Here’s the big secret about Successful Graduate: at its base, it offers a short marketing course that teaches you the best way to sell yourself. All the skills you have, all your experience, knowledge and everything else that makes you an ideal candidate are already inside you. We’re really helping you better understand how to frame those skills so employers can understand who you are and why they should hire you. This article might help to explain why you’re not getting an interview yet.
We don’t really teach you how to be better, just how to sell yourself better.
That said, you can be better in one simple step:
When you submit your resume online, create a pdf version of it and submit the pdf version. Unless the site requires you to use an online form, under every circumstance, submit a pdf document.
This applies regardless of whether you are a recent grad or a veteran. Do not ever submit a Word document, text file, or anything other than a pdf as an attachment to apply for a job.
Right now, some of you have already stopped reading because you know why I’m telling you this. For all others, and there are a lot of you, continue reading to find out one of the major potential reasons you don’t get a job interview:
I can’t or don’t want to read your resume because it looks bad.
As technology advances, it doesn’t mitigate opportunities to fail; it actually increases it (incidentally, you can listen to my latest pod which goes over my tech failure here). Despite being created by the same company, different versions of word processors love to destroy your meticulous formatting. That means your well-spaced document that you’ve managed to keep at the elusive two page limit will probably be the worst spaced out, longest, aesthetically displeasing document that passes through my in-tray.
I can’t read this
Missing formatting, additional spaces, missing spaces, dot points that fail to read, macros that put my name at the top of your resume when printing instead of yours, unreadable font, huge font, tiny font, weird line spacing. I’ve seen some pretty weird things and I fully expect to see even weirder things in the future, but I don’t want you to be the one showing me a whole new world of ugly resumes.
Remember: your resume is usually your first impression for employers.
Some of you may be thinking “What’s the big deal? Just reformat it for me! You can still read it.” Well, no. I don’t have time to reformat, and the formatting is so unappealing I can’t read it. It’s up to you to get it right.
It’s actually quite a big deal. In one of my first articles, What employers want (https://www.successfulgraduate.com/what-employers-want/), I told you that as a grad, you don’t have the same luxuries as professionals. In this regard, no one has the luxury of a bad looking, unreadable resume.
In the article, I quoted statistics which showed it’s getting tougher for grads to find full-time employment four months after graduating . At the time, I said it meant you needed to differentiate yourself from others in a meaningful way employers understand.
I meant it in a positive way, but the inverse is true as well. You are more than capable of differentiating yourself as someone who is messy and doesn’t understand formatting – made worse if you write you’re proficient in Microsoft Office suite in your key skills area!
Now, while your resume is usually the first time a potential employer gets to know you, there are still many opportunities to meet your next employer before they have a job to offer you. Taking advantage of events to build your network is an excellent way to showcase your skills and make a great impression. For non-marketing grads, those are called sales leads.
Successful Graduate helps you find new leads to sell Brand You and get the pitch just right to make sure are the next successful graduate.
Sign up today for a free trial of the Successful Graduate Course
Become a Successful Graduate member, and learn how to a format a resume that will get you noticed.
For a limited time you can sign up for a FREE 1-day trial of Module 1 of the Successful Graduate course and learn more about employability skills, deciphering a job description and how to tailor your skills and experience to a job advertisement.
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