Monday, January 24, 2011

10 Reasons why your Resume is getting rejected

- Anurag Nevatia

Are you applying for jobs and getting no replies? Is your resume reaching the Recycle Bin of Hirers? It can be very discouraging when one sends out resumes and gets no response at all.

1. Wrong Contact Info: As per a study conducted in the USA, most resumes get rejected because of wrong contact info. Whether it is a small error in the email ID, or the contact number, there is no way you will get a response to your resume, even if you have been short listed. Many clients provide landline numbers which are not attended to, in case someone does call. Its best to provide a number which is accessible to you at all times. 

TIP: Many candidates have asked me, which is the best way to write a mobile number. There are many ways how a mobile number should be written. Eg. 9857773260 can be written as +91 98577 73260 or 98577-73260 or 0 98577 73260 etc. I have always felt that writing a mobile number without any prefixes, spaces or dashes is the best way. Hence, a mobile number 9857773260 should be written as 9857773260. Hiring company managers are aware that they have to prefix a ‘0’ in case of calling a non-local number!

2. Email ID:  Never put someone else’s email id in your contact info. Many hiring companies check the email id’s with links to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Orkut and LinkedIn. If you have used someone else’s email id then the hirer may reject your resume suspecting fraud.

TIP: Avoid email id’s which are adjectives, fancy, funky, racist or sexy. Many times I suggest my clients to use email IDs which relate to their names rather than fancy ones Eg. If your name is Amit Gandhi, then your email ID should ideally be and not or fancy id’s like,, or even generic id’s,, etc. 

3. Long Resumes: One of the top reasons for resumes getting rejected – no sense of brevity! No one has time to read a 4 page resume. Accept it! Think from the hiring manager’s point of view- who has to read thousands of resumes for different job positions. What he is looking for is a short and crisp resume which he can shortlist. Remember, the resume will not get you the job – it only helps getting you an interview with the Hirer! Hence, save the details for the interview!

TIP: Even if you have tonnes of information to share, be precise and to the point. If you have 8 to 10 years of professional experience then leave off the early bit – First part time jobs, internship summaries, etc. 

4. Email Company & Spam Filters: Always choose a standard email service like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo. Sometimes, non standard email services cay end up delaying your response or receiving information from the hirer. Check the security level of your spam filter. It has been noted in the past that some service providers who have high spam guards restrict even good mails. Emails from employers may be reaching you spam box!

5. Qualification: Before applying for any job, ensure that you are suitably qualified for it. It is likely that you resume is not short listed since you may be not qualified or even Overqualified! Most of the short listing is done electronically in large hiring companies. Hence, if your resume does not have the adequate qualifications then don’t bother sending your resume.

6. Not Tailoring your Resume to a specific role: Most job seekers fail to customise their resumes and cover letters to suit the specific requirements of the vacancy. It is extremely important to study the specifics of the job description and tailor your resume. A better way is to get a customised cover letter written that gets you through the door. If you have done different jobs in your career then this becomes even more vital. If you do not know how to customise your resume, then consult our expert Resume Writers, but to not short sell your resume! Remember, you can’t send different resumes to the same company for different vacancies!

7. Poor Presentation: Spelling Mistakes, Grammatical  Errors, Unnecessary Information, Boring & Repetitive Text, Poor Formatting, Wrong Font, Not highlighting the right areas, using “I” and “me” etc. are not acceptable in Professional Resumes. Avoid bright colours, cheap paper, crazy fonts and unnecessary highlighting. Remember, fancy fonts do not denote Creativity! Hobbies, pass-times and general interests have no place in resumes for professional jobs. Avoid them. 

If you are printing your CV, then print it out in Black onto an A4 Executive Bond paper, with a matching envelope. Do not apply excessive glue to seal the envelope as it might adhere to the papers inside and there are chances that the reader may tear it while opening it. If you’re not sending a paper copy, email it as a Word or PDF document.

8. Not Highlighting Achievements: In most of the Resumes I have rewritten, I have found candidates just copy and paste their job profile from the HR or Operations Manual onto their Professional Experience and Achievements. This does not work! Today every employer is looking for excellence and expertise. You must demonstrate to your hirer your achievements – Eg. Quantifiable performance indicators, successful campaigns, increases turnover, new processes, cost saving ideas, etc. Your impact on your previous employment stints is the most powerful thing you can tell the Hiring Manager. Remember, Responsibilities can be boring to read, but achievements are always interesting

9. Cliché’s: Vague statements and generic phrases that could apply to anyone e.g. ‘seeking a challenging position in a professional environment’ tell nothing special about you to the hiring manager. If you have worded your achievements well, clichés such as ‘good communicator’ and ‘team player’ are not needed because it will be evident from your experience that you already have these skills. 

10. Dishonest Statements: Recruiters are not fools. Never make the mistake of providing false information on your resume. Hiding facts or giving false dates can prove self detrimental and end up red flagging your resume. 

TIP: In case you are applying for a job that is not suitable for your qualification; you can always tell the hiring manager in a covering letter – “in anticipation of a future vacancy”. This would leave an honest and lasting impression with the Hirer and he may even try to share your resume with his counterparts in other group companies.
It is quite possible that even with these suggestions; your chances of getting your resume short listed are not high. In such a case do get in touch with our expert resume writers, who will be happy to guide you. 

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