|Determine why you might have been|
rejected and resolve to overcome the
reason the next time.
If you’ve been rejected at the resume stage ...
You can often chalk it up to your resume not matching the keywords the company sought when it did a keyword search of submitted resumes.
For example, if you are an accountant, the company recruiter will type in words like “reconciliation,” “general ledger,” and “profit and loss statements” to see if they show up on your resume. If you used different words to explain the same duties or neglected to include the key words at all, your resume will likely be rejected before a human being ever really looks at it.
- Paste the job description text into the free Wordle.net template and print
- Paste your resume into the template and print
- Compare the two pictures. The biggest words in the job description word picture are the words the company used most often. This tells you that these words could very well be the words they will look for in your resume
- Adjust your resume to better reflect the job description keywords
- Include a skills summary near the top of your resume that includes relevant keywords (including the same key words used elsewhere in your resume)
|Add a skills summary to your resume.|
Here’s another big reason you may have been rejected at the resume stage:
You may have way more experience than the job description calls for … if that’s the case for you, take these steps to improve your chances:
- For these lower positions, max out your experience to no more than 15 years on your resume (any more than that and you sound too old and expensive). You may event want to list less than 15 years of jobs.
- Delete irrelevant past duties and even entire past jobs if they don’t relate to the position.
- Explain in your cover letter (and on interviews) that you are only seeking a position where you can do exactly what they ask for and reinforce that you are not striving for a higher level job.
- Add a bold statement near the top of your resume to reinforce that you are specifically qualified for the opening. For example, if applying for an accounting coordinator position at an international corporation, write:
Proven accounting coordinator experienced in
Rejection message example:
Other ways to improve your chances
- Share your resume and cover letter with professionals or friends and ask for their input.
- Conduct mock interviews so you can work out any kinks before they could count against you.
- Take action on deficiencies and update your resume and cover letter to better impress hiring companies. As singer Joan Baez wrote, "Action is the antidote to despair." And taking strong, positive action can do another thing it can help you land a job or get a better one!