Hiring Managers Explain Which Mistakes Make Them Want To Throw Away Someone's Resume

Two men at computers taking notes
Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

A resume is so much more than just a simple list of your work experience.

Indeed, your resume is the first step in getting your foot in the door to your dream job, highlighting not only your past experience but your skill set, as well as things about you that will make recruiters want to get to know you more.

On the flip side, sometimes there are things on your resume that will automatically send you to the reject pile.

Of course, this is bound to include common, careless mistakes such as spelling and grammar errors or missing vital information, such as a phone number or email.

However, no two hiring managers will have the same set of red flags they look for on a resume. This can make finding a format that will please everyone something of a fool's errand.

Redditor stereovictrola was curious to hear the things hiring managers find on resumes which will immediately land them in the garbage pile, leading them to ask:
"Hiring managers of Reddit: What makes you immediately throw out a résumé?"

Not In It For The Long Run

"I once received an application from a man in his 60s."

"Solid CV, lots of experience."

"In his cover letter he wrote 'I'm applying because the Job Centre asked me to'."

"Please note that I intend to retire in 6 months time'."

"We had a good laugh, then sent him a very polite rejection letter and wished him a great retirement."-BeerPoweredNonsense

Season 1 Lol GIF by NBCGiphy

Make Sure They Actually Get The Right Document...

"One time I had someone upload how to upload their resume from Dropbox instead of their resume."- rabidwhale

Always Proof Read!

"I'll usually still interview unless there is no relevant experience, but I've seen some atrocious resumes."

"I've seen people use crutch words like 'uh' in writing for a job description."

"I've also seen a sentence 4 lines long with zero punctuation."

"The same resume will have 'attention to detail' as a skill set."

"I've interviewed for one of those resumes, and the applicant said 'I dunno" to about 80% of my questions, and it turned out he didn't even know what job he applied for'."

"It's not that I'm overly picky, but if someone can't spend the 20 minutes or less that it takes to proof read their resume, are they going to put a lot of effort into their job?"

"Maybe, but it's hard to know."- ChristyM4ck

"'Very meticulous and attentive to detials'."- papparmane

Read Book Club GIFGiphy

Make Sure It's Legible

"The only time I have ever had to throw out a resume was because someone possibly had it in a bag with their lunch and the paper was soaking wet and dissolving as I tried to unfold it."

"It was just unacceptable to process."

"The application was left in a drop box so I don’t know if it was a prank or an actual applicant."- 416unknown

Unprofessional Email Address

"Back in 98 I asked a new group of hires at GIECO to write their email addresses on a list that was passed around."

"Remember email was kinda new back then.. "

"One young female employee's email address included 'mybaldc**tchie'."- catjugglinpimp

"An email address like DankMeister420@."- Kibitznik

the messengers aol GIFGiphy

Never Send Someone In Your Place

"It’s been a long time but I used to do hiring for a cinema."

"Staff were often young, for many it was a first job, making popcorn and selling tickets type of gig."

"I would not pursue anything where parents came in with a CV for their teenager or if parents were contacting me on behalf of their teen."

"Big red flag."

"Either their kid didn’t want he job in the first place or they’re incapable of taking initiative and it doesn’t bode well for how they’d be as an employee."- FigJamAndCitrus

"Having your parents submit your resume while you stand silently beside them."- krim2182

It's Pure, Dumb Luck!

"I remember a meme or maybe a tv skit from a while back."

"The hiring manager had a huge pile of resumes on his desk."

"Someone asked how he was going to sift through them all."

"He took 2/3rds of the pile, threw them in the trash, and remarked 'I don't hire unlucky people'."

"Lol."- SpecialSpite7115

Im Out Breaking News GIF by Homes.comGiphy

All About The Formatting

"This doesn’t matter 100% of the time but bad formatting."

"If it’s hard to read I probably won’t read it."- Far-Gain-3081

Depends On The Job

"If it's a professional position, significant spelling errors will make me pass on a resume."

"If it's a warehouse job or something, I'm less concerned."- staffsargent

Don't Treat It Like A Text Message!

"Former hiring manager here."

"I tossed MULTIPLE resumes that used text message abbreviations throughout the resume and cover letter and one that included emojis."

"While you can do pretty much anything from your phone, it doesn’t mean you should."- spectacularuhoh

text texting GIF by Fifth HarmonyGiphy

Choose Your References Wisely

"Not me, but a friend who checks resumes/CVs had a belter."

"Candidate had a conviction and his reference was his friend 'Baz'."- LexiRae24

Make Sure You Have The Relevant Skills

"I know it’s pretty specific but If your looking for a scheduling job make sure you know how to use Excel and clearly state it on your resume."

"It will probably get thrown out otherwise."- LoyalPlanets

As stated before, no two hiring departments will have exactly the same prerequisites and red flags, so no matter how hard you work, your resume is never going to please everyone.

That being said, multiple misspellings and a cheeky e-mail address are a surefire guarantee of not pleasing anyone.

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