Do you have a great résumé but can’t land an interview? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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Do you have a great résumé but can’t land an interview?

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in Your Office Coach

Question: “I have applied for many jobs, but no one calls me for an interview. I have 10 years’ experience and my résumé has been professionally written, but I’m not getting any bites. What am I to do?” —Feeling Hopeless

Marie's Answer: To land an interview, you must stand out from the crowd. And to stand out, you need a first-class résumé and personal referrals.

Given the lack of response, your résumé may not be powerful enough, despite being professionally prepared. A résumé is a sales tool with a single purpose: to convince an employer to talk with you. Consider these questions:

•    Do you customize your résumé for every job?  A generic summary often produces a generic “no interest” response. For each position, you should highlight your most relevant background.

•    Have you included everything that might attract positive attention? Training, certifications, projects, special assignments – even volunteer work – can all help you get noticed. 

•    When you send your résumé electronically, do you know how it looks on the receiving end? One applicant found that during transmission, all her fancy bullets had turned into tiny little lips! No kidding! 

•    Have you double-checked for mistakes or misspellings?  Even one slip-up can make you appear careless and cost you an interview. (Not to be picky, but your e-mail to us had two spelling errors.) 

For more Office Coach tips, check out What's Wrong with Your Résumé. Then, once you’ve given your résumé a makeover, start networking to develop personal contacts. Interviewers are more likely to talk with applicants who are referred by someone they know.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol December 19, 2008 at 5:06 pm

I agree with Lynn. If I’m recruiting for a position that requires attention to detail (and which ones don’t these days?), and I find an error on the resume or cover letter, I just set it aside. Again, if that’s putting your best foot forward…


Lynn December 10, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Thank you for mentioning spelling errors (typos). It is a huge pet peeve of mine and others. As you expressed to “Feeling Hopeless” – this is a candidate’s opportunity to “introduce” himself/herself to a prospective employer. It’s a first impression and you have to get it right!


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