The job interview can be a tricky thing. You study, prepare, do everything you think you need to get the job, yet afterward... crickets. It's the same whether applying for health care jobs or a position in any other field.
The head-scratching (or, is it head-slamming?) thing about it is, you never really know what it is that is causing your application to garner any return emails or phone calls. Is it your application? Your social media accounts? Perhaps it's the cover letter. And, if it's any of those things, what is it about them that is turning hiring directors off?
It's a dilemma which, if not dealt with and corrected, can result in a downward spiral that leads to long-term unemployment, which in turn can make it even more difficult to get hired.
These days, your resume and job applications need to dazzle in a number of ways. You need to effectively separate yourself from the crowd. At Concorde, we want all of our students and graduates to put their best feet forward when job hunting. To help in that endeavor, the website CheatSheet.com came up with five resume rules designed to ensure that your application is not discarded before it's even seen.
Common Mistakes in drafting a resume
Lacking Professionalism - Since most communication for job openings is coordinated via email and telephone, having a professional email address and voicemail greeting is essential.
It's at the very top of your resume, and the first impression a hiring manager will have when they call to set up an appointment.
So, trade in email@example.com for something a bit more professional. Both Gmail and Hotmail's live.com domains are free. Similarly, consider re-recording your voicemail. Include your name while speaking clearly and slowly.
Starting with an objective statement - Objective statements are to resumes as VHS tapes are to the entertainment industry: Clunky, outdated, wastes of space.
Also, avoid resume templates like the plague. "Sure, it is easy and quick, but the downside is that your resume looks like a lot of other resumes that a company is receiving," said Dan Gurule, Senior Graduate Employment Specialist at our Kansas City, Mo. campus.
Instead, consider using that space for a summary of qualifications or a personal statement.
Submitting a general resume - A resume is not a one-size-fits-all document. Whether it's a template-generated resume or one that you copied and pasted when you applied to 20 postings in a day, the person on the receiving end can tell.
"Tailor your resume to the job you are applying for each time you submit," recommends Gurule. "Look up the job description and make sure you use those same key skills listed in the job description is on your resume."
Using the wrong verb tense - Using the wrong tense is one of the easiest missteps to overlook. It tends to happen the most when updating an old resume. The action verbs you use in your bullet points should reflect whether it's a job you currently hold or one in the past.
Listing duties versus describing accomplishments - This can be challenging for entry-level associates or those with limited work experience, but in a job and on a resume, a recruiter is looking for candidates who have provided demonstrative value to an organization.
Instead of answered phones and scheduled appointments, did you serve on a committee that made a new process? Save the company money with an idea? Increase efficiencies in an area or receive higher patient feedback metrics than average? Note those!
Here are 5 more resume rules to follow
At Concorde, we want all of our students and graduates to put their best feet forward when job hunting. To help in that endeavor, the website CheatSheet.com came up with five resume rules designed to ensure that your application is not discarded before it's even seen.
- Don't use bad resume templates - Don't Google "resume templates," and use one of the many CV boilerplates that everyone else is using. It looks amateurish and like everyone else's application. Get creative and make some unique, that makes a lasting impression. It takes some more effort, but it's worth it.
- Make sure you're listing the right skills - You need to translate to employers that you're the applicant that can solve their problems. List skills you know the employer is looking for.
- Lose the dead weight - Don't let your resume get bogged down with useless information. Use what limited real estate you have wisely. Make sure the information you include is pertinent to the job posting at hand.
- Don't be boring - Answer these two questions. What makes you special, or separates you from all other applicants? And does your resume communicate that? Create a hook that will lure the hiring agent in and make them want to read.
- Make a serious effort - Tailor your application materials for the specific position to which you're applying. Hit on the major keywords in the job post and describe how you're a fit for the specific job. Get as specific as possible and address the concerns of the employer.
Above all, stay positive. "One of the most common challenges is that students become discouraged if they don't get hired quickly. It sometimes takes several weeks for an application to make it to a hiring manager," said Gurule.
The main lesson is to take some extra time and effort and get it right. It will pay off, whether looking for health care jobs or positions in any other field.