Negative Resume Feedback? How to Land a Job Faster!
By Anish Majumdar, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
So you've just received negative feedback from a recruiter or prospective hiring agent. First of all, it's OKAY to feel disappointed. But after you've spent a little time moping about how you'll never be employed again, try to understand that this is an opportunity in disguise. Many jobseekers spend MONTHS on fruitless job searches, trying to cram in resume keywords and endlessly revising their document to no avail. The fact that a professional took the time to give you specific feedback means that he/she sees potential in your candidacy. Here are 3 frequent phrases that pop up and tips on how you can use it to land a job faster:
FEEDBACK: "Your Resume Lacks Focus"
WHAT IT MEANS: A hiring agent can't get a clear grasp of what type of position you're going out for and why you're an excellent candidate for it.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: Create a brief opening paragraph describing 3-4 key skills that make you a great candidate. Create a "Core Competencies" section listing in-demand keywords immediately beneath this (keywords can be found through analyzing relevant job postings). And, most importantly, make sure every position listed in your work history highlights relevant skills for the type of job you want to get. Above all, practice this rule of thumb: if it's not relevant, cut it.
FEEDBACK: "You seem overqualified."
WHAT IT MEANS: A hiring agent is concerned you won't be satisfied or challenged enough with the job you're currently targeting.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: There's 2 options here. The first is cutting down on job descriptions within the work history portion of your resume, or else leaving off certain positions entirely. However, the second, and most often correct answer, is targeting higher-level positions. I understand what a tough market it is for jobseekers. But low-balling your career prospects in the hope of landing a position sooner isn't a viable strategy. Submit for the highest possible position you can realistically attain, and stick to it.
FEEDBACK: "The resume looks messy."
WHAT IT MEANS: Your resume isn't working visually. Go back to the drawing board and either utilize a new format or enlist the help of a resume writing professional to get you to an acceptable level. Make no mistake: in an era where hiring agents spend less than a minute on a first pass of a candidate's resume, visuals matter nearly as much as the content.
Don't let negative resume feedback get you down: it's all part of the process. Take to heart what feels like good advice, toss out the rest, and always remember that a job search is a two-way street. Your dream job is out there. Drum up the courage and persistence to find and seize it. Best of luck!
About the Author
Anish Majumdar is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Owner at www.ResumeOrbit.com. 95% of clients report a significant increase in interviews within 30 days, and all work comes backed by a 100% Satisfaction or Money Back Guarantee (in writing).