Are you struggling to get an interview?  Do you apply to job after job with no callbacks? Are you ready to throw in the towel? There are countless reasons your resume could be getting passed over.  Most of the reasons are nonsense but don’t worry, there are other options out there.

So, what are the nonsense reasons recruiters may have rejected you for? Well here are a few I have heard, but I am sure there are plenty more:

  • You must have a cover letter
  • Your cover letter isn’t personalized
  • You didn’t put specific dates on your resume
  • You didn’t put your address on your resume
  • You didn’t put a link to your LinkedIn on your resume
  • Your resume is a PDF
  • Your title doesn’t match the title of the position you applied to
  • Your education is at the top and it should be at the bottom
  • Your education is at the bottom and it should be at the top
  • Your resume is written in 3rd person
  • You have a spelling error on your resume
  • You have a grammatical error on your resume
  • Your address on your resume is too far from the job
  • You didn’t list any hobbies or interests
  • You listed irrelevant hobbies or interests
  • You didn’t quantify your work on your resume
  • Your resume doesn’t have enough detail
  • You used an informal font
  • Your margins are wrong
  • Your formatting doesn’t parse
  • You didn’t have every required skill on your resume
  • You don’t have a skill that isn’t in the job description but necessary for the position
  • You are unemployed
  • You have a gap on your resume
  • You currently work for the wrong company
  • Your current company presents a conflict of interest
  • You got a bad review from an internal employee
  • You applied too late
  • You applied to early
  • Your name is too hard to pronounce
  • You don’t meet our current diversity needs
  • You’re not a cultural fit
  • You won’t add to our culture
  • You weren’t a referral
  • You might be over salary
  • You might need sponsorship
  • You might be overqualified
  • You didn’t stand out

Don’t let a recruiter or worse, an applicant tracking system, stand in your way.  You don’t need to follow the arbitrary rules that have been established.  Networking is key.  Build relationships, especially when you don’t need a job.  Follow companies that wow you and introduce yourself to some of their management.  Are you an accountant and you are interested in a specific company?  Reach out to their CFO.

Many companies are using outdated recruitment practices, so find workarounds!  Don’t be one of a 1,000 people who apply to a position.  Be the one person who gets creative.

By Caitlin Mandeville | People Science CSM