Feedback on Newcomer Resumes and Interviews
Powerful Information You Can Use
During the various stages of the hiring process, headhunters have the benefit of getting feedback from both sides, the candidate and the employer. When a resume is rejected, the interviewer will tell the headhunter why it’s rejected. Over the years headhunters have learned from these rejections so they do their best to make sure newcomer resumes are corrected before a potential interviewer sees them.
In the next step, after an interview takes place, the headhunter speaks with the candidate to find out what happened during the interview. Then a call is made to the interviewer to get their feedback on the candidate. Interviewers seldom hold back their opinions and tell headhunters exactly what they think about a candidate. They tell them why the candidate isn't being hired - interviewers tell them the hard truths.
The important part about all of this is “the pattern” that headhunters across North America are familiar with; they see newcomers making interview and resume mistakes that are unique to them. They see specific things that could have been done in a much better way. They see recent immigrants making the same mistakes time and time again. It has nothing to do with their specific country of origin because newcomers from many different countries are making identical mistakes.
Our online team of career advisers have years of experience. We've received resume feedback and interview feedback, thousands of times. The good news is that so many mistakes can be prevented. When you join our site (no charge), you can contact us for advice and specific help during any stage of your employment search. You can start off by having your resume analyzed and we will point out any problems, and offer you suggestions for improvement. Employer feedback has taught us what works well, and what doesn't work. To put it in simple terms, we know what causes rejections and what leads to a successful hiring. We share this information with you.
Here's one example of advice we give for newcomer resumes - to get more interviews
This example is not about correcting a mistake but it does show you a better way to approach something. It's a strategy that works and gets more interviews.
Newcomer Names on Resumes:
Many newcomers have names that are very different to that of the interviewer. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and should never be a reason for not getting an interview. However, the interviewer may have a very hard time pronouncing your name. Westerners aren't used to names with X’s, or certain combinations of letters, or long names with 15 letters.
If a company’s internal recruiter or hiring manager has 15 resumes on their desk but they only plan to invite 3 people to interview, who do you think they will call? Will it be the one with a name they can’t pronounce?
Keeping in mind the above paragraph, quite often (very common), newcomers will put a "westernized name" in brackets beside their name. This can cause some confusion to the interviewer as to which name to address you by. You’re also identifying yourself as someone very new to the country. You can do name tweaking.
Example (before tweaking):
[Name with X’s] (May) [Surname]
[15 letter name] (Raj) [Surname]
This makes you stand-out as a newcomer who doesn't know how resumes are normally written here. North American-born candidates don’t put names in brackets and established immigrants don’t do this either.
We advise candidates to simply pick a first name and only use “one” first name. Use either your “legal given name” or the “westernized name” that you put in brackets, but not both. If you want to be called “May” or “Raj” in the workplace then why not just use that as a first name on the resume?
Example (after tweaking): Looks westernized now and will get you more interviews.
If you are about to receive an “Offer of Employment” you just need to notify the hiring manager or human resources person that your legal name is different from the name on the resume. They will then write up the offer letter using your legal name. We have never once seen any hiring person who had a problem with that.
If a company tells you that a background check will be required, then you must tell them your legal name upfront. Also note: A job application form is different than a resume, and it does require your legal name because a job application “is” a legal document. However, they often include a section for “what do you prefer to be called”
We have dealt with candidates and companies all over North America for many years, and we have never come across a location where a resume is considered a legal document. Do a quick check of your region’s laws just to be sure or in case any new laws are written. We advise name tweaking to newcomers who we represent in our own agencies because it gets them more interviews.
Just doing that one simple resume tweak will get you more interviews! That's just one tiny example that will give you an advantage, and we have many more to share with you. There are tweaks that should be made to resumes. As well, there are many things that should never appear on a resume because they can severely hurt your chances for getting an interview. These types of simple fixes can also be applied to live interviews too. Being more westernized will get you more interviews! Embrace every advantage you can get and that will improve your chances of getting a job offer!