Ever wondered why you don’t get an interview at some companies? The answer is that your resume wasn’t good enough. In this article, I will take a few moments to explain why that is and a few things you can do to stand out more.
The truth is that resumes are still mandatory for just about every job you want to get. Even if you have someone put a good word in for you, you still send in your resume. While that may not be a big deal, considering how it’s almost like the price of admission, it’s a good idea to have your resume ready to go.
When you apply for a job, everything you submit gets handed to the manager, who will decide who to interview and pass on. At the top of the application packet is your resume. In other words, your resume is the first impression anyone has of you. If your resume sucks, they won’t look at your GitHub or portfolio. If your resume is okay, they might, and if your resume is great, they don’t need to.
Oddly, most people hurry through their resume writing process, and then we put it on the shelf when we get a job. If this document is the key to getting an interview for a six-figure job, why not invest just a bit more time in it?
So here’s a few things that make a huge impact in terms of getting more interviews.
- Make your resume longer
- Write it knowing someone will decide in 60 seconds or less
- Show why you’re exceptional
For making the resume longer, I’m specifically talking to everyone who is wasting their time trying to make their resume fit on one page. I’ve surveyed hundreds of managers and interviewed them over ten years. They will not throw your resume out if it’s more than one page. They will, however, form an opinion of you on that first page.
This brings me to the second point. When you write your resume, you want to answer the question, “Can they do the job,” as quickly as possible. The best material you have for that goes at the top. Or, to put it into practical terms, put your skills at the top.
For the last point, this one is a little tricky for people I coach, but every developer writes code, designs things, fixes bugs, etc. All those tasks and activities are what everyone does and are the basics. By emphasizing them, you are indicating that you only do the basics. Instead, find ways to show that when you write code, exceptional things happen. Go past the basic task and activity and show something remarkable. That will tell your reader that you are anything but average.
For all the people I’ve worked with helping them in their tech career, resumes are the lowest effort, highest impact things to get right. It takes a few hours to make changes that get results.
So if you’ve struggled to get interviews consistently, look at your resume. More than likely, that’s what is holding you back.