Resume Not Getting You an Interview? This Might be Why

My company wants to reach job candidates and they want to reach us, but the quality of some of the resumes we see is often so comical that I could go off on a Dennis Miller type rant about them. We have some great positions we are looking to fill right now, and Sell YourselfI am certain that for each position we have open, there are candidates who would consider it a dream job.
I don’t want to insult job hunters, but seriously?

  1. Typos can indicate you are careless. If you are applying for a software engineering job then you must be aware that carelessness creates buggy software.
  2. Grammar errors may indicate you are not a native English speaker, and that isn’t a problem as we hire a lot of folks whose first language is not English. Many of our employees including myself were not born in this country, but unless you can claim fluency in some language other than English your resume should reflect proper English grammar.
  3. Your resume should tell a story and state a goal. That story should describe why you will succeed at the job you are applying for, and that goal should ask for the job you’re applying for.
  4. If the job posting lists specific requirements and you don’t meet them then you will need to explain why you are even bothering to apply. If we ask for 3-5 years of software Product Management experience, or 3-5 years of Java programming etc., and you have none, then sending in a resume with no cover letter is just a waste of time. On the other hand if you sent in your impeccable credentials with a cover letter explaining that you don’t have some of the requested experience but have just finished your MBA or MS or returned from sailing around the world in a cast iron bath tub, and are now looking for a career change and a new challenge etc., then you might be considered. Hiring managers see a lot of resumes and these rarely match the job description exactly. Give us a reason to make an exception and keep you in the running. When we encounter candidates that are just plain brilliant, lacking the requested experience doesn’t disqualify them.
  5. Lastly, and this may just be a pet peeve of mine, we are in the business of providing software SDKs and WebAPIs to software developers, and most of our current business revolves around the PDF file format. Datalogics is even partially owned by Adobe Systems, the creator of the PDF file format. If you took the time to research what we do and apply for a job at Datalogics, why did you send me a resume in Microsoft Word format?

I don’t think anyone enjoys sifting through stacks of resumes. I know that I don’t. I enjoy working with competent people and delivering value to our customers. That means I want to hire you and put you to work as soon as possible, helping us to deliver that value. If you follow steps 1-5 above, we can do this.

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2 thoughts on “Resume Not Getting You an Interview? This Might be Why”

  1. Kevin,
    You made a few good points but I have to disagree on a couple:
    1) Typo is not such a big deal. Just like with grammar, it’s a minor issue. A person who cannot write can still be a brilliant engineer.
    5) Your company might be a PDF shop but that doesn’t mean exclusively. Are you sure there isn’t a copy of MS Word in use at the company? Are you sure your recruiting post didn’t require Word format?
    Please let these minor things go. You are not looking for Mr. Perfect here, who doesn’t exist anyway. I think the old saying ‘Judge talent at its best’ applies here.
    Yuhong Guo
    Software Engineer

    1. Thanks for reading my article Yuhong Guo.
      The message I was trying to convey is that sometimes an applicant’s carelessness can take an otherwise strong candidate out of consideration.
      If a Datalogics hiring manager sees only 5 or 10 resumes for a position then they are likely to overlook typos or even a resume that isn’t presented in PDF. Managers want to hire the best candidate and these details won’t exclude strong candidates from consideration if the number of applicants is small. On the other hand some of Datalogics job postings receive hundreds of resumes. When a hiring manager has a hundred plus resumes to review their first pass will be looking for who they can exclude.
      Taking the time to phone screen or meet this many candidates isn’t workable so a hiring manager will take candidates out of the running if their resume appears to have been carelessly written or if they do not appear to have researched the company they are applying with.

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