There are more reasons than we have room to list as to why employers would reject your application. Let’s take a minute to review a few of the main reasons.
1. Be reasonable with your search. We all want to be overachievers, but if you have absolutely none of the skills needed for a job, it probably isn’t worth your while to waste your time applying. If a Mechanical Engineer posting is asking for a degree in engineering and 5 years of experience, your 5 years as a machine operator isn’t going to get any looks. In fact, as a recruiter, the people that we see apply for every job they come across are less likely to get looks for any. There is one exception to this. If you are looking at entry-level positions that require less technical ability, then go for it.
2. Your resume is missing keywords. Let’s revert back to the Mechanical Engineer scenario. If the job positing is asking for design experience using Pro E and all you have on your resume is the AutoCAD you used 10 years ago, then you probably won’t get a call back. Always be sure to make your resume answer all of the questions asked on the job posting. Your resume should actually change for every job that you apply for. If the job description mentions experience in Pivot Tables, then you better have it listed somewhere in your resume! Just remember, fabricating experience is only going to get you so far.
3. To piggyback on point number two, it is always important to remember to change your Objective statement, if you have one. You would not believe how many high-level candidates use the same resume for each position and the Objective statement identifies a completely different company than the one they sent their application to. This proves you have bad attention to detail and do not respect them. In all honesty, it is time to get away from the objective statement all together in our opinion. Try to use this space for a career summary instead.
4. TMI – Too Much Information! If you are writing a paper for your English Literature class, then by all means type away. Your resume is much the opposite. As a rule, people hate to read. It doesn’t do you any favors to give a detailed summary of every move you made at your previous stops. Your resume has one goal. Tell the hiring manager what you will do for their company. Don’t repeat bullet points, don’t make them into a conversation. Leave out the fluff of you being a great communicator, or team player. Everyone believes they are adaptable and goal driven. Likewise, everyone else is adding this boring information on their resume too. Instead try to quantify your accomplishments so that the reader knows what you really bring to the table.
5. Applying too late. As mentioned in our other blog post, the best time to apply for a position is the minute that it is posted. Set alerts on job sites to alert you when you are posted. It is not uncommon for a posting to be filled before it is set to expire online.