The Most Common Reasons Why Recruiters Don't Call You After a Job Application

“Hey Alex, how’s your job application? Do you get an interview offer?” 

‘Nah, it has been a week and there is no call from the company. I feel bad about this. I really want to get into that company.’

__

For many of us, getting no call after submitting a job application feels so much worse than a breakup. You might spend days or weeks wondering why your dream employer does not reach back to you. You already have a professionally crafted resume and still no response. Waiting is painful, so here you go, the most common reasons why recruiters do not call you back. 

You are not qualified for the job 

The most simple reason for not getting a call back from a recruiter is that you are not qualified enough for the position you are applying. It can be that skills written in your resume are not enough. This is especially true if you are applying for a senior position. 

For example, you are applying for a “key accounts manager” with a past work history as an accountant. You also cited that you are a graduate with marketing experience. Albeit it sounds great for you, don’t expect a call back from the recruiter. Why? Because “key account manager” is a senior position that requires a lot of relevant skills and experiences.   

The job ad does not hire external candidates  

Job openings on some platforms that you know are probably there only for formality. This is the reason why recruiter does not call you after your application. Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, an executive resume writer at Career Trend, said that employers often have policies that require them to post job openings to the public. In reality, there is not effectively a position available because that job openings will be filled by internal employees. 

You apply to an old job ad

One of the most common mistake job seekers does is that they do not review the job posting date before applying. Some employers do not take down their job postings after being posted. The reason is simple because employers have posted many job ads and do not remember where their old job postings are. So, it is advisable for job seekers to see job ads date before applying. 

ATS does not recognise you 

Nowadays, hiring managers rely on robot ATS (application tracking system) to easily shortlist candidate’s resumes and CVs. And ATS is tricky for job seekers. You need to perfectly write your resume in order to get shortlisted by the machine. You need to mind your keywords richness and resume format. Read here for tips to pass this robot ATS. 

Unprofessionalism in your resume 

Another common thing recruiter prefers to hold the call is that you do not write your resume professionally. To illustrate, you are in need of a job and you apply for several jobs with the same resume. You forgot to change the employer’s name and you do not proofread your resume. What do you think recruiter’s think when they see this? There are 2 possibilities. First, recruiters might think that you are not serious applying. Second, recruiters might disqualify you for your fatal mistake like spelling wrong company name. 

That said, it is always good to write some resumes for different application, especially if you are applying for different roles. Second, always proofread your resume and ask someone to proofread it after you. 

Multiple applications 

You have applied to X company in the last three months but they did not hire you. X company puts a job opening again in a different role. Because you really want to work for the company, you apply for the second time. This time you are extra careful with your resume as to not make a mistake. However, they do not even call you for your second application. Why is that? 

The reason is your interview feedback from past applications is likely to be considered to determine whether you should be contacted or not. If you are flooding the same company with your resume, the employer will think that you are not serious in a specific role, leading to disqualification for your application. 

Changing of the hiring plan 

In the game of business, everything changes pretty fast. Projects get rebooted. Teams get cut. Or, recruitment gets postponed for the later date. When this happens and you apply from a recruitment agency, they might tell you about the cancellation. But oftentimes, an employer does not inform this to job applicants. 

To conclude, it is always better to move on after a week without a call from a recruiter. There might be many reasons and you cannot know which exactly why the employer you are applying doesn’t call you back. Another way, you can call the recruiter for clarification. Or, if you know that the company uses ATS, you better understand how their ATS works and create better resumes for the next application. 

Read also: How to Discuss a Gap Year in an Interview

6 Phrases to AVOID When Applying for Job and Interview 

Obviously, every job seeker’s ultimate goal is to land a job as soon as possible. Before getting employed, however, you will have to go through some stages, from resume screening to interview meetings to finally job contract signing. All the process could be daunting and tricky from time to time, especially when you come unprepared.

Therefore, be mindful when writing your resume and do your homework before coming to the job interview. What else to pay attention to? In this article, we share 6 phrases you need to avoid during a job search and interview. These phrases could downgrade your credibility as a potential candidate. Check it out!

1. Dear Sir/Madam

What’s wrong with this phrase? While this conventional opening phrase has always been widely used that it seems normal, the phrase might not be suitable to use especially when applying for a startup company. A startup company is a place where most of its workers are millennials and like a personal touch. Therefore, saying dear sir or madame just does not sound right. 

