Not getting a call to interview for the job? Your resume might be factoring into the equation more than you realize. I’ve looked through endless resumes in my day – here are 6 mistakes yours could contain that could be costing you the job.

  1. Poorly (or creatively) organizing the information on your resume. Resumes tend to have similar flow and structure and in this context, it’s not wise to surprise the reader. 
  2. Using too much real estate to summarize or restate your great functional skills or accomplishments. While having keywords present and abundant are important for electronic eyes, it’s overkill to create an executive summary at the top of the resume. Experienced recruiters know this is a well-polished and often contrived section of your resume. They will likely skip over it to get to the “meat” of your resume – the actual chronology. 
  3. Including too many bullets that look like they were plucked from a job description. Your bullets should be about the impact you made and the accomplishments and outcomes you achieved in the role. 
  4. Removing your graduation year because you’re worried about your age. Ageism is real, but not including the year you graduated is not going to throw recruiters off of the scent. They can deduce your age based on your work chronology, even if you truncate it and don’t include everything. I prefer transparency on these types of issues so you fully own them as part of your story. You’d rather have someone know that you’re young or old with great experience than wondering what else you’re masking or hiding.
  5. Not understanding how to translate and transfer your skills to the new role, company, team. A failure to understand and a failure to articulate how your skills and accomplishments will be directly applicable in your new role is one of, if not the most, important factor in navigating the hiring stages and getting a job offer.
  6. Low confidence. This is a classic “chicken or egg” problem. Low response rates on application submissions and not getting call backs will shake confidence. However, going into the search process or walking into networking discussions and interviews with low confidence also results in low response rates and few callbacks. Activity, accountability, and feedback help build confidence throughout a job search or a sales process.