Why Your Resume Didn’t Make the Cut

It’s career fair season and you’re likely scrolling through webpages and openings for your next big career move. Maybe you’re seeking your first internship in your area of study, or maybe you’re finishing up this year and looking for full time openings. Either way, you’ve got a resume and cover letter to prepare and submit. Your fingers may be crossed in hopes you’ll get a few interviews.

(Not in school? No worries, these resume tips apply to all our applicants.)

Our HR Manager, Tiffany, knows a few things about reading and sorting through resumes and cover letters. She’s seen tens of thousands of applications in her HR career, and frankly, there are a few that just never get a glance.

What? Not even a glance?!

Turns out, if your lucky your resume gets a six-second glance on average. So it’s not too wild to assume it might not even catch a recruiter’s attention. Corporate job openings attract an average of 250 candidates. Of which, 4-6 will be interviewed and only one will get an offer.

With odds like this, every impression you make to a recruiter matters. Since those impressions are likely six-seconds or less, we’ve prepared a few tips for you to make the cut. We also don’t want to sit through painful interviews or grind our teeth over badly constructed applications.

What We Hate

1. Generic cover letters.

Cover letters that you copy and paste from one application to another are very, very boring to read. We also can’t tell you how many times we see wrong company names addressed because of poor proofing (yikes!). Do us a favor and highlight your skill set that aligns with the needs of our position… not another company’s. Our needs are specific and our workplace is unique – this is your chance to prove that you did your research and you’d really like to work with us. It also gives you the chance to point us to the experience you have that we might overlook if we’re just glancing at your resume.

2. Objective Statements.

Ditch it! Give us a summary instead. What are you good at? What kind of work are you looking to continue doing? Make it easy for us to align your experience with the position you’re applying for.

3. You Sound Bored.

A little enthusiasm goes a long way. Let your voice come through your cover letter and resume. Demonstrate a little excitement for the field you’re in and the work you’re looking to do.

4. Your contact info is invalid or out of date.

Want to get a call-back? Then double check your phone number and email address for accuracy. Nothing could be worse than not getting a job because it went to an old email and we couldn’t contact you.

5. Poor social media presence.

Unless you’re applying for a marketing position, it’s not vital you have a social media presence. But, if you do, it better reflect the “you” you’d want your future employer to see. We regularly review LinkedIn profiles and always appreciate a follower on our social pages if you’re interested in our company.  

6. “To whom it may concern.”

We don’t like generics… can you tell? We don’t hide who’s involved in the hiring process, so don’t call us “to whom it may concern.” Do your homework, remember the names of who you speak with, and treat us like, well, people… not bots! This is part of our culture to know people individually, so it’ll be important for us to recognize this in you from the start.

What We Love Instead

1. Highlighting relevant experience.

If you’ve been in the industry for 35 years, we probably don’t need to know you worked at Food Mart when you were 14 (unless it’s a key part of your career path…). Keep your experience relevant and highlight projects and results that relate to our job description. This may mean you have to revise your resume…but you already know how we feel about generic stuff…

Here’s an example from one of our Shipping and Receiving team members, Jason. He did a great job with aligning his skill set with the needs of the job:

“My experience in shipping and receiving brings value of understanding the process it takes to get product in and out the door in a timely matter. Shipping and receiving is vital to a company’s day-to-day operations, along with its growth. Key Qualifications: Understanding of logistics and continuous improvement for growth; Managing a small team with everyday tasks and resolve issues when they come up; Maintain inventory levels for just in time product fulfillment whenever possible.”


2. Showing us what you’re proud of.

There’s an extra question on our application that allows you to upload something you’re proud of. We’ve seen everything from blue-ribbon dogs, race bibs, certificates, diplomas, car engines… you name it! We really don’t care what it is you’re proud of, but we love that it tells us a little bit more about you and what motivates you.

Brandon, a mechanical assembler, showed us something he’s proud of that also showed us that he has the skills needed for the job in mechanical assembly. A win-win!

3. Personality.

Our Operations Lead, Brady, says, “Give us a sign of life! Any hint of a personality is good to hear, read or see.” Help a brother out, would ya! Show us you’re a real person on the other side of the screen. Make us want to meet you.

Please save us from the fist clenching resume reviews and the long-winded interviews with the wrong candidates. Leave the teeth-pulling to the dentists.

We put this advice out there because if you’re truly a good fit for us at C³, then we want you to stand out from other applicants. Take this advice to heart and let’s start this conversation. Apply now or see our current openings!