What to say instead? In addressing a person, it is better to say “Dear (founder’s name/recruiter’s name/startup name team)”. Or, to make it sound more personal, you can say Hello (startup name) team. 

2. This is a great opportunity for me or I have a great interest in this role

You would not consider applying for a job in the company if the role is not your interest or the opportunity does not align with your own needs. Thus, when the recruiter asks you why they should hire you, try to find another way to express your reasons. 

What to say instead? There is a better way to answer instead of just repeating the “great opportunity” which is “Here is why I am prepared for this role…” or “I am always prepared to be in this role with (demonstrate your achievement or skills)”. 

See also: Passion versus Skill: What Comes First in a Job Search?

3. Well, my last employer was kind of okay  

Saying “Well..” with a low tone or high tone might indicate something bad or laziness. Sure, you do not want the recruiter to perceive you as a negative chatter. Saying “kind of okay” does not demonstrate well why you quit your job. A recruiter wants to hear from you why you choose another employment albeit the recruiter can do a background check and call your past employer. This is done to measure your honesty. 

What to say instead? Avoid the “well” words and explain how your employer treats you in the past. As best as possible, do not mention the negative reason about your former employer and in the last statement you can add, “I believe I am better suited to work in an organisation that has a strong commitment to mentoring executives as well as fostering career development and growth.” 

4. Perfectionism 

Whether being a perfectionist is your greatest asset or weakness, it is better to avoid the word all at once. Why? Because the word tells a little about you and it is overly rehearsed cliche, wrote The Muse

What to say instead? There are some alternative, however, if you are a real perfectionist. For example, you could say, “I am too attached sometimes with little details which can distract me from the ultimate goal” or “I feel myself always caught up in trivia that hinder me to achieve more.” 

5. I want better work-life balance 

Work-life balance has always become employees’ dream. However, this will be a not-so-good impression if you are only applying to get a better work-life balance. Barry Dexler, an expert interview coach, told CNBC that companies really do not care about your work-life balance. Albeit it sounds cynical, all employer truly wants to hear that you are ready to work and that you will work around the clock if needed. 

What to say instead? Instead of emphasising your thirst for work-life balance, you can tell the recruiter, “I am ready for the challenges ahead.” In addition, show previous experience or challenges that you have overcome to support your statement. 

6. I have no question, thank you 

The “thank you” part is acceptable but the “I have no question” part is a big no-no. Not having any questions for the interviewer basically says that you are not interested enough to learn. This indicates that you are not prepared enough for the interview. 

What to say instead? Do not tell that you have plenty of questions too. Just utter “Yes, I have a question/questions” and ask. What to ask? Click here to find out smart and insightful questions to ask at the end of your interview. 

Read also: Should You Bring Notes to An Interview? Dos and Don’ts

How to Discuss a Gap Year in an Interview  

Some graduates who are not ready to start their career journey often choose to take a year off for various reasons such as to do volunteer work, to travel, to self-reflect, or to discover one’s interests. While taking a gap year is beneficial for self-growth, some people might think that having such gap will not look great on CVs and make it hard for them to be employed.

What about you? Are you interested in taking a gap year? If yes, let’s learn employers’ actual response when knowing a “gap-hole” in a candidate’s CV. 

According to Basecamp article, taking a gap year will not make you look bad in recruiter’s eyes. Why? Because what really counts is what you did during that year off. Albeit some employers might not pick candidates that have “year-hole” in their CV, some others really appreciate you for giving yourself time to discover what really matters for you. Likewise, the tight talent gap in the future will also make employers think that a gap year is not really a problem at all. 

See also: How to Get Your Resume Passed by the Robots & Into Recruiter Hands

One thing that you should note is to tell relevant reasons for taking a gap year that will help you land the job. Here’s how you could discuss the gap year in your resume with a prospective employer.    

Tell only the relevant activities 

An interviewer does not really care what you do in a gap year, whether you have just visited the Taj Mahal or the Great Wall. An interviewer does care, however, whether your gap year has helped you stay relevant in your job application or not. What does it mean? It means before telling your holiday story to the interviewer, sort out some that are relevant to your job application. In a year, you must have done more than just travelling. For example, you can share what you have learnt from reading books about finance, teaching English, or coding for your personal web. 

