3 Reasons Why Your Resume is Weak

Hey everybody, Don Georgevich here. Today, I want to talk to you about your résumé. That’s right. Your résumé. And why it’s not attracting employers.

Now, when you have an ideal resume of the ideal length and it’s written correctly, you can probably expect to get called maybe 20 to 30 percent of the time. So, for every 3 out of 10 resumes that you send out, you should get a callback for a job interview.

If you’re not, if you send out 10 résumés and you get zero responses, that means your résumé isn’t very targeted to the job that you’re looking for. There’s something wrong with it.

If you send out 100 résumés and you get zero responses, then you have serious problems. But if you send out 100 résumés you should be getting 20 to 30 calls for an interview.

If you’re not, keep watching this video, because I’m going to show you how to shape your résumé so that you can get more calls off of it.

So, if employers are not calling you, that means your résumé is not doing its job. And if your résumé is not doing its job, that means it’s not making your phone ring. And that means it’s costing you countless lost job opportunities.

Now whether you wrote your resume yourself or you had someone do it, there’s probably some issues with it. There’s something about it that is not resonating with employers.

Now, I can’t tell you exactly what it is without seeing it, but I get hundreds of resumes that come across my desk every month. And they all have very similar problems and that’s what I want to cover with you today, what those problems are.

And the first reason is length. Many candidates write three or more pages of just boring work experience. They just pack it full of everything they’ve ever done, they list every skill that they have, and you end up with is three boring pages just nonsense and employers don’t want that.

Three or more pages is too many. Ideally, you want to be around one to two pages. So, if your résumé is more than three pages, I would strongly suggest that you trim that down, especially if you have around 10 to 15 years’ experience. Maybe if you have 30 years of work experience, you can go into three pages.

But if you’re like most of us and you’re in the 5 to 20 year experience range, one to two pages is ideal for you. Any more than that, it doesn’t get read and it confuses employers about what you’re looking for.

But ideally, if you can’t say what you need to say in one to one and a half pages, you have way too much to say and it’s just not going to get read. It’s like a long boring conversation. Who wants to sit down and listen to somebody prattle on and on and on. Résumé is the same thing. So, more than two pages, way too long. Keep your length down to one to one and a half pages at the most.

So, what you want to do is aim for one page, but try not to go beyond one and a half pages. If you have them push it to two, go ahead and do that, but try to keep that one to one and a half page benchmark in mind as the ideal length for a résumé.

I mean, I would bet, getting to one page can be really challenging. But if you push yourself and you focus, you can do it. And when you have a one-page résumé, it’s a much stronger, more powerful, more direct résumé that is more likely to generate more calls for interviews for you. Okay. Next one.

Irrelevant content. All too often, candidates put you relevant content on the résumé. And what I mean by irrelevant is work experience that is not related to the job that they’re applying to.

So, how do you find out what type of experience you should put on résumé? Well, you read the job description. Get that job description out. Print it out. Don’t just look at it online. Print out that job description. Get yourself a pen, get yourself a couple highlighters. Go through the job description, break it apart, look for everything that it’s most important to that company. Find out what they’re really looking for; the type of experience and the qualities that they want in an employee. Then tailor your résumé to match that job description.

And what that might mean. That might mean that you’ll have to remove some of the experience that you have on your résumé because it’s not relevant to what they’re looking for. And what happens is when you have that relevant experience, it ends up diluting your résumé.

So, if you have some good experience and you have some experience that isn’t related, that interviewer has to filter out everything on your resume that isn’t related to what they’re looking for. Which takes effort. So, I’d like to make their job easier. And you should too.

So, write your résumé for the job description, take out work experience that isn’t relevant to what they’re looking for and this is going to give you a more focused, customized resume that’s going to match the job description and more likely going to generate an interview for you.

And another thing that people do on their résumé is they it full of skills. They have like a skills section and they have all these individual skills; like they’re a project manager, they’re a leader, they excel, they’re great at time management. Those are all a bunch of skills that are out of context and they add absolutely no value to your reservation.

So, what I would suggest; if you’re really good at leading people or project management or whatever it is, put that skill in context. Write an accomplishment statement about your leadership abilities or write an accomplishment statement about how you are good at project planning or whatever it is, but put your skill in context.

