How NOT to get Your Resume ‘Kept on File’

I know that many people presume that when HR tells them “thanks, but no, although we’ll keep your resume on file for X period in case something else opens up” that HR is, in fact, lying.

We aren’t.

You see, we know that there have been times we’ve made an offer that was accepted, but the new employee doesn’t show up for work, or takes another offer instead. Even more often, that new employee turns out to be a REALLY BAD HIRE and  invite them not to return again.

So we keep the ones we think may have made the cut, but didn’t quite, because we may actually be hiring again in a short period of time, and it’s easier to go over the candidates we’ve seen before than advertise once again.

However, you are guaranteed to be filed in the round can instead of the cabinet if you chose to argue with our decision not to hire you, or pass you along to the next round in the hiring cycle. I kid you not, I have had people I politely declined write back to me and say I am mistaken, I didn’t read the resume closely enough, or some variation of “what you listed in the advertisement is *exactly* the experience I’ve listed on my resume, so why aren’t you hiring me?” To which I might say one (or more) of the following:

  • You didn’t include the asked for Cover Letter.
  • Your resume doesn’t show me your experience is what I am looking for.
  • Your background in banking/ HR/ real estate/construction/ health care/ etc. does not give you the skills we are looking for, no matter how “easy” it is to be an admin (“anyone can do it!”)
  • Your writing skills, as evidenced by your cover letter or resume organization, indicates that you may have the experience, but you lack the skill set we need.

A polite request for further information will likely get the honest response (see above), a sarcastic “good luck finding your qualified candidate” will get you marked in my database as permanent no. Which may not matter now, but might in the future.

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