4 Reasons Recruiters Throw Out Your Resume

Hiring managers aren’t seeing your resume. Here’s why.

By J.T. O’Donnell

Job seekers are frustrated — for good reason. If you’ve ever spent hours filling out online job applications, only to never hear a word back from the employer, you know what I’m talking about. Unfortunately, job seekers are uneducated on what happens once they press “send.” Recruiters don’t review every application. Instead, they use tools and criteria to help them narrow down the search. Here are four reasons why your resume gets thrown out.

  1. You were eliminated by the ATS.

The Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) most companies use when you apply online are specifically designed to toss the majority of the applications. Statistics prove you have only a 3 percent chance of getting an in-person interview when you apply online.

  1. You oversold yourself.

Most job seekers don’t know what recruiters really want on a resume, so they mistakenly try to make themselves sound irresistible. Unfortunately, they come across as overconfident, or even worse, as a narcissist. I encourage job seekers to always get a second opinion on their resume. There are plenty of places you can get a free resume review.

  1. Your resume doesn’t match your online profile.

Recruiters will always look you up online after reviewing your resume. If what they see on your online profiles (i.e. LinkedIn) doesn’t match what you sent on the resume, they’ll question your honesty.

  1. You didn’t quantify your value.

Recruiters want you to know what you’re good at and to focus the resume on proving it. Facts, facts, and more facts. If you can’t back up your strengths with accomplishments in a clear and concise fashion, recruiters can’t sell you to the hiring manager.

Resumes are useless without this.

Studies show your resume needs to be six-second worthy, or recruiters will toss it. But even then, without a connection to the company you are applying to, the chances you’ll move forward are slim. Eighty percent of all jobs are gotten via referral, meaning the resume doesn’t get you the job–people do. The better strategy is to turn the tables and start “employer shopping” so you can target the right opportunities, connect with the right people, and earn the right job for you.


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