That way, you have real skills that you backed up with experience and that is going to attract an employer. Trust me on that one. Okay. Next one.

Zest: Now, what is zest on a résumé? Zest is that creative edge that is woven in to your résumé. It’s what makes your résumé sparkle, it’s what makes it shine, it’s what makes it stand out from everybody else’s.

So, how do you write a résumé with zest? How do you add that extra little pizzazz in there that makes your résumé stand out from everybody else’s?

Well, I’ll tell you. Writing with zest is not going to be that easy, because it requires effort and you’re going to have to add some style and some flair to work experience statements.

You don’t want to just write boring statements that say, “I achieved company goals, I sold X amount of product and I achieve goals”. You want to write creatively. You want to pool in your interviewer or the employer into a résumé and you want to let them get a feeling for the kind of work that you’ve done.

So, you want to write creative statements that describe what you did, how you did it, who you did it for, and what the benefit was, who did it benefit, how did it benefit, what was the value of what you did.

Bring the employer to think of your career and show them. Let them feel what you did. That’s how you can write creatively; that’s the zest part, that’s what’s going to make your résumé sparkle. Now, it’s not easy. It takes time, it takes effort and that’s why people don’t do it.

So, what you want to do to really attract an employer is remember how I told you to get out that job description and highlight everything that they’re looking for; write creative statements around the key areas of experience that they are looking for. That’s going to pull them in.

So, when they say they’re looking for someone who knows how to manage projects, you come in and you talk about how you manage projects, what you’ve done, the tools that you’ve used to manage those projects and the success rate that you’ve had with those projects. Give them all those little details and that’s going to make you stand out. It’s going to make you shine on paper. Because that’s all you have.

They can’t see you, they can’t talk to you yet. So, they’re only looking at you on a piece of paper. So, you have to make that paper come alive. And that’s what zest is.

Now, what you can do after you get your résumé written. Give it to somebody, give it to a friend, give it to a family member and have them read it and just have them read it openly. Have them read it and then give you feedback.

Now, here’s how to weigh in the feedback. If they read your resume and they say, “Oh, that sounds good”. That means it’s boring. That means they’re bored to tears, they don’t even know what you’re saying.

But if they come back and they say, “Hey, that’s really cool. How did you do that?” Now, you got something. Now, you’ve got some zest in there. You’ve got some pizzazz. You’ve got some sparkle and now you have something to work with. And that’s a résumé that you can send out and you’re more likely to get more hits on that type of résumé. You’re going to get calls for interviews.

But in a nutshell, writing with zest is writing creatively. You have to be able to write creatively. And writing creatively takes time. You can’t just do it in a minute or two.

And I’ll tell you this; if you hire a resume a writer, they generally don’t write creatively. They just write factually, because you’re giving them a list of experience and facts and things you’ve done and then they just put that into some statements for you.

But even though they have the ability to take everything you’ve done and write it into statements, they generally lack that creative edge. Unless really good, expensive résumé writer. But most of them out there, you get your résumé written for a few hundred bucks, it’s not going to have that sparkle to it; it’s not going to have that creative edge.

Sure, maybe it’s a little better than what you can do yourself on the first draft, but if you push yourself hard, you can force yourself to write a very good, creative résumé that’s a strong reflection of who you are and what you’ve done. And it’s going to make employers say, “Wow! That’s pretty cool. How do they do that? I want to meet them”.

That’s the response you want your résumé to generate and you could do that. It just takes time. You have to put the time in, you can’t just bang out your résumé in five minutes and have a masterpiece. It takes hours, days, weeks.

My own personal résumé, I’ve had hundreds of revisions. I’ve written it over and over and over. Every day, I find a way to make a certain statement a little bit better, a little bit sharper, a little bit more clear, a little bit more sparkling, a little more zest.

And that’s what you want to aim for. And you’re not going to get it overnight. I mean, maybe in a couple of weeks’ time, you can get it if you keep massaging that résumé, you’re going to get closer to where you want to be, but you have to know where you’re headed.

