Posts filed under ‘Resumes’

How to Screw Up Your Resume So You Won’t Get the Job

resumesOver on the Greyzone blog, the inimitable Tami Palmer, (Colorado’s Job Search Coach, Career Mentor, Author and Donut Girl), has just penned a useful article on How to Screw Up Your Resume So You Won’t Get the Job. Actually, since Tami is a gentle, positive, and encouraging soul, she doesn’t put it that way. Instead, she titled her article You Have 7 Seconds to Turn Your Resume from a ‘No’ into a ‘Yes’. In it, she writes:

Did you know that the average resumé is looked at for seven seconds? Yes, only seven seconds. Based on my own experience as a recruiter, I think that’s actually generous, as the time is often even less

( I agree 100%, Tami!)

Recently, Tami has been supporting one of her clients by reading resumes and sorting them into Yes/No/Maybe folders. This is a worthy task for any recruiter. The chance to skim a bulk volume of bad resumes inspired Tami to write her story.

Tami shares four techniques for How Not to Get a Job – Make sure your resume has:

  • No relevant career experience in the field/role.
  • A career path not aligned with company or role.
  • A cover letter addressed to wrong company.
  • Not shared necessary details.

Tami did a good job of covering the basics. NotJobs readers may remember a few other ideas on how to blow it:

Please see the full text of Tami’s article. She’s offered some good advice.

Noon Update: fixed the broken links!

5 March 2014 at 12:42AM Leave a comment

Man Confidently Hits ‘Send’ On Worst Job Application Company Has Ever Seen

Resumes for DummiesAfter a quick yet confident once-over that unfortunately caught none of the rampant spelling errors, clunky prose, and overly casual language throughout his cover letter and résumé, job hopeful Mark Lopez hit “send” on the worst application California-based marketing firm Precision Intermedia has ever seen, sources confirmed Monday.

No – this isn’t from CTRN, or SHRM, but it could be. In another “ha ha fiction funny but true” article, America’s Finest News Source The Onion delivers a great example of How Not to Get a Job. This is spot on satire that many of my recruiter buddies could have written. Check out the entire insightful but brief piece here:,34716/

In this short masterpiece, the careless actions of applicant Mark Lopez result in a resume that becomes the one that HR says is “going up on the bulletin board.”

It could be that Lopez was practicing the NotJobs blog wisdom shared in last April’s popular infographic:

Or it could be that this applicant comes by these skills naturally. Many people do.

9 January 2014 at 1:00AM Leave a comment

NotJobs: We don’t normally respond….

Submitted for your approval, a letter of rejection sent after a resume review step, purportedly from the Cadbury Chocolate Company:

Dear Mr. X

We regret to inform you that your application for the position of Global Quality Manager has been unsuccessful. We don’t normally respond to unsuccessful applicants but in your case we’ve made an exception in order to return the £5 note you attached to the references section of your application under the line “Elizabeth *wink wink*”


This letter may be apocryphal, but some sites in Great Britain quote the full tweet with the original image. Cadbury is doing the right thing by sending this letter and returning the cash, even though the sender is “outside of the standard distribution.”

5 November 2013 at 12:11AM Leave a comment

Sam Shank: The 5 People You Should Never Hire

All Five Marx Brothers

All five Marx Brothers: Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Zeppo & Gummo.

CEO Sam Shank is hiring for his company, HotelTonight. In the spirit of NotJobs, Sam penned an article for the LinkedIn series How I Hire which he titled, “The 5 People You Should Never Hire.” Regular NotJobs readers (and our lone subscriber) shouldn’t be surprised at his list of the untouchables:

  1. The One Who Hasn’t Used Your Product
  2. The One With the Typo
  3. The One With the Out-of-Date LinkedIn Profile
  4. The One Who’s Inappropriate on Twitter
  5. The One Who Isn’t Motivated to Do Great Things

Shank has a good idea of what he IS looking for, which includes enthusiasm, passion, energy, pragmatism, intelligence, and thoughtfulness. Those are the qualities that will make his enterprise grow.

The entire article (which is highly recommended) is here:

5 October 2013 at 12:29AM Leave a comment

NotJobs: Repetition as the Root of Insanity

A little bit of advice for the applicants who continue to submit the same resume/cover letter/application to the same company time after time after time.


If it didn’t get you an interview last time, what makes you think that it will get you an interview this time?

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.

This type of job search action usually indicates a desperate but lazy job seeker. “Desperate” because they are obviously making an effort to find different employment. “Lazy” because it looks like they can’t be bothered to take even a few minutes to update the information they submit.

Perhaps the good Doctor said it best:

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

The tips and take-aways are, “Always update your personal information, resume and other job search weapons, before submitting to a job opening.”

27 April 2013 at 12:38AM Leave a comment

Infographic: Why resumes are rejected

Courtesy of The Recruiter’s Lounge, some highly confidential information insight into the resume review process:


7 April 2013 at 12:59AM 4 comments

6 Reasons Why You Didn’t Get The Job

Marc Cenedella, founder of TheLadders, has an article in BusinessInsider where he pretends to interview a manager about her reasons for NOT hiring candidates. Cenedella must get a volume of feedback from his clients, and he passes on some of the tips he’s learned. In this article, Cenedella focuses on the items that candidates can control: application, resume, and interview.

Cenedella frames his article as a discussion between a hiring manager and a reporter:

Reasons from the boss:

  1. I never saw your resume.
  2. I didn’t understand why you were applying for my job.
  3. It is not crystal clear to me as to why you want to fill the role
  4. Your resume didn’t grab me.
  5. The interview was a nice chat.
  6. You never said you wanted this job.

What “Betty Boss” says about point #2 is classic:

It’s rather easy in the internet era to hit “apply” and submit your credentials, but far too often, I have no idea why you think you’d be a good fit. If the job lists “CPA a must” and you don’t have a CPA, or the job description makes it clear that it’s a sales manager role, and you’ve only been an individual contributor, why are you wasting my time and yours?

This is the “Overly Optimistic Candidate Effect”, where hope and technology combine to miss reality.

Cenedella includes a bonus point:

  • I heard back from somebody else first.

But then we got to the part where we were interested in discussing an offer and you slowed to a snail’s pace in your responsiveness, while another candidate didn’t.

He networked his way in, had two of my colleagues call me, and followed up with a gracious, but deadly effective, thank-you note. He also returned my HR person’s calls the same day so we were able to move much more quickly with him.

I heard from you that you had a couple other interesting opportunities that you were certain were going to come through, and that’s why you slowed things down here. It’s entirely understandable.

But you have to understand that I have a business to run, and the gentleman who seemed more enthusiastic and did more legwork while you were hoping to land your dream job is the gentleman who is now employed here.

See the full article here:

14 November 2012 at 1:46AM Leave a comment

Older Posts

My Core Ideas

1. "I can't tell you the best way to get a job - because there is no one best way. After 21 years of recruiting, I CAN share things I've seen candidates do to guarantee they DIDN'T get the job."

2. "Most companies don't realize how their recruiting process impacts their candidate pool, and their business. Attention to simple things will result in big improvements."

About the Author

Troy Bettinger, SPHR is a Denver Recruiter, Public Speaker, HR Metrics Analyst and Human Resources Leader who has been recruiting in corporate and municipal environments since 1991.

He specializes in the complete hiring process: defining, sourcing, recruiting, testing, interviewing, offering and orienting new hires. He's also well versed in strategic human resources, college recruiting, diversity recruiting, AAP, EEO, ATS integration, recruiting metrics, social media, recruiting leadership, training and employment branding.


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