A rejected resume can be frustrating. Doubts about yourself surface. The ego takes a hit. In addition, a reason is rarely given for the rejection. Without that, how can you possibly improve yours and give yourself a better shot at landing a job?
Hiring managers have left hints, bread crumbs you can follow to help write a better resume and find that ideal job. Read Resume Writing for tips. By deciphering and understanding the major reasons why some resumes falls flat, a clearer picture comes into focus that can aide job seekers with writing outstanding resumes.
The reasons for a rejection are many and varied. Some are large, while others are small.
For example, giving a hiring manager a resume written in all capital letters is a big turnoff. Handing it over on pink, purple or green paper is a sure way to see a rejected resume. The use of standard business-quality white paper is a first step to getting yours read.
Remember, too, that a professionalism is not the equivalent of sending tweets to your friend. Capitalize the word “I” when speaking of yourself. This rule is unequivocal. Never break it.
Watch out for typos. If your desired salary is $55,000, don’t let an extra five sneak in. Asking for a $555,000 salary is a heart-stopper for most hiring managers.
Here’s a list of the main rejected resume reasons:
1. The resume is too long.
2. The grammar and spelling is poor.
3. The cover letter is deficient.
4. Failing to toot your horn.
Hiring managers may find lengthy resumes wearing on their nerves. These people are under pressure. They want relevant information about you, and they want it fast. Remember, yours may be one of hundreds stacked on the desk. The job that needs to be filled may be critical to the company, and a candidate must be found immediately. This is where the properly short and succinct resume will win out over other resumes.
A hiring manager will wade through the stack and cull the resumes. On one stack will go all the rejects. The resumes that will earn a more measured consideration go to another stack. That’s where you want yours to land.
Personnel managers estimate that each one gets a quick 20 to 30 second review. That quick look will determine whether yours gets tossed on the reject stack or is set aside for a second look.
This initial 20 to 30 second review is where most resumes are either accepted or rejected. That means you better make good use of your prospective employer’s time. The employer is seeking a short, snappy resume that can be analyzed later. So keep yours to two pages.
Lengthy paragraphs makes information tough to find. Keep the paragraphs short to avoid a rejected resume. Arrange it in an orderly fashion.
Next, sloppy spelling and poor grammar kills. This is a reason for a rejected resume that everyone understands. If your spelling is sloppy and your grammar is poor, an employer will surmise, unfairly or not, that your work may be sloppy and poor.
Learn how to use the comma. Be aware that “its” and “it’s” are two different words. Don’t misspell the name of the company. Don’t misspell your name. If you need to, pay a teacher’s aide to proofread finished copy.
A poor cover letter in your application can result in a rejected resume. This cover letter is the employer’s first impression of you. A good cover letter can be used to explain gaps in your employment history, such as relating that you attended school for a year to enhance your job skills.
Avoid boring clichés like self-starter and team player. Bake some meat into that cover letter.
Each cover letter should be unique to the company you’re applying to. It must be enticing, short and give some piece of information that’s valuable to the employer in making a decision about you. Researching the company may help you know what they are looking for in a new employee.
Toot your horn. Failing to explain contributions you made to previous employers is another reason for a rejection. Employers are looking for employees who can positively contribute to their company.
You’re not bragging. You’re showing a prospective employer your high value. That’s exactly what an employer is looking for in you and your resume – value. Tooting your horn is the correct strategy to avoid a rejected resume.