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Was Your Resume Rejected? Here’s What to Do Next

Was Your Resume Rejected? Here’s What to Do Next

You’re whipping your resume into shape for 2014, and you’ve done everything to make the document more appealing. You’ve even applied all the recruitment tips to the t.

You’re now waiting for the right opportunity to send your shiny resume off to a dream employer who’ll be floored by your awesomeness.

Sadly, there are several hiccups before that can happen. Most employers will spend about 5–7 seconds on your resume, and that too if you’re among the first few applicants received 200 seconds after the job is posted (yes, that’s 200 seconds only!)

If you do manage to hit “Send” in those first few minutes, there’s a huge chance you’ll be looked up online (68% employers will search for you on Facebook), so you want to make sure your after-party video does not make it to YouTube.

One spelling mistake and you’ve lost your only chance.

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But that’s not all—once you do take care of all the possible road blocks, you have a new problem.

How do you stand out from the crowd who have put equal amount of effort and care in their resumes?

The answer is simple. You must do what most of your competition hasn’t thought of yet: Embrace the technology of Interactive Resumes.

Needless to say, an interactive resume (when done right) will get you far in the fiercely competitive race for a job than a plain, boring one.

For starters, interactive resumes let you show your personality to your prospects. You become “more human” and less of a faceless applicant (that said, do not put a photo on your resume ever—research states that 88% of employers will reject you if you have a photo on the document).

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Secondly, with interactive resumes, you get to show your creativity, which could well be the deciding factor between you and the next person.

But before we delve further, let’s first take a look at what it means to build an interactive resume.

Just What Is an Interactive Resume?

This question can be best answered using an example. Check out Robby Leonardi’s Mario-inspired resume here to get an idea.

An interactive resume, unlike the traditional ones, is a website created with the sole purpose to showcase your skills, knowledge and abilities so far. Think of it as your store-front where you put your best wares for sale.

Interactive resumes are also known as multi-media resumes which include audio, text, video, links and graphics that give you a lot of room to play and build credibility.

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But don’t be mistaken—your resume doesn’t have to be over the top and scare off the employer. Some industries may not be ready for a fluorescent-themed animation (is anyone ready for that?) but if subtly done, by mixing creativity and fun, you can build a cool resume that captures your prospect’s attention, such as this one.

More Benefits of Interactive Resumes

1. You always know what happens to your application.

With most text-based resumes, you have no idea if the document was ever opened. If you never heard from the employer, how do you know if they even looked at your application?
Since an interactive resume is basically a website, you can track the number of clicks and the most popular links on your resume using monitoring services such as Click Meter.

2. You can update your resume instantaneously.

With traditional resumes, once you’ve sent it away to the employer, you won’t be able to send them an updated version (unless you’re asked for one).

With an interactive resume however, you can almost instantly make changes and keep your career history updated for head-hunters.

3. You can make informed decisions based on the clicks.

Let’s say you have a link to your YouTube video on your resume. If you notice employers clicking the link and staying on your YouTube page a lot, then you can make the smart decision to keep adding/updating your videos.

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4. You prove you’re comfortable using new technology.

One of the selling points, especially for older job-hunters, is the ability to stay abreast with technology. If you’re a graphics designer looking for a job, an interactive resume can give you an edge over competition.

The Downsides

Like everything in life, interactive resumes come with their own set of flaws. One could be the industry you’re applying in is not yet ready to face such interactivity. For such industries, bring in a moderate level of interactivity with hyperlinks to your blog and website.

Another possible down-side could arise when head-hunters compare different resumes. They could have a hard time comparing your interactive resume with other text-based ones, so much so that they might give up on reading yours.

How to Create Interactive Resumes?

Okay, you’re now convinced and ready to give interactive resumes a go. The question naturally arises “Just how do I create these beautiful resumes? Do I have to learn to code?”

Thankfully, there are services that do the most work for you. So no, you don’t have to learn coding. This tool lets you create interactive resumes for free and you don’t need to download any additional software either.

Your Turn

Have you ever built an interactive resume for a job? How did it go? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!

Want more? How to Make Your Resume Stand Out From the Crowd.

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Last Updated on April 25, 2019

How to Write a Career Change Resume (With Examples)

How to Write a Career Change Resume (With Examples)

Shifting careers, tiny or big, can be paralyzing. Whether your desire for a career change is self-driven or involuntary, you can manage the panic and fear by understanding ‘why’ you are making the change.

Your ability to clearly and confidently articulate your transferable skills makes it easier for employers to understand how you are best suited for the job or industry.

A well written career change resume that shows you have read the job description and markets your transferable skills can increase your success for a career change.

3 Steps to Prepare Your Mind Before Working on the Resume

Step 1: Know Your ‘Why’

Career changes can be an unnerving experience. However, you can lessen the stress by making informed decisions through research.

One of the best ways to do this is by conducting informational interviews.[1] Invest time to gather information from diverse sources. Speaking to people in the career or industry that you’re pursuing will help you get clarity and check your assumptions.

Here are some questions to help you get clear on your career change:

  • What’s your ideal work environment?
  • What’s most important to you right now?
  • What type of people do you like to work with?
  • What are the work skills that you enjoy doing the most?
  • What do you like to do so much that you lose track of time?
  • Whose career inspires you? What is it about his/her career that you admire?
  • What do you dislike about your current role and work environment?

