Many times your resume is discarded by companies for reasons outside your control: someone internal to the company was promoted into the job, the job requirements or the company’s budget changed or perhaps another candidate simply had more of what the company hoped to find in a new employee.
However, the following four situations are under your control. Your resume may not make the cut if:
- Your resume fails to specifically address the requirements (skills, education, accomplishments) listed in the job posting. Even the title of the job is important. If the company has advertised for an “executive assistant,” they will reject resumes and cover letters that reference an “executive secretary” position.
- Your contact information is incomplete or hard to read (for example, it is in a very light italic font where the number one looks like the letter el). You might overlook a transposed number or letter in your own familiar phone number or email address because you read what you expect to see rather than what is actually on the page. Companies will not search for you; you must make sure your contact information is readable and accurate.
- Your resume is not formatted for computerized applicant tracking systems. Many companies of all sizes use ATS to weed out applicants who do not match the job criteria. If the ATS cannot even read your resume, it will not be chosen for further action—the hiring manager may never see it.
- You tried too hard. Whether you overdesigned your resume, stretched a few dates to cover gaps (easily discovered with a reference check), included information no one wanted (your GPA from 15 years ago) or described your accomplishments as an employee in terms appropriate to the company’s CEO, recruiters and hiring managers are sensitive to resumes that try too hard and end up feeling false.
Robin’s Resumes® is sensitive to what makes a resume work or not work, including finding the correct balance between the requirements of the job, the requirements of ATS system and your career goals. If your resumes are not making the cut for any of the four reasons above, please contact us.