There is at least one meaningful relevant thing you do in the year around that can make you stand out even after one year off. 

Tell your reasons 

Recruiters might be wondering why you choose taking year gap instead of taking certain training or extended courses. You might have many reasons why you do so. But among those many reasons, recruiters expect you to say something beneficial that help you with your career choice. That said, relevant reasons such are gaining skills as an individual, achieving language fluency by travelling, increasing job satisfaction, or creating better life balance and wellbeing might be appreciated more. 

Emphasise yourself as an awe-inspiring individual

At the end of the question, emphasise an astounding event that helps shape yourself as an individual and why that event is helpful in your job. To do this, you need to be able to explain in your job interview what a gap year really is, what you did, and how it benefits the employer. Do tell what skills and characteristics you developed that translate to the job and to you being a superior employee. 

Be confident 

This is the one trait you should have when giving an explanation. But keep in mind to not be over-confident with your answer. Overconfidence can make you give exaggerated answers, leading recruiter to question your credibility. 

Read also: Ask These Questions to Yourself BEFORE Joining the Workforce 

Should You Bring Notes to An Interview? Dos and Don’ts

Feeling anxious about your next interview? Well, it is okay to bring that note with you.

Amanda Augustine, a career advice expert, said that it is totally fine to bring notes in your interview session. If it is your first job interview where the sense of anxiousness can be higher and at the same time, you need to show your professionalism, taking notes with you will demonstrate your readiness.

Moreover, bringing notes will also show the recruiter that you are genuinely interested in getting the job offered. It could be seen as a sign that you have done your homework and are ready to lead a meaningful discussion with a prospective employer.  

See also: STAR Principle to Overcome Interview Anxiety

Nevertheless, there are a few exceptions if you truly want to carry that little book with you, added Amanda. It is good to bring note but this action might turn into a nightmare if you bring notes that contain a key point of your response or how you plan to respond to certain questions. Some of you probably have prepared an answer of behavioural-based interview questions – questions that are asked to describe past behaviour in order to determine your suitable ability for a position. While it is good to prepare beforehand, bringing the “answer” note with you will totally mess up your chance to be accepted.

To such worst case happens, read these dos and don’ts guidelines before bringing notes to a job interview.

Do:

  • Ask permission before you take out your notes
  • Bring note of questions you want to ask regarding the company’s profile, your job description, or responsibility
  • Bring a note about research or work you have done to showcase or defend your answer 
  • Bring notes and pen to jot down any important information your interviewer tells you
  • Write interviewers’ name and email or phone number to send a thank you email to show how appreciative you are

Don’t:

  • Spend too much time looking at your notes. You are talking to the interviewer, not the note.
  • Bring a list of talking points or other snippets you have prepared for the interview
  • Bring too many notes about the company or question list. Remember! It will be more delighted in the eyes of an interviewer if you make preparation and practice rather than reading through pages. 

Read also: Got an Interview? Get Rid of These 9 Behaviours

STAR Principle to Overcome Interview Anxiety

Scenario: After waiting for quite a long time, finally you manage to get an invitation for a job interview. While you might be excited about the opportunity, you need to start preparing everything and learn well about the company’s profile. Everything seems well until the D-day. During the interview, suddenly anxiety hits you out of nowhere. In front of hiring managers, you freeze and forget everything you have prepared.

What is interview anxiety and how does it feel?

Interview anxiety is a natural and common feeling of uneasiness before or during a job interview. Being conscious that someone will scrutinise your appearance, behaviour, and words, you might start losing control of what you want to say and do. Consequently, what you intend to convey might not match with what is delivered. A survey by Harris Interactive found that 92 percent of respondents surveyed are stressed by at least one thing about a job interview, with having the jitters count as the biggest fear.

See also: It’s Face Time: How to Prepare for a Video Job Interview?

John Swartz, regional director of career services at Everest College, commented that interview anxiety is common at some stage. Job interview, he added, can be a high-pressure and make-or-break event when searching for a job. Thusly, it is a natural occurrence amongst job seekers.

While you might have prepared the best, when anxiety kicks in, the well-crafted words you have memorised suddenly become nonsense and you talk way too much, more than necessary information that can ruin your interview. According to a study by Julie McCarthy, applicant anxiety has serious implication as it might bias predictive validity of job interviews and result in a poor selection of less promising candidates. Having and showing your anxiety during a job interview will give you a low score which in turn, lower your chances of being hired.

