How Job Candidates’ Resumes Land In The Trash Can

I am a Business Career Specialist, but my day job is an Executive Assistant/ Team Coordinator and Hiring Manager. My job consists of going through the ADP portal and selecting candidates that will tickle my boss fancy, make his life easier, produce fast learners and candidates’ that will make the company more money. No one gets through to my boss without my approval, because it's my job to only place suitable candidates’ resumes in his queue. As a Hiring Manager, I look for three things to disqualify an applicant. That's right I said it, to disqualify applicants. The three things I look for are huge/ unexplained job gaps/job-hoppers, grammatical errors and job history that don’t match the position. 


Job Gaps/Job Hoppers

Job gaps that aren’t explained in a cover letter are automatically trashed. If an applicant doesn't bother explaining why they have been out of work for some time, Supervisors don’t feel the need to explain why candidates’ aren’t considered for the position. "Silent Respect" is what is on the chopping block, and just assuming that a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" situation applies, is to be completely naive. Just any response to job gaps simply won't do. You will have to charismatically respond like an attorney in order to have Hiring Managers overlook the job gap and have them focus on your skill set, education and previous job duties. This dilemma is even more of a reason to hire a professional resume writer, so they’re left with this daunting task. 

When it comes to resumes that reflect candidates working for previous positions for under two years, it prompts a red flag. I question the candidates’ loyalty to their previous employers and previous decisions for their previous places of employment. Resumes that show a significant amount of positions held within a five- year time frame, that isn’t articulated in their cover letter, brings up questions that wouldn’t necessarily come to mind with a candidate with a solid work history. Questions that come into mind are: Were they fired? Do they have other reasons other then a genuine want to work for the company? Are they worth the investment and time? Are they going to stay with our company for the long haul or are they going to jump to the next possible job opportunity and leave the company in an unfavorable manner, leaving us to fill the position?  My boss doesn’t want to interview a candidate that he feels is not going to be worth investing a 401k plan, benefits, company perks and training. Professionally addressing job-hopping is essential for reputable companies so their mind can be at ease, so they can make the decision on bringing you on board.


Grammatical Errors

Spelling and grammar errors can kill a candidate’s opportunity in 0.5 seconds. 90% of grammatical errors aren’t caught by the candidate and can be so minor, that it can only be caught with a trained eye. I have reviewed resumes for candidates that are highly qualified and are disqualified due to numerous reasons; their resumes consist of misplaced commas, incorrect tenses, misspelled words and inconsistent formatting. Candidates can possibly be the face of the Corporation and grammatical errors and can lead to the lost of clientele and miscommunication. Proofreading a resume to ensure its error free is essential to reflect competency, education and worry free communication.


Job Duty Match

I come across numerous resumes that don’t reflect the correct jobs duties from previous positions. Some candidates’ don’t take the time to read job descriptions and it shows in their resume. Resumes that don’t address this issue make me and other Hiring Managers question candidates’ reasons for applying and leads us to believe that they are blindly applying to numerous positions, and haven’t taken the time to do research on the company. It is essential to match your work history with the job description to determine if you are viable candidate, and worth your time to apply. The hiring candidate must compare all resumes to determine who has the most relevant experience.  Resumes that follow this rule shows that they are paying attention to the job posting and are worth interviewing.

I review hundreds of resumes each week and candidates that don’t have the above-mentioned dilemmas are placed in the interview box. Had I not possess resume writing experience, I would hire a professional resume writer to maximize my efforts, and focus all my efforts on nailing interviews. Your resume is the most important document of your career.  Hiring a professional resume writer shows that you take your career seriously. Your resume is your brand, and just as you would hire an attorney to represent you in court, you should hire a resume writer to represent you in the workforce.