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Why Is My Resume Getting Rejected?

Googling the words why is my resume getting rejected will get you exactly 11.5 million search results, in less than a second.  Bing will give you just above a million results, as well.  Those are some big numbers, highlighting what’s becoming a growing problem in our society.

People don’t seem to understand why their resume keeps getting a ‘No’, no matter how hard they try, and no matter how good their qualifications are.  I will tell you one of the biggest reasons why this happens – these resumes first get read by a computer software system, and if it finds it invalid, it will trash it, never to be seen by a human being.  

Automation of the job hiring process:

Here’s what happened: Humanity is currently going through what we now know as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0.  Wikipedia describes it as “the current trend of automation and data exchange”.  In other words, we’re using computers to automatically, by themselves, do things we used to do before.  Among the ‘victims’ of Industry 4.0 is the hiring process – there are now computer programs that read resumes, filtering out those that do not meet the criteria placed by the hiring manager.

These programs are called Applicant Tracking Software Systems, or ATS Systems.  They can narrow down thousands of applications to a handful of the best ones, significantly speeding up the hiring process.  

But that still doesn’t explain why your resume got rejected countless times, right?  You were positive you met all the required qualifications, and then some, right?  Right.  Unfortunately, the ATS System reads more than just your qualifications.  It requires the resume to be written in a specific format, and a specific way, otherwise it will trash it.  It’s no longer just about *what* is written in the resume, it’s also about *how* it is written.

How to pass the ATS scan:

There are many things a job seeker must do with his resume if he is to pass the ATS scan.  There are two, perhaps the most important things that need to be considered first: the resume must not have any photos, images, charts, graphs, or anything of the sort.  The ATS does not read images, and if it finds something it cannot read, it will render the application invalid.

Another thing a job seeker should consider is which font to use in a resume.  Certain ATS Systems cannot read certain fonts.  Skeptics will say it doesn’t make a difference, but no matter what you believe, you should not risk getting rejected over such a minor and insignificant thing.  Ditch the Times New Roman, forget about Comic Sans, and just go for either Arial, Calibri, Impact, Tahoma, Courier or Trebuchet.  

You should also make sure your resume does not have any spelling or grammar mistakes.  A hiring manager might even ignore a simple typo, but the ATS System will not.  It scans the document looking for specific keyword and key phrases.  Besides, obviously, needing to have such keywords written (and you will, if you’re eligible for the position you’re applying to), they must be error-free, otherwise your resume is off to the happy hunting grounds.  

Hire a professional to write your resume:

Of course, you can place a little extra effort and create a resume that will not only satisfy your potential new boss, but also the computer software that is bound to read your application first.  You can also hire a professional resume writer in Portland OR to do the task for you.  That way, you can sleep peacefully, knowing that your resume is in the right hands, and that your chances of getting invited to an interview are how much, much higher.  Investing in your future is always a smart choice.

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