Why Your Resume Didn’t Make The Cut

I live a life of rejection. As an executive recruiter, I see dozens of resumes every week, sometimes even hundreds. And most of them, all but a handful, end up in the virtual trash can. I am constantly rejecting people — or perhaps more accurately, digital representations of documents that represent people, a.k.a. resumes — and I hate doing it as much as you hate having it done to you.

I know that you’re wondering what happened and why you didn’t hear back about that job, since you feel confident that the description that we posted was perfect for you. (At least you said that in your cover note… and you wouldn’t BS me, would you?) And really, maybe it was… but I never got a chance to find out, because your resume didn’t tell me what I needed to know in order to call you to talk about it.

Maybe yours was the one that listed your first job as “Manger” of marketing. Um, well, OK, then. Either you have the wrong background (I’m sure manger must be an interesting job, if I knew what it was) or you are just a terrible proofreader. Which of course means you’re not a good candidate to be a marketing manager. So into the trash it goes.

Or maybe yours was that action-packed resume with four different fonts in three colors and three different type sizes and indents (you think I’m making this stuff up, don’t you? I’m not… this is a resume I looked at not twenty minutes ago). That one I did give a chance to… by taking the extra time to make everything on the page one size and one color so I could actually focus on it and read it. But then I realized that my client has a great sense of design and is very particular, so I had to move on from that one, too.

Or the person who sent me three resumes — one nine pages long, one five pages long, and the short one was only short because they decided to leave off any specifics about their jobs in order to save space. Um, no, thanks, but I only have a moment to decide if you’re right or not, so if you can’t even create a single document to tell me what I need to know, I’m not feeling like you’re up to the challenges of the executive sales role I’m screening for.

There are hundreds of possible reasons that your resume didn’t make the cut for the search I’ve been working on today, and the truth is that most of those reasons could easily have been remedied. Spell-check, having someone else proofread for you, or just a little thought about what someone reading your resume really needs to see in order to want to talk to you.

I wrote a book about some of the top resume killers, and you can grab a copy for free from my website www.TheJobSearchGuru.com. It’s called “Ten Reasons Your Resume Ends Up in the Trash (and what you can do about it), so check it out and see if any of those things might explain why your resume isn’t getting the response you deserve.

And maybe tomorrow, you’ll be the one who does make the cut, and you’ll be hearing from me. I’d sure like that, because I don’t like rejecting people any more than they like to be rejected.

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