Of course as usual recruiting should be an objective science, but as that it’s humans and computer systems combined trying to figure out if they want YOU or someone BETTER than YOU to work for them, you might get knocked out of the pool quickly with these simple issues.
1. You saved your resume in a non-standard format (i.e. docx, wordpad, even occasionally pdf’s get tossed). Stick to a basic word format – you have nothing to lose.
2. You have an immature or inappropriate email address. Yes, this includes having your age or the year you were born in your email, not just firstname.lastname@example.org – when you’re TimSmith88@yahoo.com, We know you’re 22ish, and probably don’t really have the 10 years of experience on your resume.
3. Your name. I would personally never discriminate, but I heard this from a coworker who did a large study in her masters program: 2 applications were put in for the same job, one with an ethnic name, one with a ‘white sounding’ name. The applications with the ethnic names were disqualified first.
Now I’m not saying to change your name, but if you have a more American sounding nickname or middle name, it might be worth trying to see if you get a better response. Just correct them at your interview, unless you always want to be known by this “American” name.
4. You applied to every job the company had posted on the website. Some job sites have spam guards that will think you’re a bot spamming them (when in reality you’re a human spamming them – because applying to every job IS spamming) and will delete your application.
Stick to only applying for jobs you’re qualified for and really want. There’s no way you want to be an engineer, custodian, hairdresser and an IT person – so don’t apply for them all.
5. Your cover letter is lousy, looks like it was written by someone else, or could have been written by anyone. It had spelling/grammar mistakes, or perhaps the company or recruiter’s name misspelled; it had clichés like ‘My skills and experience would be an asset to your organization’. If someone can’t take the time to cut and paste in the company name and title of where they’re applying for, then perhaps another ‘organization’ who doesn’t mind laziness will hire you!