Unfortunately, job interview anxiety will add a huge barrier between you and success.

Fortunately, you are not alone in this. 

So, how to mitigate the problem?

One of the most effective ways is by pretending that you are in a casual conversation while maintaining your professionalism. You can also lower the risk by being super prepared about the interview with the STAR principles. STAR principle is commonly used by an employer to prepare a better interview session. However, not just the employer, you can also reap the advantage of the STAR principle by following these tips.

S for situation

In this step, try to think about what the interview might be. You can look for videos to learn this or try to dig some information about the interview from the company’s web. Then, picture what kind of interview you will have, whether it is one on one or group. The better picture you have in mind, the lower interview anxiety you will experience.

Note: Do practice for a various situation of a job interview so that you will not be shocked by changes that might occur.

T for task

Be prepared for questions that require problem-solving. Most recruiters would ask something like “what will you do when you are faced with a tight deadline?” On this type of questions, think of a task that is similar to the problem. Then, explain to the interviewer with an example of a task and solution. You probably have encountered the same problem before. You can refer to it as an example.  

Note: Commonly, employers will refer to your resume or CV. Thusly, you should prepare with practising problem-solving question that is aligned with your resume or CV.

A for action

Employers want their candidates to be proactive and ready to take challenges. In this phase, you can take more action by explaining detailed information about what you did to achieve your goal and what actions need to be done to do so, and of course, align your explanation with company’s vision and mission. So, prepare yourself to explain that you have a good initiative to take businesses to the next level.  

R for recollected

The last strategy is by practising recollected strategy – stay calm. Anxiety kicks in because your mind, consciously or unconsciously, is too busy thinking “what if scenarios”. For instance, what if I fail, what if I ruin this interview that I’ve been waiting for, what if everything did not go as planned, or what if I forget what I practice. That being said, you might have doubt in yourself that you are capable of doing the interview.

One thing to mitigate this is by naming and reframing your self-doubt. As explained by Melody Wilding, you can name your doubt with “I have too much anxiety story” to help you realise that it is just a thought pattern and not an evil force. Hence, you can build a positive response to it.

Next, reframing your story with a plan. For example, if I ruin my answer, I will calm myself by breathing deeply. And while maintaining my calmness, I will talk slowly about the possible scenario that happens in my head. Or probably, I will joke a little bit to calm myself down.

Read also: Should You Go to an Interview for a Job You Don’t Want?

Can Social Reputation Help You Land a Job?

There’s an old adage that goes like this, “It does not matter what other people think about you, what matters most is what you think about yourself.” While this could be true in terms of improving our self-esteem, apparently, what others think about us aka reputation does still matter as it defines our values in other people’s eyes.

See also: Graduation Dilemma: Should You Take a Gap Year or Just Get Into the Workforce?

Why reputation matters

More than just a piece of crafted resume, candidate’s social reputation could be more important to employers. Why? Because social reputation can tell a lot more than a written biography. A study by CareerBuilder found that 70 percent of employers surveyed check candidates’ social media presence and 69 percent of them Googling candidate’s name during applicant screening process. Meanwhile, 57 percent of respondents cited that they are less likely to interview candidates they cannot find online. These findings suggested that what you share, publish, comment, as well as what others post about you does have an impact on recruitment decisions.

Moreover, reputation also gives light to the employer on how trustworthy, capable, and confident you are as a candidate. For instance, if you have a bad reputation in the eyes of other people whether it is online or offline, you will be seen as a bad fit for business bottom line. A recruiter might think that you cannot be trusted and that you are not capable to take care of tasks assigned to you. On the other hand, having a good social reputation can add your value in the eyes of hiring managers.

So, do you still think that other people’s opinion does not matter?

How to build a reputation

“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavour to be what you desire to appear.” – Socrates

That being said, reputation counts in a recruitment process. Thusly, you need to take action to improve your presence, both online and offline. A simple tip to build a powerful reputation is by paying attention to how you show up in every moment or situation. For example, in a job interview, you should be mindful of how you want to engage with others. The way you answer simple questions like “how are you?” or “what do you do?” also have an impact on your reputation, so make sure that you provide a proper answer.  Additionally, your social media presence also affects your online reputation. Therefore, you need to recheck your social media and remove all negative posts that you might have published in the past.

