Out of the more than 100,000 resumes I have reviewed, only about 10,000 resulted in actual interviews. So 9 out of 10 ended up in the virtual trashcan. Here are the top 5 reasons your resume didn't get the interview:
1. It was never viewed by a human.
Your resume went into a resume database, never to be found again. The reasons for being unfindable are many (wrong format, wrong content, lack of searchable keywords, submitted to the wrong job, etc.). If your resume is not searchable, it's not findable.
2. It didn't survive the initial 2-3 second scan.
Your resume was attached to a specific job and was given a very quick cursory review by a Sourcer or Recruiter. They are looking for key requirements for the job, referred to as BFOQs (bona fide occupational qualifications). This could include a minimum degree level and minimum experience level in a specific area. If you don't have it (or it's not easily discernible in your resume), you will get this quick look and nothing further.
3. It didn't survive the 30-second screen.
Those resumes that make it through the 2-3 second scan still need to get through the 30 second screen. This is where key areas (specifically your Objective, Education and Experience sections) will be scanned and read to further qualify you. Or disqualify you.
4. You didn't survive the hiring manager review.
The Sourcer or Recruiter sent the top 3, 5 or 10 resumes to the hiring manager and your resume didn't compare well with others in the group. The other resumes beat you on content.
5. Your resume sucked.
Yeah, harsh words, but I've seen a lot of sucky resumes. It could be that you actually were the best person for the job, but your resume simply didn't show it. Weird fonts, unreadable formats, unnecessary graphics, irrelevant information…I've seen it all.
Having a subpar resume can keep you from getting the interview. Get the format and the content right. Know what to include and what not to include. Don't let a sucky resume stand between you and getting the job.