How to Get Your Resume Rejected Immediately

trash-can-fullThere are all sorts of blogs, articles, tips and tricks that you can read that tell you what you should do with your resume to get noticed.  I know, I have written and read many of them.

Even with all the wealth of information available, these suggestions are often not headed.

Perhaps a different communication approach is in order.

So today, I will address what to do if you do not want your resume noticed, at least not in a positive way.  These tips are for general resume guidelines.  Of course, there are specific areas that these would not apply.  (A picture, for example, may be perfectly acceptable if you are an actor)

Use bright or “pretty” paper.  Nothing screams immature, under-qualified and possibly a baby-sitter is needed like hot pink paper with purple flowers on it.

Forget the computer – write out your resume with good old pen and paper!  Set that tone immediately that you are completely outdated in the technology driven world and even though resources are available you go against the grain and choose to ignore them.

Do not list your contact information prominently on the top of the first page.  Heck, don’t list it at all.  If they really want you they will hunt you down!

Use a completely unprofessional email address.  Because everyone knows “Sexymomma65”, “BoyzBMine”, “Player”, “HoesBTrippin” or “DownTo…” (you get the idea) automatically equates to professional, career and customer-minded individuals.

Do not tell them the position for which you are applying.  Again, let them work for it!  Of course they have the time to read your entire resume to figure out just where you fit in their organization.

Do not list your qualifications – paint a really broad picture.  Stating that you have a CEO-mindset should tell them everything they need to know in how you are qualified to do this job.  Never mind the fact that your current career path is as a customer service agent, you think like an executive and can “talk” like an executive so of course they will let you run the company!

Copy and paste your job description.  That certainly explains everything you were hired to do.  Forget the fact that it does not tell them how you perform the job, the value you bring or any of your accomplishments.  If it was enough for the job you last applied for, than it should be good enough for them.

Use “I” and “me” in your resume.  Go against the grain again and forget the rule that the resume is about you so it is implied in your sentences.  Make yourself sound like that obnoxious guy at a party who talks about himself in third person – they really love that!

Tell them why you are no longer at an employee.  Why give yourself the opportunity to explain it in person and put a positive spin on it – just give it to them in the beginning to they can have a negative aspect to hold on to.  While you are at it, just go ahead and pick and choose which jobs you want to explain and which you do not.  They will never know that the ones you do not explain are the ones you got fired from – shhhh!

List out every single job you every held, starting in high school (even though you are in your 40s).  When I was 16 and worked at Dairy Queen I learned all I needed to know about customer service, and the fact that I can still do the curly-q with soft serve ice-cream is a bonus!

Have a five page resume.  Now this will really stand out!  Having so much to say why not give them a mini-novella for them to take home, curl up with a beverage and read it all night long at their leisure.

Bombard it with key words, with no connection to value.  If they are looking for a project manager then by golly, you need to put that in every opportunity you can!  Content doesn’t matter as long as you hit the resume scanner programs it like a slot machine – Bing! Bing! Bing! Cherries everywhere!

Be super vague.  When you describe a previous position, do not concentrate on the fact that you learned nothing from it and contributed equally as much.  Heck no, use very vauge, overall statements to sound super smart and leave them wondering just what the heck you did.

Apply for a job that you have not skills for what so ever.  Been a bank teller for 10 years and now want to run the construction company? No problem!  The fact that you don’t know the industry, have no transferable skills like contract negotiations, analyzing a P&L statement, managing people, running equipment, penetrating client rich target markets – no worries.  You can pick it up along the way.

Seem disinterested.  This is the playing hard to get of the corporate world.  In your cover letter, tell them that you are just looking for a job that will pay your bills – that should intrigue them.

Be overanxious.  It is the opposite of the above, this time, try telling them that you can do any job better than anyone else, all you need is a chance and you really, really, really want this job.  They will eat this one up!  Who needs transferable skills and accomplishments?  You have unbridled enthusiasm!