(Check here for more tips on how to craft better social media presence)

You also need to ask yourself questions such as how do you want people to see you? Do you want other people to believe in you? What kind of traits that make you look good in the eyes of other individuals? Does sharing this content will make you look bad? Or other leading questions that can better your behaviour.

“What people think about you might not be 100 percent true. Therefore, you should be mindful with your action so build a good character.”

Lastly, do remember that reputation is key to your career success. It differentiates you from other individuals and other job seekers which becomes your driver to attract opportunities. Your reputation will, consequently, improve your personal as well as professional life. 

Read also: Reputation Management

pexels-photo-255268

Amanda is a fresh graduate who is applying for bunch of jobs, in which some of them are her ‘dream jobs’ and some are just for fad. She’s been waiting for too long and finally got a call for an interview for a job she ‘does not really want’ as she finds that the company has unfavourable reviews on the internet. In the end, she decides to not go and just waits for another interview call. But is that the best move?

Whether you have ever been in Amanda’s position or not, it is true that getting a call for an interview is exciting. Yet, receiving such interview invitation for a job you ‘do not realy like’ can be rather confusing. Should you go? Should you not go?   

Well, instead of feeling confused about uncertain things, you might want to consider these reasons before saying no to an interview invitation.

>> You might learn something

If you receive 3 or 4 interview calls for the same date and time, you should consider the best option and choose one according to your skills or passions. On the other hand, if you only get one job interview, it will be better for you to consider attending it. Rather than sitting around at home and doing nothing, coming to that one interview will not only give you a new experience, but it could also open another door of opportunities as you never know what and who you will meet.

>> The job might turn out to be interesting

This job might not be what you always dream of. But who knows that the job offers thousands of opportunities and employee benefits? The thing is, never judge a book by its cover because you might never find its hidden treasure. Same as applying for a job, never judge the job based only on people’s opinion because a job comfort is rarely alike for each individual.  

>> Interview experience does not hurt

Not all experience is good, but all experience is precious. Attending a dreary interview will never give you a zero lesson. Think about each interview opportunities, listen to their question and pay attention to what hiring managers really want. It can hone your interview skills that would be beneficial for your next interview opportunities. You might do not want the job, but sure you want the experience and lesson. Precious lesson can help you shine your future. Moreover, from the interview, you will know what type of questions and answers you should dig before attending the next ones.

>> The experience can leverage your network

During the interview, you might find someone to connect with. In this case, you can widen your network circle. And if you are lucky enough, you will meet someone who can lead you to your dream job. So, although you do not like to be in that interview session, you should still dress nicely and give positive attitude while keeping a genuine smile. A smile can always be a good start to catch someone’s attention.

Read also: 22 Rare Jobs that Make Good Money

heart-cord-suspended-love-160836

More than just a piece of written resume, winning your dream job is all about making a perfect first impression and putting your best foot forward. You might look great on paper and get shortlisted because your resume is perfectly and neatly crafted. But not every employer will love you, let alone hire you just based on your resume.

Often times, employers look at other traits on their potential candidates. They examine your behaviours and personalities as well. Without further ado, in the end of this year, make sure a Cupid arrow is landed up for you and your career progression. Read on the listed tips below to make yourself appealing to employers.

Craft a professional social media presence – You should be aware that employers will stalk their potential candidates even before calling them for a job interview. In this case, social media can serve as an unplanned resume because it can tell a lot about you. Bad social media attitude, often means bad candidates. Of course you do not want your recruiter to think that way. So, ensure that your social profiles are up-to-date, appropriate for business matters, and have something exciting to tell recruiters about your personality.

Highlight your accomplishments – Your resume tells a lot about you, so is the way you answer your interview questions. When employers ask about your accomplishments that you already highlight in your resume, you should answer it certainly and accordingly. Show the potential employers that you do not embellish those acts and that your achievements can help you when you are hired for the position.

Ask relevant questions – Oftentimes, employers do not only assess your candidacy merely from how best your answers are, but how good and relevant is your questions regarding the job you are applying. The general rule here is to never ask questions that you can easily find in company’s website or Google search. Show them that you are well-prepared.