Step 2: Get Clear on What Your Transferable Skills Are[2]

The data gathered from your research and informational interviews will give you a clear picture of the career change that you want. There will likely be a gap between your current experience and the experience required for your desired job. This is your chance to tell your personal story and make it easy for recruiters to understand the logic behind your career change.

Make a list and describe your existing skills and experience. Ask yourself:

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What experience do you have that is relevant to the new job or industry?

Include any experience e.g., work, community, volunteer, or helping a neighbour. The key here is ANY relevant experience. Don’t be afraid to list any tasks that may seem minor to you right now. Remember this is about showcasing the fact that you have experience in the new area of work.

What will the hiring manager care about and how can you demonstrate this?

Based on your research you’ll have an idea of what you’ll be doing in the new job or industry. Be specific and show how your existing experience and skills make you the best candidate for the job. Hiring managers will likely scan your resume in less than 7 seconds. Make it easy for them to see the connection between your skills and the skills that are needed.

Clearly identifying your transferable skills and explaining the rationale for your career change shows the employer that you are making a serious and informed decision about your transition.

Step 3: Read the Job Posting

Each job application will be different even if they are for similar roles. Companies use different language to describe how they conduct business. For example, some companies use words like ‘systems’ while other companies use ‘processes’.

When you review the job description, pay attention to the sections that describe WHAT you’ll be doing and the qualifications/skills. Take note of the type of language and words that the employer uses. You’ll want to use similar language in your resume to show that your experience meets their needs.

5 Key Sections on Your Career Change Resume (Example)

The content of the examples presented below are tailored for a high school educator who wants to change careers to become a client engagement manager, however, you can easily use the same structure for your career change resume.

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Don’t forget to write a well crafted cover letter for your career change to match your updated resume. Your career change cover letter will provide the context and personal story that you’re not able to show in a resume.

1. Contact Information and Header

Create your own letterhead that includes your contact information. Remember to hyperlink your email and LinkedIn profile. Again, make it easy for the recruiter to contact you and learn more about you.

Example:

Jill Young

Toronto, ON | [email protected] | 416.222.2222 | LinkedIn Profile

2. Qualification Highlights or Summary

This is the first section that recruiters will see to determine if you meet the qualifications for the job. Use the language from the job posting combined with your transferable skills to show that you are qualified for the role.

Keep this section concise and use 3 to 4 bullets. Be specific and focus on the qualifications needed for the specific job that you’re applying to. This section should be tailored for each job application. What makes you qualified for the role?

Example:

Qualifications Summary

  • Experienced managing multiple stakeholder interests by building a strong network of relationships to support a variety of programs
  • Experienced at resolving problems in a timely and diplomatic manner
  • Ability to work with diverse groups and ensure collaboration while meeting tight timelines

3. Work Experience

Only present experiences that are relevant to the job posting. Focus on your specific transferable skills and how they apply to the new role.

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How this section is structured will depend on your experience and the type of career change you are making.

For example, if you are changing industries you may want to list your roles before the company name. However, if you want to highlight some of the big companies you’ve worked with then you may want to list the company name first. Just make sure that you are consistent throughout your resume.

Be clear and concise. Use 1 to 4 bullets to highlight your relevant work experiences for each job you list on your resume. Ensure that the information demonstrates your qualifications for the new job. Remember to align all the dates on your resume to the right margin.

Example:

Work Experience

Theater Production Manager 2018 – present

YourLocalTheater

  • Collaborated with diverse groups of people to ensure a successful production while meeting tight timelines

4. Education

List your formal education in this section. For example, the name of the degrees you received and the school who issued it. To eliminate biases, I would recommend removing the year you graduated.

Example:

Education

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  • Bachelor of Education, University of Western Ontario
  • Bachelor of Theater Studies with Honors, University of British Columbia

5. Other Activities or Interests

When you took an inventory of your transferable skills, what experiences were relevant to your new career path (that may not fit in the other resume sections?).

Example:

Other Activities

  • Mentor, Pathways to Education
  • Volunteer lead for coordinating all community festival vendors

Bonus Tips

Remember these core resume tips to help you effectively showcase your transferable skills:

  • CAR (Context Action Result) method. Remember that each bullet on your resume needs to state the situation, the action you took and the result of your experience.
  • Font. Use modern Sans Serif fonts like Tahoma, Verdana, or Arial.
  • White space. Ensure that there is enough white space on your resume by adjusting your margins to a minimum of 1.5 cm. Your resume should be no more than two pages long.
  • Tailor your resume for each job posting. Pay attention to the language and key words used on the job posting and adjust your resume accordingly. Make the application process easy on yourself by creating your own resume template. Highlight sections that you need to tailor for each job application.
  • Get someone else to review your resume. Ideally you’d want to have someone with industry or hiring experience to provide you with insights to hone your resume. However, you also want to have someone proofread your resume for grammar and spelling errors.

The Bottom Line

It’s essential that you know why you want to change careers. Setting this foundation not only helps you with your resume, but can also help you to change your cover letter, adjust your LinkedIn profile, network during your job search, and during interviews.

Ensure that all the content on your resume is relevant for the specific job you’re applying to.

Remember to focus on the job posting and your transferable skills. You have a wealth of experience to draw from – don’t discount any of it! It’s time to showcase and brand yourself in the direction you’re moving towards!

More Resources to Help You Change Career Swiftly

Featured photo credit: Parker Byrd via unsplash.com

Reference

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