Ken Docherty
4 min readApr 30, 2021


I’ve recruited for top companies across Europe and North America. As an executive recruiter and recruitment consultant I partnered with talented people across countless industries to help get them in front of decision makers.

As a resume writing consultant and interview coach, I’ve worked with the 1% in helping secure them interviews with their target companies and helping them navigate the interview.

If you are a new graduate, before you do another thing, go and get it. I want you to have it. Did I mention it’s FREE? Sign up here.

So, why do new graduates fail to win the interview?

There are a few reasons.

First of all, there are loads of you. Bucket loads of new graduates popping out the hopper all at the same time, competing for the same roles, and here’s the kicker…all looking exactly the same on paper.

Now, that’s not just because you’ve all done the same stuff at uni.

That’s because you’re all using the same resume template the “careers counsellor” has given you.

You know, the template that literally makes you look the same as everyone else.

I’m sure they were even kind enough to give you a ‘how to guide’ with “do’s” and “don’ts”.

Now, ask yourself a few questions.

Do I want to look like everyone else?

Does it in any way benefit me to look like everyone else?

Am I like everyone else?

Am I a NPC?

Or….do I have some individual attributes, experiences, and accomplishments I could leverage to differentiate myself from the horde of other people graduating from my course across the country and demonstrate a strong promise of value to my next employer?

I contend that you do have something special to offer your next employer. The trick is in identifying it, and articulating it on paper in a high-impact and meaningful way.

That very process is how I built a successful career as a recruiter, and now as a careers consultant to the 1%.

The reason so many graduates fail to get the interview is usually based on sheer volume of applicants and the methods companies then employ to mitigate the effects of the onslaught, specifically, use of the Applicant Tracking System.

As an aside, I was talking with a hiring manager at a large downtown finance house and were discussing recruitment strategies, challenges etc. and she mentioned that for one of the roles her team were hiring for, a low-level Customer Service Representative position, they had received 300 applications.

So how do they navigate that volume. Well, in their case they have 4 people in HR. They recruit across the entire organization, all levels, all disciplines. No-one in that team will sit down and rifle through 300 applications for a CSR role.

They’ll run it through an Applicant Tracking System looking for specific criteria, select the top 10 that pop out the other side, then sort those 10 by GPA, and interview the top 5. So, 290 people are cut in the first cull. Out of the final 10, only 5 are called for interview. So, 300 applications and 295 people never hear back. That’s why they call ATS the “black hole”.

So, you need to know in advance how to navigate the applicant tracking system. I think it could also help if you had a template that didn’t look like the one your careers counsellor has given you — it’s your call. In my Quickstart Careers Package, I offer 3 professional resume templates, 3 versions of those resume templates with content added in by me to show you how it looks, a “How to” guide for creating an Applicant Tracking System friendly version of your resume, and my eBook in Interview Secrets. As a package, it could give you a boost at a low-cost entry point. Check it out here.

Alternatively, you could enroll in my online course. This is where I walk you through the resume writing process step-by-step using videos, workbooks, tips sheets etc. to help you get there. You can check that out here.

In addition to navigating the Applicant Tracking System, you need to understand your true value proposition. You need to learn how to take the content you have to work with and present it in the most high-impact, effective manner possible.

You need to do whatever you can (legally and ethically) to get an edge.

It’s not easy standing out in a sea of competition.

Fortunately, you can take some concrete steps to fortifying your resume and interview technique to give you an edge and hopefully, secure the type of role you deserve.

Learn more about Professional Resume Services in Vancouver.

About the author: Ken Docherty is an experienced executive recruiter, former staffing agency owner, and award-winning, multi-certified resume writer with 23+ years of experience. The clients who seek him out have worked everywhere from the White House, Pentagon and NSA to Parliament Hill via every major industry in North America. Find out more at www.vancouverresume.com



Ken Docherty

I am an experienced executive recruiter, former staffing agency owner, and multi-certified, multi award-winning resume writer.