Do not use spell or grammar check.  Who has time for that anyway?  You are a busy person applying to 100 different jobs, you can’t possibly take the time to get it right for each and every one!  Besides, they know what you meant to say so that is good enough.

Put a picture on your resume.  You are right cupcake, those dimples will be the deciding factor.

Maybe, just maybe, I was a little over the top on the comments.  But here is the thing: I have seen every single one of these immediately-in-the-trash tricks before.  Trust me, they work.


Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Brand Strategist & Career Coach

Certified Professional Resume Writer

When a Bad Job Searching Strategy Fails: Getting Rejected By The One You Didn’t Want

Rejection stinks – no matter on what level, for what purpose – it just plain stinks.  What is even worse is to be rejected by someone or something that you didn’t really want in the first place.


That’s when we can turn really nasty or really weepy.


How dare they, the rat-bastards, I didn’t even want the job in the first place and they have the nerve to reject me?  Seriously?  What is wrong with them?!  Oh they will pay, I was the best candidate ever – just who do they think they are?




Even the one I didn’t want rejected me, I’m such a failure; no one will ever want me.  It is hopeless with the crap job that I hated wouldn’t even hire me.  What is the point, why even try – I’ll never land my fairy-tale-happy job let alone a job period.


Sound familiar?


It can really put your job searching in a tailspin.  Rejection brings with it negative emotions and as if there is not enough you are battling with during the job search a rejection from something you really did not want in the first place can sometime just push you over the edge.


I hate to tell you but this is at least partially your fault.  You did this to yourself cupcake.


If you didn’t want the job in the first place then why the heck did you go through the motions?  Are you telling yourself it is part of a strategy to keep busy while you search for the right job or to keep your interviewing and/or networking skills sharp?  Another way to say all these things is to make yourself feel better, to feel wanted, to stroke your ego.  Understandable, but stupid as it leads to no good.


It is like being dumped by a girl you really liked (job loss) and quickly find another girl that is just ok (job you don’t want but are interviewing for).  You really are not into the new girl but either you don’t want to be alone, don’t want to face all those icky things called feelings or just need an ego boost.  No matter how you slice it your intentions are just wrong.


You’re plan can backfire if you try to use the “just ok” girl/job to stoke your ego and she rejects you.  She is able to see from the beginning you are all dark and gloomy and doesn’t even want to go there.  Now you feel even worse because you were never interested in the first place and now you were rejected not only by the one you really wanted but now by someone who normally wouldn’t even cross your radar.


An interviewer can pick up on the ego stroking syndrome pretty quickly.  If you do not want the job then you will broadcast that message through your actions and body language, as well as your written and spoken words.  No one likes to be used – it is right up there with rejection.


Again, you did this to yourself.  It is also called Karma.


I can understand if you were using the experience purely for practice.  If you wanted to brush up on your interviewing skills then I get it; however if that was the goal in the first place then you should have been able to maintain that mindset and bowed out before it went too far.


If your mindset changed you need to ask yourself why.  If you became interested in the job then the “really didn’t want it” doesn’t apply any more.  But if you fake wanted it because you are getting desperate then your priorities are a little out of whack.  It happens, recognize it and realign.


There are better options rather than using people and companies to practice and boost your ego.  Request informational interviews to find out more about a company, position or industry.  This is good practice in interviewing and it gives you valuable information gained in a productive way for you to move forward.


Hire a coach or enlist a friend.  Perform research on interview questions and how to perform well during an interview.  Research companies, positions and industries.  Find out what is going on in the industry, what is important to the position and what a company has performed in the past, how they are doing now and their future plans.


Make actionable plans and take steps to lick your wounds and move forward.  Being courted by a company that you are not interested in may temporarily stroke your ego and make you feel empowered again, but the high will not last.  The rejection can be even worse when your heart was not in it because you quite easily can make it personal.


Job searching is a job in itself and business is business.  It is important to stay true to yourself, your goals and what will make you happy.  Continue to pursue leads in an ethical manner as no one wants to hire someone merely looking to stroke their own ego.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.