You can ask questions that will help you understand if this job if the right job for you. For example, ask about resources, budget you have to work with, upper level engagement in projects, or role that you should contribute in workplace.

Express your interest and ask the next steps – Many interviews end with only formal thanks and good-byes but it should not happen to you too. To make employers fall head over heels to you, you should show that you are genuinely interested about the job and position you are applying. Show them that you are the right candidate. Also, add key points in how you can be valuable for company and ask them the next step. Employers love to hire hardworking and smart working candidates.

Read also: 7 Things You Should Do Before Starting a Job Hunting

 

pexels-photo-210661

Just like a resume, a cover letter is a weapon to “sell yourself” to the hiring managers. What differs between the two are the format and content. Resume is a brief description of your cover letter. In cover letter, you should write in detail about personal information and professional quality in order to attract recruiters to shortlist your job application.

Tim Windhof, an executive resume writer at Windhof Career Services in Columbus, Ohio, advices that your cover letter should address the following: how you learn about the opportunity, how your qualifications match the job requirements, your possible availability in the area and how you can be contacted. In brief, your cover letter must describe “why it should be you and not others”.

Take a look at the following tips on how to write an appealing cover letter for successful job search:

01 Choose wording that mirror the ad language  

Before writing a cover letter, you should review the job ads carefully and underline the main points. If your cover letter will be read by hiring managers, they are more likely to skim brief at first to see whether you are a good fit or not. You can increase your chance of getting shortlisted when your cover letter matches most requirements listed in the job ads.

Don’t embellish your qualifications if you don’t really meet the requirements. Only write down real information and present yourself in the best manner by describing as many qualities as you can. You never know which qualifications employers value most.

02 Pay attention to readability

This is important as a cover letter written in readable format will likely to win employer’s heart. In a cover letter, you should only use business letter format. This will make the recruiter to only focus on your content rather than on the writing style. Business letter format usually comes along with 1” – 1.5” margins, 12-point font, professional font, uniform alignment (justify).

03 Address it to specific person

Do your homework and find out who will be responsible to receive and check your job application. Calling or sending email to the contact person provided in the job ads can be an effective way to get such information. You can also ask questions or confirm certain information related to the job opportunity to the right source instead of wondering around.

If you are sending the cover letter via post mail, make sure to write both the employer’s and your address. It usually contains first and last name, street address, city, state zip, and postal code, phone and email for applicant.

Example:

Your Name

Address

City, State, ZIP code

Your phone number

Your email address

 

Date

 

Name of Hiring Manager

Name of Company or Organization

Street Address

City, State, Zip Code

On the other hand, if you send the cover letter via email, you can simply start by writing the hiring manager’s name. This is much better than writing with to whom it may concern. Yet, in a situation where you can’t find the name of the hiring manager or head of HRD, you can address your letter to “Dear Hiring Manager.” It’s a better choice than starting with Dear Sir/Madam.

04 Brief introduction

In this part, you should start with when and where you find the job opening. Make sure to specify job position that you want to apply, especially when the company post multiple job positions. Make it into a paragraph that contains two to four sentences.

05 Compelling content

To grab the hiring manager’s attention, you should start by writing your educational background, followed by your achievements such as related training or internships you have completed and work experiences. However, if you are a fresh graduate with no job or internship experience, you can emphasise other skills such as organisational, leadership, or even time management skill, etc.

You can write it in two to three paragraphs for the content. However, you should not be wordy or  spill too much information. Sometimes, giving too much information can hinder you from getting the job offer.

06 A-Okay closing

Always finish your cover letter by asking for an interview and reiterating how much you want to proceed to the next step of hiring process. Also, do not forget to always provide your phone number so the recruiter can contact you with ease.

07 Signature

Always give signature to either written or email cover letter. Use complimentary closing sentence such as best regards, regards, sincerely, yours respectfully, etc. In a written letter, just simply write your full name. Meanwhile in an email, always type your name followed by contact information.

Example:

Sincerely,

(your signature)

Your full name

Mobile: (66) 987-98787

Email: andie@andiejone.com

08 Proofread, proofread, and proofread

Lastly, you should give the right amount of time to proofread your work – in this case, your cover letter, maybe two or three times proofreading. Find out spelling or grammar errors that might lessen your chance from getting shortlisted. Again and again, cut out the flowery words as too much description or information will make your cover letter look unprofessional. As best as possible, keep your cover letter only in one page.

