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  • Writer's pictureExpert Resume Pros

79% of Recruiters Throw Out Resumes for These Reasons

If you feel like it’s harder than ever to get a job or even an interview, you’re not alone. Countless people are struggling in their search for employment, with many turning to top rated resume drafting services in Denver and other cities for help. Your resume is, after all, your most valuable tool to make a good first impression and convince recruiters to give you a chance.

Unfortunately, so many resumes fall short in the eyes of recruiting professionals. In fact, close to 80% of recruiters will immediately reject resumes because of certain key flaws or failings. By knowing those flaws – and how to avoid them – you can massively increase your odds of crafting a successful resume. So, let’s take a look at the biggest no-no’s for hiring managers.

a trash can with resumes thrown in it with the words "Things that will get your resume thrown in the trash"

The 4 Biggest Deal-Breakers for Recruiters

There are dozens of different reasons a resume might get rejected. But some are much more common and significant than others. If you make one or more of the mistakes below, you may struggle to ever get an interview or call back. Fortunately, we’ve also included some handy solutions for all of these issues to help you fix them in no time.

1. Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

This is the big one. The No. 1 reason that almost every recruiter agrees should result in an almost instant resume rejection is bad spelling and grammar. In fact, studies of hiring practices all over the world have found that resumes with spelling mistakes are the least likely to be accepted. So this is very much a global issue that applies regardless of language or culture.

Some blame technology for the rise in bad spelling. Others call it a failure of the education system. Either way, badly spelled words and poor grammar have no place on a resume. They make you look unprofessional and produce a weak first impression. Indeed, many recruiters can easily assume that if you make mistakes on your resume, you’ll also make mistakes in your work.


Fortunately, there are several quick fixes for spelling and grammar issues on your resume. The easiest option is to run your resume through a checking tool that can spot mistakes and highlight or fix them automatically. Alternatively, read through it slowly on your own to spot mistakes, or ask a friend or colleague to look through and edit it for you.

a resume that is crumbled up and ready for the trash

2. Lack of Contact Information

If a recruiter likes what they see on your resume, they’ll naturally want to get in touch and call you in for an interview. But, if you fail to provide clear contact information, they won’t be able to do that. Of course, they could go back and dig through their email inbox to figure out your email address that way.

But that demands time and effort, and many recruiters are busy people without time to waste.

So, lots of them will also instantly reject resumes that fail to provide clear contact info. That means a phone number, email address, or both. Even if the rest of your resume is flawless, you still might miss out on a job opportunity due to this simple oversight.


Quite simply, make sure to always include your contact details on your resume. It’s usually best to put them right at the top, beside your name. Include a couple of different ways for recruiters to get in touch, and make sure your details are up-to-date. The last thing you want is to miss an interview opportunity because you forgot to provide your new email address or number.

words "Top 10 Resume Tips For Writing A Simple Resume"

3. Keyword Stuffing

If you’re looking for a job nowadays, you probably know all about applicant tracking software or ATS. It’s a relatively new innovation, used to scan resumes and save recruiter’s time. ATS programs can look through a resume for certain keywords, automatically sorting resumes based on their content and rejecting those without the right words.

Unfortunately, this has led to a rise in “keyword stuffing.” That’s when people try to beat ATS by putting lots of popular keywords in their resume text. While this might help you get past the initial ATS scan, it won’t work so well on human recruiters. It can make the resume difficult to read and lacking in valuable, specific information about your experience and skills.


Obviously, you do need to keep keywords in mind to help you avoid ATS rejections. However, don’t overdo it. Try to incorporate your keywords naturally, fleshing out the text with more personal information about what makes you a great fit for the job.

4. Outdated and Irrelevant Information

Recruiters want to see up-to-date and relevant info on every resume they read. So, it’s not wise to fill up your resume with details of a job you had 15 years ago. Similarly, you might put a hiring manager off if you spend too much time and space on the page talking about skills that aren’t really relevant.

Remember, dozens or even hundreds of other people might have applied for the same job. You must compete with them and prove that you’re a better person to hire. That’s why it’s so important to make the most of the space you’ve got to focus on your most relevant experiences and major selling points.


Again, the solution to this one simply involves going through your resume carefully before you send it. Remove jobs from over 10-15 years ago and get rid of things that aren’t relevant. Look through the description of the role for which you’re applying. Focus on the required skills and qualifications and tailor your resume accordingly to show why you’re the best fit.

Don’t Make These Mistakes with Your Resume

Poor spelling. No contacts. Keyword stuffing. Outdated information. These four common resume mistakes can completely scupper your chances of getting employed. So, don’t make them. Check your resume thoroughly every time you submit it, ensuring that it’s as tidy, relevant, and well-written as it can be.

If you keep getting rejected and can’t tell why, an expert opinion might help. Consider contacting a service that writes resumes at the executive level to get professional advice and improvements for your resume.

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