3 Reasons Why Your Résumé is Being Passed Over

Resumes crumpled up and tossed in frustration.

Resumes crumpled up and tossed in frustration.Lea WolfingerBy Lea Wolfinger, Senior Director, Ashton Tweed

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When applying for jobs, especially via job boards, you often send your résumé and cover letter into the void of the internet… and eagerly await a response. Sometimes you get one, but sometimes you hear nothing back at all. Either way, you might wonder why your résumé is being passed over, or why it is failing to catch the attention of hiring managers – especially if you know your experience qualifies you for these jobs. Here are three major reasons why résumés get passed over:



This probably needs no further elaboration, but typos are the number one turnoff for hiring managers. Résumés are the first impression you give employers, and therefore they require careful attention to detail. If your résumé has typos, employers believe you do not have time to pay attention to these details, and therefore, they do not have time to pay attention to your résumé. So don’t just rely on spell checking programs, but proofread the document yourself and have another person read over it as well.



Résumés can be long and dense, especially for individuals who have been in the workforce for many years. Writing a professional summary gives hiring managers a nice overview of your career and skillset before delving into the details of your experience. No summary creates extra work for the reader, who now has to read through the entire résumé to decipher if you are even qualified for the job. Therefore, this can cause your résumé to be put at the bottom of the pile, while other résumés are reviewed first. The readers are only human after all!



Your résumé is about you and the actions you have performed at each job, but tirelessly listing responsibilities and tasks is boring. Employers want to know what you did, what impact you had, what changes you made. Use strong verbs (action words) to describe what you accomplished while working at each company. Also use numbers and statistics to show how your actions affected your company’s performance. Vague overviews of responsibilities will leave readers unmoved… or snoring.


At Ashton Tweed, we read hundreds of résumés in order to find the right candidates for our clients. Therefore, we are familiar with common résumé errors that have clients shaking their heads. Don’t fall victim to these mistakes! They are simple to make… but just as simple to correct.


Looking for a new career opportunity? Submit your résumé to the Life Sciences Talent Bank today.

Share your insights! Contact jamesrudman@ashtontweed.com to contribute your life sciences article as a guest writer.


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