Why don’t you hear from us after you send your CV to a potential employer? Your resume may not even have been read. Employers and HR staff are busy and important, and they need to sort through resumes as efficiently as possible. In many cases, there are hundreds of candidates for a single position, which means that candidates who are not of interest are immediately screened out. We asked a few HR professionals what causes a CV to be rejected immediately. Each of them has their own irritants, but here’s what they said:
Spelling mistakes and typos: Nearly all of the recruiters interviewed named them first, including Debra Sharpe of the employment agency Creative Niche (CreativeNiche.ca). If there are spelling mistakes on the resume, there’s no attention to detail,” she says, “and the candidate is likely to make mistakes on the job as well. “Kim Price Lloyd, human resources manager at PriceMetrix, adds, “When I have 75 candidates for an administrative assistant position, resumes with typos go straight to the ‘rejected’ pile. »
Confusing and unattractive layout : Even if you think that visual appearance doesn’t count for a certain type of position. It matters. Sharpe says, “You have 30 seconds to impress someone. And if you turn that person off in those first 30 seconds, they won’t even try to understand you. They’re too busy. My time is precious, and I want to get to the point. What’s the candidate gonna bring to the table? What’s he going to offer my client? »
Indicate years, not months: Stefanie Tomei, a hiring expert (she looked at over 19,000 resumes last year!) points out that this is a red flag: “Because if someone writes ‘I worked for this company from 2008 to 2009’ it’s possible that they only worked there for two months. “In other words, it’s a clever way to protect your back.
Write in the third person: John is a dynamic representative who has increased revenues by 10% over six months. That’s one of Tomei’s irritants: “It’s just weird. I don’t want to read this. »
Assume the hiring manager is a man: Tomei says she’s still getting letters of introduction that start with: “To the attention of the hiring manager.” It’s surprising, but it’s true. She cautions candidates, “Don’t limit yourself to men or women. If you write “Mr. Hiring Manager,” I’m not going to call you back. I’m thinking right now I’m not going to call you back. »
Not enough detail: Tomei says, “A one-sentence description for each job. That’s bad. You’re not giving me details. You don’t tell me what you’ve done. So I don’t know what you’ve done. I don’t know if you’re competent. »
Too many details: If Tomei is upset by too little information on a CV, Price, on the other hand, is upset by too much information. She says, “Give me the information I need to want to TALK to you, but I don’t need every detail of every accomplishment and responsibility over the last 10 years. “And she doesn’t want to read an endless list of accomplishments. “The accomplishments are interesting, but I especially want to know how recent they are. Show me what you’ve accomplished, in chronological order. »
A ridiculous email address/dissimulate your contact information: Price Lloyd says: “Layout can be a candidate’s best friend, or his worst enemy. Don’t hide your contact information. Candidates who put them at the bottom of the page for cosmetic reasons run the risk of frustrating recruiters / HR staff / hiring managers who cannot find your phone number. In addition, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com are not appropriate email addresses for your resume. Neither are addresses that are too cute. Email addresses are free. Get a boring address for your resume. »
Do not follow the instructions: Some time ago, I was looking to fill a job as an editor, for which I received about 400 applications. My instructions were simple: three texts, either as attachments or with links to them. I can’t count how many applicants wrote a variation of : “I didn’t include the texts you requested because I thought my personality/resume/letter spoke for me…” They speak for you, indeed, they tell me that you’re an idiot who can’t follow simple instructions.
Send your CV after the deadline : Send your CV within the prescribed deadline. By the end of a competition, the recruiter is tired of reading applications for the position in question and has already done a screening. If you are late, explain it and apologize. Having said that, I really like the idea of submitting an application or letter of interest before positions are posted. Your application may attract more attention if the person reading it is not in the process of sorting through 200 others.
I mean, come on, a Price Lloyd thing to practice rather than avoid: “If a candidate really wants to stand out – they should show me that they really WANT to work here. There are a lot of people looking for work, however, but there are few who seem to be thrilled by a particular opportunity. I’m less interested in people who are just looking to show up for work; I’m more interested in people who want to get involved in their work, their career and their company. Many candidates miss out on great opportunities to use their cover letters as a way to highlight their skills and demonstrate that they are excellent candidates. »