What Did I Do Wrong On My Resume?


I was laid off two months ago after working for my former employer for nearly two decades. At first I was giddy with all the job postings I found. I threw together a resume and sent it in response to more than thirty postings but have had no response.

Here’s my resume and a job posting for which I thought I was a perfect fit. Could you tell me what I did wrong?


You sent me a posting from an online job board. Many of these boards use applicant-tracking software (ATS) to review resumes. This software searches resumes for keywords listed in the job posting and tallies them to determine which applicants have the most relevant experience. Your resume fails to include any of the posting’s keywords.

You also “dress up” your resume with text boxes, which makes your resume hard for the software to read. ATS can’t easily scan resumes that include text boxes, unusual fonts or that are submitted in PDF. You can, however, often bypass the software by calling the hiring manager. If you intrigue a real person with your relevant experience, he or she may pick your resume out of the slush pile.

© 2018, Lynne Curry

Lynne Curry writes a weekly column on workplace issues. She is author of “Solutions” and “Beating the Workplace Bully” and founded The Growth Company, an Avitus company and now serves as Regional Director of Training & Business Consulting for The Growth Company, an Avitus Group company.  Send your questions to her at Lcurry@avitusgroup.com, www.thegrowthcompany.com, follow her on twitter @lynnecurry10 or via www.workplacecoachblog.com.



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