Screaming at Laptop“You have an open position and I’ve applied, why won’t you hire me”? I’m sure most recruiters have had this conversation before. The possible answers are endless. Let’s start with one: your resume.

My first recommendation to a candidate in the day and age of online job applications is; you MUST submit a resume. Some employers allow people to apply or submit interest in a position without formally filling out an application. Or, they require an application and give an option of submitting a resume. The resume allows for more expansion on your experience. Even if you’ve had one job and it’s been behind a fast food counter, a resume can be invaluable.

If you work at McBurgerintheBox and only fill out an application with dates, I’m likely to pass you over quickly when the market is saturated with people just like you. If you submit a resume, you can include customer service, cash handling, training new employees, and process development in your description of your duties. What should your resume look like? I’ve tackled that topic before in a previous post.

Been laid off/downsized/company out of business? Why not put that right on your resume? Please don’t assume that the recruiter or hiring manager knows what’s been happening with your specific organization. You can add “reason for leaving” to your resume professionally.

In my research, I’ve found that most articles on the topic tell you to avoid putting reason for leaving directly on a resume. They offer the option of including it in your cover letter. That’s certainly a viable option, IF the recruiter or hiring manager takes the time to read your cover letter. But how do you get to the interview if there are gaps in your employment that are unexplained? Think about how it affects the appearance of your resume and make a well informed decision for yourself. What’s right for you, is not always right for me. Of course, if you left your position because you were terminated for theft, then this isn’t really sound advice for you.

Originally posted on Recruitalicious

Views: 355

Comment by Cathy McCullough on May 11, 2010 at 11:49am
Great tips!
Comment by Doreen Koronios on May 11, 2010 at 12:20pm
Hi Amanda, Your article is spot on. It's really hard in this environment to get noticed in a sea of applications. One thing that applicants need to be reminded of is to NOT fudge anything on their resumes. Some people feel that if they attended college for a few years, it's okay to put down that they have a degree. Others feel that even though they only worked at a specific job for six months that it is okay to say they worked there for two years. Most companies conduct thorough background checks these days. I know this because I work for a pre employment screening company. Even though "embellishing" your resume might seem like a good idea in desparate times, you most likely will get caught. That will not only be terribly embarrassing, but will definitely disqualify you from getting the job. It's best to be truthful and accentuate your unique qualities and experience that will be beneficial to the company you are applying to. (See my blog on this subject at
Comment by Amanda Liimatainen on May 11, 2010 at 12:50pm
Doreen - I couldn't agree more. Falsifying information on your resume, while not a legal document, can certainly start the demise of your career. Unfortunately, in my time I've had to rescind offers and terminate people in this exact situation. Most of the time, if they'd been truthful, they would've had the job anyway.
Comment by Gina Cleo Bloome on May 11, 2010 at 4:27pm
As a recruiter with 30 years of experience ( I started in high school, no kidding!) and now a job seeker, I have found that everyone has an opinion as to what your resume should or should not include and the importance of cover letters v the fact that no one is really going to read it.

Getting a job is a crap shoot - like dating. And if anyone really had a proven solution to guaranteeing that your resume gets reviewed, you get a phone call and an invitation for an in person interview, they would be on Larry King and Oprah by the end of the week.

The reality is that recruiters get more than one resume, they may or may not know what the hell they are looking for in the first place and even then, the manager may take a month to review the resumes and make a decision as to whom they want to know more about.

And because recruiters are people, they make subjective decisions about what is in your resume. For example, I have had a number of employers in the last 10 years. Not by choice...I have only left two on my own, the others went Ch 11, were sold, restructured or had some other reason for cutting staff and Recruiting is always the first out the door. I could put the reasons next to each employer on my resume but that might look more defensive...Given that most of the employment articles are now about how we are project workers hired for skill sets needed for limited times, I guess if the recruiter can't look at what I have done when I WAS employed rather than WHERE and WHEN I did it, the company has not kept hiring practices up with current thinking and I probably am dodging a bullet by not going to work there.

The same goes for the current trend that resumes need to list Measurable Accomplishments. But we all know that Recruiting Metrics are fuzzy at best and none of the companies I worked for traced metrics before I got there (or even costs in many cases) so one couldn't even have a starting point from which to say "I reduced costs from X to Y in one year". I could invent a bunch of numbers but what would the point of that be? Just to get my resume noticed? What if the company reading the resume didn't track metrics either...

Again, it is a crap shoot...and I wish us all luck as we spin the wheel.

Do I sound snide? Not intended but
Comment by Amanda Liimatainen on May 11, 2010 at 5:39pm

I don't think you sound snide, were you trying to? I agree that it's a crap shoot. There's not a formula for success with resumes, cover letters or applications. We're all human and most of us work within a very narrow spectrum of the world. You should do what's right for you.
Comment by Gina Cleo Bloome on May 12, 2010 at 4:58pm
Thanks Amanda, no I most assuredly was NOT trying to sound snide but sometimes, honest commentary is not well received. I agree, got to do what feels right. Had a conversation with a headhunter today who said, anyone who puts that much numbercrunching detail in their resume is probably too analytical and not creative and would not be a fit for our clients. So there you are...spin the wheel, you get an opinion.

Got to laugh.


You need to be a member of RecruitingBlogs to add comments!

Join RecruitingBlogs


All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below


RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2023   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service