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Destination: Trash Can

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The trash can is where 99% of resumes go to die.

The reasons have nothing to do with the qualifications of the applicant and everything to do with how the resume was written. You can blame the idiot gatekeeper that didn't really read the resume, but that idiot gatekeeper is a reality. We teach you how to deal with it.

Most resumes have serious defects that guarantee failure. Highly qualified candidates often write inadequate resumes because they do not understand the resume writing techniques required to get even the most qualified candidate hired.

The most successful job seekers are not necessarily the best qualified. Usually, they are the best prepared. Consider these issues if you want to be among the best prepared.

Does your resume catch attention?

Your resume must get you past an employer's gatekeepers such as recruiters and HR managers, and into a telephone screen or interview with the hiring manager. If your resume cannot pass the inspection of these gatekeepers, you will have difficulty getting interviews.

Can your resume survive a 15-Second scan?

Most resume readers scan and discard each resume in 10 to 20 seconds unless there is a compelling reason to flag it for an in-depth review. Gatekeepers are paid to read resumes but rarely enjoy it. In order to process countless resumes, busy gatekeepers want excuses to reject most resumes quickly.

Is your resume computer search friendly?

Most recruiters, agencies and HR departments for medium to large companies and any employer that uses an Internet resume bank searches with keywords. Anything that's not otherwise mentioned in the resume should be listed in the skills section. For example, don't just list "Microsoft Office", include "Word, Excel, MS Access, PowerPoint and Outlook. Mention every obscure skill and certification that you have.

Can your resume get past suspicious gatekeepers?

If they have any concerns about a resume, they do not contact the applicant for an explanation; they just reject the resume and go on to the next one. Employers receive resumes from candidates who are clearly qualified so they reject candidates who may just possibly be qualified.

Are you an exceptional candidate with a mediocre resume?

Sorry, no interview. In resume writing, mediocrity = failure. Many discarded resumes belong to qualified candidates who are not aware of the career damage from inadequate resumes that do not sell their experience, skills, and qualifications. Resume screening is callous and impersonal so even the best job search cannot overcome a weak resume.

Does your resume balance competing requirements?

Your resume must first survive a fifteen second scan, and then it must survive an examination by a gatekeeper wanting a reason to discard it. To survive the scan, it must stand out and present a good snapshot of your skills. Then, if it survives the scan, the resume should provide enough rich and compelling detail to sell you. Surviving the scan while providing enough details are competing requirements that are difficult to balance.

Excellence is not optional.

If only 50 people apply for an attractive opportunity, your resume must tell the gatekeeper that you are better qualified than at least 40 of the other applicants. If your resume cannot beat 80% 90% of the competition, you will not get interviews. Your actual qualifications do not count as much as your resume until you get to the interview, and maybe not even then.

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