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Resume Tip: Is Your Resume Destined for Deletion?

AUTHOR:      Melinda Freels, SPHR
PUBLISHED:  June 6, 2005

Each day, staffing managers and recruiters are greeted with in-boxes full of resumes submitted by a variety of individuals all wanting the same thing ? an opportunity to convince the hiring entity that he or she is the perfect candidate for the job. But first, the staffing manager is faced with the arduous task of separating the qualified from the wannabes and it?s usually accomplished by a process of elimination. After deleting the spam that inevitably creeps through the most sophisticated of company firewalls, all emails with ridiculous return addresses such as or are immediately trashed before being opened. And since a typical recruiter has numerous job orders to fill and a short window of time to make the placement, any inquiries that do not clearly reference a specific job opening are usually discarded as well. Then of course, there are always a few resume files that are sent with nasty little virus attachments; by the time these gems make it through the company server, all that remains is a notice stating that the file was automatically removed.

What remains are those emails that appear to be legitimate business inquiries, so the process of elimination starts over again with highly focused and very rapid resume screening. In fact, most experienced recruiters spend an average of 90 seconds or less screening each resume. Unless yours is easy to read and clearly states your field of work, level of experience, education, and significant accomplishments, in just a minute and a half, your chances are reduced to this: a quick decision on whether to hit ?save? or ?delete.? If your resume survives the initial scan, your reader will always go back for an in-depth review. Now the field has been narrowed down to all qualified candidates who justified a second look. At this point, if your resume lacks the ?wow? factor, the likelihood of getting an interview fizzles quickly. The ?wow? factor is critical because it is what sets you apart from the others. It?s that perfect blend of just enough information without overkill; it is perfectly formatted, and it has enough power to make your reader want to know more. A laundry list of job responsibilities is boring. A resume full of nothing but complicated tech terms says nothing about your work ethic. Poor grammar and misspellings are fatal. Delete, delete, delete!

The wonders of technology have made things much easier for job seekers. It?s fast and it?s economical. With a just few clicks, your email is on its way to your employer of choice! But in our paperless society, resumes that don?t make the first cut always end up in that great big trash can in cyberspace; there is absolutely no law that says unsolicited resumes must be kept on file for future reference. Don?t waste your time and energy submitting a hastily composed and poorly written resume. Remember, before you hit the send key, put yourself in the role of the recipient and ask yourself this question: is your resume destined for deletion?

Learn more about author Melinda Freels at:

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