How to Get Your Resume Thrown in the Trash

Employers often receive hundreds of resumes for each open position, so yours needs to shine. This is the first impression you’ll make on them, and if it doesn’t go well, your application will be immediately tossed to the reject pile.

Anything but a formality, your resume should clearly explain who you are and what you have to offer. This is accomplished both by the words on the page and its overall presentation. Therefore no detail is too small to focus on, because every element will be under scrutiny. Here’s a few tips to help you craft a resume that gets noticed for all the right reasons.

Don’t Proofread It

If you think running spellcheck on your resume is all the proofreading it needs, you are very mistaken. This tool is a fantastic start, but it shouldn’t be used as the only editing mechanism. Review it with a fine-tooth comb several times yourself, then ask at least one other person you trust to do the same. Even one spelling or grammatical error can put you out of the running for the job, so take this step seriously.

Provide Inaccurate Information

Padding your resume with a stretched version of the truth is lying, and it will catch up with you. No one wants to hire a dishonest candidate, so don’t put yourself in that position. Highlight what you have to offer, and if that’s not good enough for the company, it’s their loss.

Submit the Same Version to All Jobs

Customizing your resume for every job you apply to is very time-consuming, but you can’t avoid it. Hiring managers can tell when they’re reading a general resume, and they’re not impressed by it. Tailoring your resume gives you the opportunity to really sell yourself for this specific position, so take advantage of it. If you don’t, your competition definitely will, and they’ll shine brighter.

Choose the Wrong Format

Reverse-chronological is the most common resume format, but it’s not the only one. If your resume contains employment gaps or you’re trying to transition to a new career, a functional or combination format is probably a better fit. These configurations focus more on your transferrable skills and experience, instead of your employment history, which will work to your advantage.

Focus on Duties Instead of Accomplishments

Potential employers want to learn as much as possible about your achievements, but simply listing a few key responsibilities associated with each of your past jobs doesn’t tell as much as you might think. Really drive your expertise home by focusing on quantifiable accomplishments — i.e., those containing a dollar value or percentage. For example, it’s much more telling to say you helped your employer increase their patient roster by 20% last year, than just saying you’ve worked on new patient outreach initiatives.

Knowing how to package yourself as the ideal candidate is challenging, but you don’t have to figure it out on your own. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you find your next behavioral health position, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at

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