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I submitted my resume and never got an interview…

It happens. You saw the perfect job posted and you submitted your resume. You never even got the interview.

What happened?

Any number of things could have happened – but the most likely thing – is that in the flood of resumes that came in from the job posting – your resume didn’t look as perfect for the job posting as other resumes did to either the recruiter or the hiring manager.

The next time you see a perfect job – one you really want – there are things you can do to increase the odds your resume is selected. They aren’t difficult – they are however time consuming.

First things first – you are going “Old School” and printing that job posting and grabbing a few highlighters of different colors. You want to highlight the “MUST haves” one color, “like to haves” another color – and if there are any “in a perfect worlds” in a third color. Yes – the job posting looks a hot mess right now. That’s ok.

The next thing you need to do is print a draft copy of your current resume. Grab those same three highlighters and go through all the jobs and experiences you have documented – for the “Must haves”, “like to haves” and “in a perfect worlds.”

So – now that you have done it – how does it look? Is it so clear that ANYONE who has never done the actual work (ie – an entry level HR intern who might be the person screening resumes) can read your resume and make clear positive linkages between your experiences on paper and the role description as it exists – without any additional knowledge?

No? Ok. You have some work to do starting with a cardinal rule. Don’t lie on a resume. Ever. But you may have either left professional experiences off your resume that do match tasks required in the job requisition – in which case – add them back in wherever you have forgotten to add them or edited them out due to space.

Now look at that resume again with your highlighters in hand. Is it NOW clear how you match this role? You want to think of this as “Resume to Requisition Requirements for Dummies”. Not because the manager or the recruiter is a Dummy – but because you are going to be one of tens of resumes at a minimum and hundreds worst case.

You want to make this as easy as possible for them to rule you in – not rule you out.

Is this something you will do for every role? Probably not. This is something you do for the roles you WANT. The one’s you read and you think – I am *that* person. I want *that* job. More than anything. You might want it because it’s your dream job. Maybe because you really want to work for that employer. Or realistically – sometimes because you just need that job at that rate of pay – NOW.

When you really *want* the job – taking the time to spell out exactly why you match this role description is the right thing to do. It dramatically increases the odds you will get a call back for an interview. Do you really want this job? Or are you just sending in a resume file to cover your bases? If you don’t really care – just send in that Word document and roll the dice.


Do you have questions about interviewing or recruiting you want to ask Michele? Feel free to submit one!