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Resume Epic Fails: 5 Reasons Employers Are Ignoring Your Resume

Frustrated jobseeker with her head in hands after sending out her resume and cover letter but not getting hired for the job


When you’re looking for a job, it can take time and effort before you get results. You could be doing everything by the book, and still not get any feedback. This adds extra pressure to an already stressful situation. 

Putting all the time and effort into sending your resume to recruiters and receiving no feedback can be disheartening. You need to work out what you’re doing wrong, and ask yourself these questions: 

  • Is your social media presence putting them off?
  • Is your experience lacking?
  • Is your cover letter underwhelming?
  • Is your resume a poor reflection of your skills?

It could be any of these factors, but a good place to start is with your cover letter and resume.

Consider the Process

When compiling your resume and cover letter you need to be mindful of the process they’ll go through. In most cases, they’ll need to pass through an application system that searches for job-related keywords. If the software doesn’t find any matches in your submission, it will be discarded. 

If you make it through this initial stage, your submission will be sent on to the recruiter or HR manager, who will once again skim through it to make sure the relevant information is there. From this stage, it will either go to your potential boss, or be binned. 

The desired result is to have your resume reach the people at the top of the hiring chain, and then be called in for an interview.

Having said this, there’s no easy answer or quick fix to get your resume to stand out from the crowd. If there was, everyone would be doing it, and it would eventually become redundant.

Respect the Resume: 5 Fails (Did We Mention They Were Epic?)

You’ll need to put in the extra effort and do the research if you want to make a fantastic first impression. To do this, you’ll need to know why your resume isn’t attracting the right attention, and why it’s not making its way from the bottom of the pile to the top. Here’s how to do that!

  • You’re Using Resume Templates – And Bad Ones At That

Typing Resume Template into your web browser, picking the first option that pops up, and copying it verbatim is not a great idea. 

Recruiters and HR managers will pick up on this, and deem your application unprofessional. You don’t want your resume to look like everyone else’s or be completely generic.

Take the time to customize your resume and put your own creative spin on it. It may be more time consuming, but it will get the attention of prospective employers when done correctly.

  • Your Skills Don’t Align

Always read the job description and make sure that the skills they’re looking for are listed in your cover letter and resume.

Employers are looking for someone to fill a gap in their organization, and will be searching for a specific skill set to fill the role.

These skills are often used as keywords by online job platforms and recruiters to ensure the right people make it through to the interview process. The way you present your skills should be updated with every application you submit. This way, you’ll ensure that your resume reaches the right person.

  • Too Much Useless Information

Is the information in your resume relevant to the position you’re applying for, and is it easy to read?

If not, you’ll need to cut down on the fluff and make sure you include everything necessary without excessive information. If more information is needed, the recruiter or HR manager will contact you and ask for it. 

The easiest way to gauge whether or not information is necessary is by comparing your resume with the job description provided. Don’t try to overcompensate or include additional skills and useless information, it will make your resume less appealing.

  • It’s Boring

While a resume is a professional document, that doesn’t mean it needs to be boring.

You need to be able to communicate your uniqueness and compatibility for the role in a way that pushes you ahead of other applicants. You need a hook, something that intrigues the recruiter or HR manager to find out more. 

Find ways to showcase who you are in a creative, inventive way that’s easy to follow. And more importantly, easy to remember.

Don’t forget to refer back to the job description and company values when compiling your resume and cover letter. Customize these documents per application to make them stand out. What you put in it is what you’ll get out.

  • Your Timing is Off

Although the digital world is always on, recruiters don’t necessarily follow the same routine.

Research has found that applications submitted between 6:00 and 10:00 are more likely to get an interview than applications sent after the time. It’s also important to note that you’re not the only person applying. The odds are good that hundreds of applications are pouring in for the same position. 

While earlier applications are more likely to be looked at, it’s also the luck of the draw. 

Will your resume get lost in the crowd, or will it be one of the lucky few that gets recognition? The way you present yourself will make all the difference. 

Effort is Everything

You’re applying for a job that will change your life, and the company hiring is looking for someone that will do the same. 

You need to make sure that your needs align with one another, and that you’ll both reap the benefits of this partnership. This needs to be properly communicated in your resume and cover letter.

Canned responses, generic cover letters, and copy paste emails are easily noticeable and off-putting – avoid them at all costs. If you’re not sure that your resume or cover letter is going to elicit the desired response, you can always consult with an expert resume writer. With a professional in your corner, you can be sure you’re going to create the best possible impression, and that your hirable qualities will be highlighted correctly.


Follow these tips, take the time to do the research, and customize your application. You’ll soon see a remarkable difference in your response rate.

Lee Anna Carrillo
Lee Anna Carrillo
Lee Anna Carrillo is a community manager at Resumoo. A resume writing service, and career resource database. Resumoo is owned by Ranq Digital LLC, a marketing and media company located in Charlotte, NC

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