Why Your Resume Does Not Get Shortlisted?

Most professionals who I coach tell me that they are qualified for so many jobs however their resume does not get shortlisted. They also share with me that the requirements which are presented in the JD resonate with them and they can  certainly contribute to the company by getting results. So where lies the problem?

It lies in branding yourself on the resume. Your resume does not tell the recruiter clearly what is your core area of expertise and what is it that you can do for that specific job. With my over 3 decades of experience and having guided 10,000 candidates and personally coached 3000+ senior job aspirants, I know that this is a common challenge. The resume is so general in presentation that the candidate comes across as a jack of all trades and master of none. So it does not cut ice with the recruiter because you as a candidate are not expressing what you can do for the company and how you can solve problems. As it is there are thousands of applicants and most resumes are presented in a general style. Just imagine the plight of the recruiters to go through so many look alike resumes. The lesson to be learnt here is that in a crowded marketplace, you as a job seeker need to use all tools to brand yourself.

Let me give 5 key tips that will help to brand yourself in your resume :

1] Core skills: Make a list of all your core skills both domain as well as transferable.

2] Headline : There needs to be a headline which will clearly define what is your core expertise . In case you are targeting a specific industry then mention that. For example if you come with say 20 years experience in banking , financial services and are targetting a business head role in the same industry, then your headline can be  Business Head – Banking, Financial services.  Simply writing a general headline like – A senior professional with 20 years experience is not going to help.

3] Customise : Study the job description in detail and identify the major KRA’s. What are the skills required to deliver on these KRA’s? Ask yourself do you possess those skills? Can you demonstrate these with examples? Then do 3 things :–

a] Pick up from the list you made in step 1 and include the specific skills that are required.

b] Develop a professional profile summary which highlights your outstanding achievements related to the requirements of the job applied for.

c] Then  mention stories of success which will help the recruiter relate to your achievements. It needs to give a feeling to the recruiter that you can solve his/her problems because you have already demonstrated your achievements.

4] Achievements : Focus on measurable achievements and cut down on the content where only responsibilities are listed. That is wasted space because you are hired for the results you got for the company , not what you handled.

5] Engaging start : The first half page of your resume needs to be clearly filled up with content that positions you as an expert and achiever in your field. Bring out your unique strengths as an individual. The beginning portion of your resume is where the enagement needs to build. Worldwide research has proven that a recruiter does not spend on an average more than 7 seconds to decide whether to read the resume further or not. And your resume need not go beyond 2 pages.

Keep the above 5 points in mind while developing your resume and you would see a dramatic improvement in the results you get.


Sarabjeet Sachar

Founder & CEO


P.S: I would like you to ask for my FREE Resume Effectiveness CHECKLIST by sending us a mail on hello@aspirationjobs.com and copy paste Resume Effectiveness CHECKLIST in the subject. Improve your resume and start experiencing the positive difference it makes to the hit rate of receiving interview calls.