10 reasons you didn’t get an interview

I hate HR people. They stand between me and the person who could hire me. They do evil things like scan my resume in 10 seconds and make a sweeping decision not to even interview me for a job I’m absolutely, positively, 100% qualified for. They are useless idiots, and I hope their company fails!

Unless they are me. I’m currently recruiting talent for a start-up that needs to hire 25 people in 5 months. I look at 50+ resumes a day. I scan 90% of them in 10 seconds and make a sweeping decision not to interview them. Here are 10 reasons why:

1. Wrong experience. It doesn’t have to be a perfect match, but if the job is in the Online Media industry and the Summary section of your resume mentions Pharmaceutical Sales, I’ve already stopped reading.

2. Too many short jobs. If you have more than three 1-year gigs, you’re not going to get an interview. I don’t want to bring someone into the company who will need to be replaced in 12 months.

3. No promotions. I want you to be a superstar. If no one else thought you were a superstar, you’re probably not.

4. Career stagnation. It gets tougher the more senior you get, but if you’ve been a Director for the past ten years, I’m concerned that you won’t make the leap to VP.

5. Typos or formatting errors in resume. One? You probably get a pass. Three? Probably not.

6. General weirdness. Creativity = Good. Unabomber = Bad. I’ll look like a fool if I recommend someone for an interview and they show up in a hooded sweatshirt mumbling about big government.

7. Lack of educational credentials. You don’t have to be Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard. But you need a college degree, and it needs to be from somewhere other than Bob’s Online College of Hairstyling. Life is unfair. Boo-hoo.

8. Gaps in employment, or too much time consulting. What were you doing from 2001-2003, 2005-2008, and 2009-present? You just have to tell me, so that I can go, “Oh, okay.” If you haven’t had a staff job since 2002, you’d better have consulted for some companies I’ve heard of.

9. Companies I’ve never heard of and don’t know what they do. Nothing personal, but I don’t know if “BS Enterprises, LLC” is an ad-tech company or a furniture distributor. It’s in Cleveland? Hmm, okay. And that was followed by your stint at “LSD Technologies, Inc.” in White Plains? You appear to live in some parallel universe, and no, I’m not going to Google them.

10. Inability to concisely convey who you are and what you do. Your resume should read like an elevator pitch–a 10-second elevator pitch. If it conveys that you’re a smart, talented, promotable person with experience related to the job I’m screening for, I WILL put you in the YES pile. Really!

Bottom line…I’m going to interview 5 candidates. If, within 10 seconds, I don’t think you’re going to be among the top 5 candidates, I’m not going to interview you.

It’s not a perfect process. It kinda sucks sometimes. Welcome to my world.

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