The job search and application process is just that…a process. It is time consuming and can feel futile. Searching for a new opportunity can feel like a job in itself. You write a resume, search for jobs that interest you and then you apply…and then you apply some more.
We have all been on the job search at one point in our lives and unfortunately, it can be a painful process rather than an exciting one. As a recruiter, I can tell you that your resume is a critical piece to this process. Yes, it’s a piece of paper, and no it does not give a full picture of who you are, but it is the first impression any hiring manager will get of you.
I have seen thousands of resumes throughout my career and I can’t emphasize enough the importance of having your sales stats on your resume. If you’re in sales, then you should know these numbers. You should know your quota, your percentage to quota, your territory, your audience and so on and so forth. That being said, if you don’t create a resume that gives an accurate picture of who you are, then you may be getting overlooked in the hiring process.
Here are some reasons how your resume could be hurting your job search and some ways to overcome these pitfalls.
1- Stop applying to everything!
I know that you are on the hunt for that next best thing, but it looks scattered when you apply for an Inside Sales Rep role and a Vice President of Sales role at the same company. Even though it may show your interest in the company, it may also look like a sign of weakness as if you don’t know what you’re looking for. You may be looking to change industries and that is okay, but if you have only 5 years of experience and are applying to roles that require 10 plus years in a different vertical, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. Apply for opportunities that align with your background. Keep in mind that in a competitive job market, candidates that are an exact or close match will get the interview.
2- Target your resume.
The world of having ONE resume is far gone. You should resumes geared toward the roles you are applying for. With technology today, companies look for KEY WORDS that are applicable to their job description. Pay attention and leverage this. If you have it, put it down! If you are applying for an inside role and you have the word outside all over your resume, you are making it easy to be disqualified. If the company is looking for someone who sold into a certain audience and you have that experience, put it on the resume! I know that it may be time consuming, but by actually taking the time to format your resume to the role and company you are applying to it will actually help you in the long run.
3- Take the time to complete your profile.
Companies these days are looking for people who pay attention to the small subtleties. If you did not complete your application because you were either lazy or didn’t feel that you had to, again you made yourself an easy target for not being selected. Companies are asking these things for a reason regardless how you may think it is ridiculous. Yes, this can disqualify you.
4- Make sure your LinkedIn profile and resume match up.
We live in a digital and social world, and companies recruit and look for talent through social media channels. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, create one. One of the first things a hiring manager will do when receiving a resume of interest is look the candidate up online, and if you are nowhere to be found, that could disqualify you. It is important to note that your LinkedIn profile and resume should match up. Make sure both are consistent so that your work experience and dates you worked at a company line up. If they don’t, this could be a red flag and eliminate you from process.
5- Is your resume organized and free of errors?
Legible resumes are extremely important. Make sure you proofread your resume and make sure someone else looks it over. Trust me, grammar matters. Also, eliminate the fluff and get to the point! Hiring managers are busy and don’t have time to work through a complex resume. Put your sales numbers and accomplishments on it. Keep the most relevant information near the top and symmetrical with your experience. Dates, bullets, titles, all matter. Easy to read resumes get pushed to the top.
Writing a strong and consistent resume will help you land the interview. It can be time-consuming and feel pointless, but in the end it will get the attention of the hiring manager. If you need more guidance on writing a sales resume, you can download this free resume template here and watch the video on how to create a killer sales resume. Good luck!