Reasons resumes get rejected
- They look terrible – You’d think by now that job seekers would get that the way a resume looks can make all the difference to their chances of getting that all-important first interview. Yet we still see resumes that look sloppy. Or use too many fonts and colors and bold all over the place. Your resume represents you and signals how much care you take when you work for someone. Why would you submit anything that looks less than neat, easy to read and professional?
- You don’t help the employer see the match – When someone is reviewing resumes (sometimes hundreds), they don’t have the time to look at each one carefully, and think about the nice person behind all that confusing talk about unrelated things, even very cool unrelated things. You need to make it easy for them to connect the dots by targeting your resume to the job description. And you need to do this for EACH job you apply for.
- You use jargon or unclear language – No one enjoys working with someone who is hard to understand. You know … people who say things and use trade lingo that they think sounds very knowledgeable, yet they haven’t bothered to make sure the people around them actually understand what they’re talking about. Communication is about making sure that you’re understood. And your resume is an important form of communication!
- You forget to clean house – Resumes aren’t a confessional. You don’t need to tell every single thing you’ve ever done on every job. And you certainly don’t want to include things that you never want to do again, unless you have to. But you do want to zero in on those skills and experiences that most directly relate to the job you want now.
- You leave gaps or questionable periods – A resume screener takes about 8 seconds on average to decide if your resume is worth further consideration. So you want to do your best to make sure you have something solid (or as solid as possible) for each time period. Things like volunteer work, special projects, consulting, return to school, etc. are far better than empty time periods.
- They have typos and grammatical errors – Once again, this is all the employer has to judge you. If you can’t take the time to make sure your spelling and grammar is correct for something this important, what will you be like as an employee? Use your automated spelling & grammar check, and also ask friends to proofread.