Job rejection sucks. This post will help you avoid it.
Wouldn’t it be useful to know what recruiters like and dislike most about resumes? Happily, a couple of university researchers in Australia had nothing better to do than try to answer that question.
And I had nothing better to do than read the results of their study.
The most impressive thing about the study was that they convinced 68 managers and HR professionals
who didn’t have to to read a bunch of resumes and cover letters.
Job Rejection & Acceptance Findings
When the readers rejected a resume, it was, in order of importance, because:
- They lacked experience.
- The resume had a poor format.
- The resume lacked information.
- They didn’t present their achievements.
- They sent a poor cover letter.
When the readers pursued a candidate, it was because in order of importance:
- They had experience that was relevant to the job.
- The readers liked the format of the applicant’s resume.
- The applicant met the qualifications (things like education, etc.) for the job.
BTW, if you want to learn even more about the types of resume information that prevent job rejection, click here.
What the Study Means for You
So, what are the takeaways?
- You need to have relevant experience for the job (even better if it’s progressively responsible experience).
- Your resume must have a good, easy-to-consume format.
- You must share the information your readers want, not the information you want to share with them.
- Oh, and the cover letter? In my experience, it hurts people more often than it helps them. So get it right!
What if You Lack Experience?
If you lack experience, your resume won’t get you an interview.
First, check out how to use LinkedIn Career Explorer to find resume and LinkedIn profile keywords for your target job. You might have more experience than you realize!
If not, you’ll have to find another way in. Listen to this podcast to restore your hope and get some great beyond-the-resume ideas!
Updated March 2021
© 2010 – 2021, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.
Donna Svei, an executive resume writer and former C-level executive, retained search consultant, and CPA, authors all of AvidCareerist’s posts. She has written for and been quoted by 100+ business and general media outlets, including Forbes, Mashable, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur, CNBC, the New York Times, USA Today, Time, CBS, the BBC, Lifehacker, Social Media Today, IT World, SmartBrief, and Business News Daily.
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