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Why your resume isn’t getting you interviews


MPW Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for:What are three things you look for in a resume? is written by Terri McClements, market managing partner for the Washington Metro region of PwC.

Nowadays, when employers Google your name they’ll see your LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, Instagram posts, and Twitter messages. With the rise of social media, resumes are no longer a stand-alone document, but rather one form of communication that helps tell your professional story. Your resume gives prospective employers an idea of who you are, what you can accomplish, and what you’re passionate about. It’s critical to establish consistency and integrity across the multiple channels of communications that represent you.

When hiring, employers look for someone who offers the ‘whole package,’ a prospective colleague who has the skills, proficiencies, and experiences to meet the complex challenges your company faces in a competitive global marketplace. At PwC, we hire over 17,000 employees annually in the U.S. alone and virtually none are hired because they possess a single skill or technical capability – they have multiple. So with hundreds of resumes in the mix, how can you distinguish yourself to be sure you’re not overlooked?

Demonstrate your flexibility
It’s more than likely, that you won’t be doing the same job you were hired for a year from now. The pace of change is unprecedented. Your resume should highlight how you’ve grown professionally by taking on more responsibility. In other words, does your resume express your ability to evolve and meet changing needs and demands?

Describe your ability to collaborate
People want to work with colleagues they like and respect, including the ability to successfully work on a team. Use your resume to highlight projects that demonstrate effective communication with colleagues. What specific projects are evidence that you’re someone who can initiate and sustain relationships across the firm?

Show your impact
Describe briefly and with precise examples the ways in which you have delivered impact to the organization, your colleagues, or your customer base; the ways in which you tackled difficult challenges, and managed projects. Did you deliver results to your business unit or connect people across functions or departments? Have you achieved unexpected results? Or perhaps you’ve done something that others thought was impossible? Demonstrate that you have taken responsibility for your career and for helping others achieve their potential.

Interns and recent grads need to demonstrate the ability to juggle multiple demands and activities: academics, athletics, and community service. Seasoned professionals should describe how they’ve taken advantage of professional development opportunities, such as taking on new roles, embracing new opportunities, and delivering impact to stakeholders. Whether you’re a college student seeking your first job or an experienced professional, be as specific as possible: data, numbers, metrics, results, and impact.

Finally, be bold. A few years ago, we received a resume from an ambitious young professional who sent a link to his resume to several of our top firm executives. “You would be crazy not to hire me,” he told them. Needless to say, he now works at PwC. Your dream employer may hire you too, as long as you can prove you’re precisely the right person for the job.

Read all answers to the MPW Insider question: What are three things you look for in a resume?

3 simple ways to get your resume noticed by Donna Wiederkehr, CMO of Dentsu Aegis Network.

Why it’s okay to have employment gaps in your resume by Maren Kate Donovan, CEO of Zirtual.

3 resume tips that help make a great first impression by Debbie Messemer, managing partner at KPMG San Francisco.

In a job interview, here’s what’s more important than intelligence by Angela Dorn, chief legal officer at Single Stop USA.

Here are the 2 qualities that could make or break a job interview by Gay Gaddis, CEO and founder of T3.

Why your resume matters less than it used to by Kristen Hamilton, CEO and co-founder of Koru.

3 resume tips for recent grads by Perry Yeatman, CEO of Perry Yeatman Global Partners.

Here are 3 things you should have on your resume by Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO of Ruder Finn

What does your resume say about you? by Sharon Price John, CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop.

CEO of Brit + Co: 3 ways to create a stand out resume by Brit Morin, CEO of Brit + Co.