Why Does My Resume Keep Getting Rejected?

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As ResumeSpice certified career consultants and resume writers, we know a common frustration among job seekers is that they submit their resume, but never hear back. We know how frustrating that is, so we embrace the opportunity to work with candidates and get them called for interviews. From our experience as recruiters, here are some of the most common reasons resumes are rejected.

Not following directions

This has less to do with your resume and more about how hiring managers value candidates who have a strong attention to detail. Because they receive so many resumes, it’s common for employers to include specific instructions on how to apply to a job as a way to screen out candidates who don’t follow directions – so be sure to read through the entire job description.

For example, if an employer asks you to submit a resume in PDF format along with a list of references and writing samples sent to a certain email address with a specific subject line, they may be testing you. Make sure you pass the test by following the directions to the tee.

Typos and improper grammar

We know mistakes happen. But when the only information an employer has about you is your resume, you want to make sure it’s working for you, not against you.

Read your resume aloud, have a trusted friend who is excellent with grammar and spelling proof it, or better yet, hire a professional resume writing service to create it for you. (Hint, hint!)

No matter which avenue you take to ensure your resume is telling the right story, don’t overlook extensive proofreading. An extra ten minutes to re-read your resume could be the difference between getting a call or not.

Overusing quick apply features

Quick-apply features are a breath of fresh air after you’ve finished submitting an application that took 45-minutes to complete. However, you might not be getting a call because you’re jumping the gun with ‘quick apply’. Just because a job is easy to apply for doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put in the same effort as you would if you had to hand deliver your resume to the hiring manager.

Make sure you truly match the job requirements before hitting apply. If you read one or two bullet points that match your expertise then hit apply, you might be overlooking a crucial requirement further down.

You’re overqualified

This has become a clichéd excuse that job seekers have grown tired of hearing, but it is a legitimate reason why you might get passed over.

If you’ve been in a higher position or have a lot more experience than the job requires, a great way to explain why you’re seeking this specific opportunity is to include a cover letter. Maybe you’re at a place in your career where you want to change pace, or maybe you want to learn a different skillset altogether. Address it in a cover letter so that you won’t be automatically dismissed as “too experienced.”

Want to make sure your resume is getting a fair shot? Call Resume Spice! We know what hiring managers want to see and can help you craft a resume to get you noticed – and more importantly, get you the interview!