You don’t want to just create a résumé that’s a job description of everything you’ve ever done; that spells boring, and that’s probably why you’re not getting any phone calls. That’s probably why nobody is calling you because you’ve written your résumé as a job description and there’s no creative element in it at all.

And for you to stand out amongst the hundreds or thousands of other résumés out there, you need that creative edge, you need that zest, you have to put that effort into it and then you’ll get a résumé that’s going to make your phone ring. Trust me on that one.

So, to wrap it up; after you adjust the length and get yourself down to one, one and a half pages, write your résumé for the job description, get out any type of irrelevant content and then put that zest factor in your résumé. You should get a hit rate on your résumé of at least 20 to 30 percent.

So, you sent out 10 résumés, you should get at least two to three people calling you for a job interview. If you don’t, that means your résumé isn’t aligned to what they’re looking for in the job description. Now, if you send out like a hundred resumes, you should be getting 20 or 30 calls.

But now, I’ll tell you this; it’s not easy to send out a hundred resumes. You can’t just go into the job boards, like on CareerBuilder, and just punch in and say, “You know, bam, bam, bam, send out my résumé to a hundred positions”. That doesn’t count.

You have to look at each position individually, review the job description and target your résumé to match that.

It takes effort. It might take an hour or two to apply for each job. So, if you send out a hundred résumés, I hope you put in 70 to 100 hours’ worth of effort into applying to all those jobs. If you didn’t, you’re just wasting your time.

Focus; focus all your efforts on just a few jobs at a time. There can’t be a hundred jobs out there that you’re a perfect fit for. There just can’t be; there’s a handful. And you have to find those, and target those, and work on those.

That’s how you get a phone call. It’s not a numbers game. You don’t send out a hundred or 500 or a thousand résumés and expect to get boatloads of interviews. That doesn’t work. And you’ve probably already tried that and you realize that doesn’t work and that’s why you’re here today, watching me.

So, focus, length, irrelevant content, and zest. Apply all those factors to your résumé and I guarantee you you’re going to be amazed with the results.

Now, that’s all I have for you today. If you would like to go further and dig deeper into how to make your resume better, I have a great program. It’s an online program. It’s called The Résumé Doctor.

And in The Résumé Doctor, I take all of these steps; zest, irrelevant content, job description statements, and I show you how to go into your résumé, methodically, line by line, and show you what’s wrong and how to fix it.

The Résumé Doctor is about a 90-minute video training workshop where just you and me, we sit down and I take you by the hand and we walk through your résumé and I’ll show you all of the areas where you’re struggling or where you might be struggling with your résumé and how you can make it better.

I have some examples in there to show you how one résumé generates a response and another résumé doesn’t generate any response at all; just by looking at them.

So, I’ll show you the process that a recruiter or an employer is going to go through when they look at résumés and how they can just instantly, within two seconds, know if they have a winner or not.

And I’m going to show you how you can do that too and how you can apply that to your résumé, so that it’s a winner all the time.

So, I’ll put a link for The Résumé Doctor in the description below. It’s pretty cheap. I think it’s only like 37 bucks or something like that. And you can pick it up here at jobinterviewtools.com.

And if you don’t like it, then send it back. Just say, “Hey Don. I tried The Résumé Doctor. I don’t like, I don’t want it”, whatever; that’s fine. But I guarantee you The Résumé Doctor is going to help you go farther.

So, if you like what I’m saying, if you like everything in this video, if you like everything that I’m saying and you want to go to the next step, try The Résumé Doctor. Just give it a try, watch it, and if you didn’t get anything out of it, just say, “Hey Don. You know, it wasn’t working for me. I want my money back”. No problem. But give it a try. I guarantee you, you would get something out of it. I guarantee it.

Alright, that’s all I have for you today. Good luck on your next interview and I’ll see you in the next video.

If you found this video helpful, then give it a thumbs up and make sure you subscribe to my channel, so you get notifications every time I release a new video. And by subscribing, you support me, my message, and this channel. So, I’d really appreciate it. Make sure you hit ‘Subscribe’.

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About The Author

Don Georgevich

Author of 4 top selling interviewing books, speaker, and job interview strategy coach. The one person everyone calls on before a difficult job interview.

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