Read also: Passion versus Skill: What Comes First in a Job Search?

79-min

You have graduated from uni with an excellent GPA. Now, you need to prepare yourself to enter the workforce and land a job in your dream company. Before applying for a job, first you have to ensure that you already have the most important weapon in a job hunt: an attractive resume.

A good resume should be more than just a dull list of your academic achievements and personal information. That being said, to write a resume that will get shortlisted by recruiter is not the same as writing a caption for your Instagram updates. There are things you should consider such as the template, opening statement, and career overview. You must put all the best qualities on a single paper to sell yourself because usually a recruiter only give a brief 10 seconds looking at each resume.

Therefore, you should be smart enough to write only relevant qualifications or else you will lose the opportunity to catch the hiring manager’s interest. If you are a fresh graduate seeking to get that dream job, here is a guide to write your first professional resume:

1. Know the audience

Resume is a marketing tool to sell your ability, experience, and accomplishment in order to snatch a job. You should make sure that its message is targeted to right recipients: employer and recruiter. Therefore, before writing a resume for job application, you should consider:

  • The company: including its history, products, services, culture, and recent developments.
  • The specific requirements: skills and experience.  

2. Choose the right style  

You should choose the best style for your resume. There are 3 styles of resumes in general: chronological, functional, and combination. Chronological resumes focus on work experience and list of professional experience from the most to the least recent. Functional style focuses on skills more. Yet, normally, a combination of both styles will work on your first resume. You can point out your professional experience while still draw attention on your skills.

Moreover, you should not forget to certain format on your resume. Normally, resumes have header, career objectives, statement, skills and abilities, work experience, education, and interest. Don’t forget to always highlight the skills and abilities that are relevant to the job.

3. Start with the basic

Before we move to the more complicated task, let’s start by writing the most basic information that should be written on a resume: name, address, phone number, and email address. Make sure to give a professional email address. An email address like mixblond113@gmail.com will not work and the recruiter might think that you are just joking around. Therefore, you should create a professional email right away if you don’t have any.

4. Personal statemen

Recruiters are not only interested in why you are applying for the position and what you can do. They are also curious in who you are as a person. Therefore, providing a personal professional statement on your resume is always a good start to let them know who you are. You can use these questions as a guide to write your statement:

  • Do you fit the company culture?
  • Is your personality and attitude a good match for the company and team?
  • What makes you believe you will land a job in that company?
  • What is so interesting about your life?

5. Job posting as a guide

The best way to summarise your skill and experience is to tailor it with job description. Many recruiters use applicant tracking system (ATS) to shortlist resume, especially if there are so many jobseekers applying. Therefore, you should be able to keep it simple and make sure to include some ‘keywords’ in your resume so the ATS can scan it. Usually, the keywords recruiters use are: hard skills and soft skills. The more you can match with those skills in the job description, the more chances you can get that job.

6. Keep it one page

The average duration recruiters spend to review a resume is 10 seconds. You should make it concise and lean by getting rid of all the fluff. As your first resume should fit in one page, you can only write relevant information in it. For example, if you are applying for a design graphic programmer but you have worked at a McDonalds for 1 year, it will be better if you don’t include that experience in your resume unless it is relevant.

7. Professional look

To impress the recruiter, you should give it a professional look. Make sure that your resume is easy to read by using: common font styles (cambria, calibri, or helvetica styles), give 12 to 14 font size, use appropriate spacing, no more than six highlight and bullet points, margins 1” all around, and left aligned format. However, if you are a graphic designer, you can impress recruiters by designing your resume as creative and unique as possible.

8. Use action and power words

Recruiters are more interested in reviewing resumes that are really dynamic and impressive in action. In order to give that impression, you should use the right action verbs and powerful words. Few examples of those words are achieved, created, generated, initiated, organized, introduced, identified, improved, resolved, launched.

9. Proofread your resume

Finally, never submitted raw resumes that have not been proofread. Before submitting your resume, make sure to always double check or ask your friend to review it. This process will give you clues whether your resume is A-okay to be read by recruiter or not. Also, you can be aware of the misspelling words that will make your resume look unprofessional.

Read also: Passion versus Skill: What Comes First in a Job Search?