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An extraordinary resume is comprised of extraordinary details

Tracy’s Tips: 5 Reasons You Didn’t Get the Interview

This content originally appeared in our newsletter in August 2013. Want first dibs on tips, invitations to free events, and access to job postings? Sign up here.

Don’t make these mistakes with your resume.

I am finishing up one of my larger teacher recruitment contracts and am reflecting on why some candidates in the 600+ applicant pool were never seriously considered for a job. Here are the top five reasons I passed on your resume.

1. Formatting. You didn’t send your resume in PDF format so when I opened it in one of my word processing programs, it looked like one big messy, sloppy document.

I was not kidding when I stated in “Chapter 4: Making Your Resume Pretty” that the rules in that chapter would be the most important in the book!

2. Missing Information. You failed to list the current status of your teacher certification and I had to email you to ask. By the time I received your answer, I had selected someone else.

3. Following instructions. You tried to bypass the application system and wow the principal by emailing her directly… but you emailed the wrong person and your application was lost or delayed… and again, I had already selected someone else.

An extraordinary resume is comprised of extraordinary details

4. Incomplete descriptions. You didn’t include dates on your experience and education and it was too hard to guess how much relevant experience you had.

5. Boring and generic bullets. You failed to list anything specific about your accomplishments at any job on your resume. As I say in the book, specificity is the key to it all!

Lesson: Your resume needs to look good and be complete and unique.

Action: Review your resume and ask what someone who didn’t know you would learn about you from it. Is it differentiated enough that someone would be able to differentiate it from someone with a similar amount of experience?

Confessions of a Teacher Recruiter: How to Create an Extraordinary Resume and Hook Your Dream Job includes more advice on what to talk about on your resume and how to format it. Get your copy today.


I hope you enjoyed this post.

Don’t forget to download my free guide 5 Steps for Constructing Amazing Resume Bullets!


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Tracy Brisson is Founder & CEO of The Opportunities Project, a national talent development agency, and a recognized career coach and recruitment expert. She is the author of Create Your Own Opportunities: Coach Yourself to Career Success (2011) and Confessions of a Teacher Recruiter: How to Create an Extraordinary Resume and Hook Your Dream Job (2013).

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