of people with a certain skill/background. They do this by setting up a search for only those resumes that contain the key-words they want. It is completely a game of words, numbers and statistics and it’s totally acceptable to try to play it like a game. Your challenge is to learn the key words a Hiring Manager might use to find someone with your background, and then to make sure your resume includes them. The resumes of the unqualified clog the system. Only apply for positions where you meet 90% or more of the basic qualifications of the position. Being qualified for the positions you are applying for already gives you a big advantage over the competition. On average…85% of the applicants aren’t a fit for the job they apply for. Taking the time to read the job description and tailoring your resume to make sure it’s perfect will give you even more of boost over the other candidates.
Resumes that are more than one page long. Your resume has less than 15 seconds to capture a Hiring Manager’s attention according to a national survey published in the book, “Winning Resumes” by Robin Ryan. If you can’t whittle it down to a page or two at max, I will not read it. Remember, when looking at your resume, think like the person reading it. Trim off anything that would be useless to them. Write it like a reader, and try not to use the same resume for every job you apply for—consider your resume a template you should tweak for each job you really want. It’s tempting to throw the same resume at each job posting, but you’ll get better results for your time spent if you take the time to customize it each time.
Vague, general resumes. Accomplishments get attention. State the action you performed and then note the achieved results. Include details about what you increased or decreased. Use numbers to reflect, how much, how many, and percentage of gain or reduction. Stress money earned or time savings. For example: “Managed project implementing a new order tracking system that resulted in a 17% decrease in customer complaints, saving the business $80,000 annually in customer call center operations.”
Lack of Interpersonal Communication Skills. The purpose of an interview is to assess an individual’s expertise, experience, and cultural fit within the organization. Being able to have a dialogue about your fit within the organization is critical. So, don’t just tell the Hiring Manager what you think they want to hear or what you perceive is the “correct” answer. It’s rare to find somebody who has that combination of really good technical skills and really good verbal communication skills. You will be head and shoulders above other applicants if you can combine those two. Provide honest insight into your strengths, weaknesses, etc. so the Hiring Manager can make the best decision possible for the organization – and you can decide whether the opportunity is right for you, as well. The experts say that the only way to hone verbal communication skills is to use them, especially if it involves taking you out of your comfort zone. Take a public speaking class or consider becoming a member of your local Toastmasters Club at which members hone their speaking and leadership skills in a no-pressure atmosphere. The capability of speaking and communicating well is invaluable to your career path.
Arrogance. When a candidate is overly confident, Hiring Managers find them to have a sense of entitlement, which is the last thing a Hiring Manager wants to deal with. Remember to be gracious to anyone you meet during the job search process. Being humble will get you farther than being conceited.