5 Mistakes Can Send Your Résumé To Spam Folder

More and more recruiters are using applicant tracking systems (ATS) with technological advancement. ATS helps companies filter out the candidates who do not seem eligible for the vacant positions. So, how to help your resume make it past that digital screening? Here are 5 mistakes you must avoid:

Sending the resume in PDF format

Believe it or not, the ATS normally does not see PDF resumes. So, if you’ve created a catchy resume and sent it as a PDF document, it will probably go in the spam. So, whenever you send your CV for a position, make sure it’s not in PDF. Also, many screening tools cannot convert Apple Pages, Open Office, and HTML. They will discard all those resumes received in such formats. Therefore, it is better to be safe. Always send your CVs in a word document. You can use different styles and templates within the word format. But remember to keep it easy to read. Recruiters are not interested in the template styles and colors. They are interested in knowing your professional capabilities and personal growth. So make sure you focus on that. More importantly, save your CV simply in .doc or .docx format. 

Not using the exact keywords

When recruiters use ATS, the software search for specific keywords; these keywords are the ones that are used in the job post. So, if you haven’t used those keywords and used alternatives instead, it’s time for some editing. If you don’t, you won’t make it through the screening process. Adjust the terms in your CV to match the wordings of the employer. If their requirements use the word “business development,” use it in your CV. Align your expertise to what is written in the job description. For instance, if the post states that you must be proficient in Excel, Word, and Powerpoint, use these terms. Don’t write that you’re proficient in MS Office. If you do, your resume may be discarded by the ATS. So, make sure you’re using the proper wording to avoid landing in the spam folder.

But, also make sure that you’re not stuffing the document with keywords. Placing them appropriately is essential. Don’t use keywords that seem irrelevant, and it will only make things worse. Remember, you have to make it past the ATS to reach a real person. 

If you’re not sure how to use the keywords correctly, you can use the best resume rewrite service. The service will help you create the proper resume to entice the recruiter. 


Going too fancy with the design

Are you tempted to use unique fonts and graphics to stand out from the rest? Think again. According to some experts, doing so could land your CV in the spam folder. It is better to stick to the basics unless you’re in a creative industry. A professional resume must be in black and white. And, it should be in Times New Roman or Arial font. Adding colors and complicated fonts won’t do you any favor. 

Screening software primarily selects resumes with:

  • A clear hierarchy of information;
  • Uncomplicated designs;
  • Simple fonts;
  • Consistent formatting.

Using a unique layout and font will make it difficult for the screening tool to read your resume correctly. So, make sure you follow the conventional templates and focus on highlighting your skills better. 

Also, there is no need to add images and charts. The ATS cannot process information in an image format, and data in the image will be lost on the system. So, instead of using charts and pictures, use bullets, shading, and bolding to highlight key details. Doing so will help you draw the recruiter’s attention to your USP. 

You may also opt to pay for resume if all of this seems too confusing for you. A good writing service will ensure you send the resume that appeals to the recruiter. 


Sending empty emails  

When sending an embedded Google doc or an image, ensure you write something in the body. If your email is without any accompanying text, it will most likely go into the spam or get blocked. So, make sure either your document is in word format or text in the body. Also, do not attach images with embedded text. Email filters, like Barracuda, block several emails with embedded pictures with text.  

On the other hand, also make sure you don’t start your email with:

  • Hi;
  • Hello;
  • Hi there.

Go through your spam folder, and note the techniques spammers use to get your attention. And, make sure you avoid those things. 

You can also take professional help from cheap CV services to create a resume that makes it past the digital screening.

Including too many links or spam phrases

Want to direct the recipient to your website or portfolio? Make sure you don’t use the term “click here.” This term is linked with spam phrases. Also, avoid using excessive links. For instance:

  • Do not use a WordPress domain. It is one of the most common domains used in spam emails. But, using your own domain is fine;
  • If you want to add YouTube links, do not add more than two. Instead, create a portfolio website and direct the recipient there;
  • You do not need to include all your social media links.

All in all, landing at your dream job is not a piece of cake. You may be suitable for the position, but your resume must also reflect that. And to make your resume reach the recruiter, make sure you avoid the mistakes mentioned above. 

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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