Making a Resume that Works

10 reasons why a hiring manager will quickly reject your resume.

Making a resume that gets the results you want depends on understanding why resumes get rejected by recruiters and hiring managers.

Your resume has to make the right impression within a minute or two if it is going to make it to the next stage of the hiring process and not be chucked aside.

These are the 10 top reasons why a resume gets rejected in mere seconds and they can happen at every level of recruitment.

1. Your contact information is unprofessional

This particularly applies to your email address. Your contact details are the first thing the reader sees on your resume and a ridiculous or silly email address is an instant red flag.

Email addresses like surferdude@... or partyanimal@... will not amuse a prospective employer and send the wrong message. Find out more about creating the right image with your personal information.

2. Your resume objective is uninformative and dull

Replace an outdated and boring objective with a powerful and persuasive personal profile statement that immediately highlights your suitability for the job opportunity.

Find out how to capture the reader's interest with a convincing resume objective statement

3. Your resume includes strange fonts and graphics

Keep it simple and standard. Creativity is not the point of a resume, getting the relevant information across quickly and clearly is.

The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software, used to weed out resumes online, cannot read and understand images, graphics or borders. Find out more about making a resume that beats the ATS.

4. Your resume doesn't include keywords for the job

Demonstrate your match to the position quickly and clearly by using the relevant keywords in your resume. If the hiring manager scans your resume and does not see these keywords immediately it is not likely to make it any further. How to use the right resume keywords when making a resume.

5. Your resume lacks specifics

Be specific about what you have done and achieved. Provide details of your accomplishments. For example, rather than write ''responsible for accounts receivable", impress with "administered over 500 customer accounts worth $x".

6. Your resume information is difficult to read

Format your resume so that the reader can quickly and efficiently scan and process your details.

Put your work experience in reverse chronological order, using the same layout for each job. Include dates. Use bullet points to list your accomplishments and skills. These resume samples show you how. 

7. Your resume is too long

Long resumes full of unnecessary detail just frustrate the reader. Only include information that is pertinent to the specific job opportunity when making a resume. Avoid irrelevant personal information.

8. Your resume contains mistakes

This is one of the quickest ways to sabotage an otherwise good resume. One small typo makes a strong negative impression. Proofread your resume a number of times and ask a friend to proofread it as well. Read your resume backwards as this helps to prevent the text blindness that happens after you have read a resume many times. 

Proofread your Resume

9. You don't customize your resume for the position

Sending out generic resumes is a job-search killer. Tailor your resume to each job opportunity. Hiring managers can quickly tell if you have bothered to target your resume to the specific job.

10. You don't include a cover letter

A job-specific cover letter makes a powerful impact and gets your resume noticed. These cover letter samples  help you with this.

Make sure your resume gets the attention it deserves by avoiding these 10 resume killers.

More great resume building tips.

Job Interviews > Sample Resumes > Making a Resume

  AddThis Social Bookmark Button

To Top of Page