Why Your Resume Sucked A**

GoingToBeAnMD's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,664

It's no secret that I am a VP at a BB in a BO role. I post sparingly on WSO now simply because I love the role I'm in, love the BB and it keeps me quite busy.

For some background, you can see the post I've made on . . .

This time I'm going to focus on OCR as it stands in the Fall of 2019 and some of the problems that I've seen. I have no doubt that some of your resumes have come across my desk and here's why you're not getting those calls back.

1) How I get your resume into our company database

Getting your resume from an OCR, like a career fair, and into a company database can be a tricky thing. It can get lost, wrinkled, not submitted by the rep on time. Most of the time, I just take a picture of the resume and send it in via my phone. Do reps take the highest quality pic every single time of every single resume? Maybe/maybe not, its a crapshoot sometimes depending on lighting

2) From HR to a committee

Your resume made it safely to HR. So now it goes out to a committee of people. This will vary by group, but I can tell you that at my BB we have about 15 people on that committee and we can get anywhere from 15 - 40 resumes at a time for selection and ranking. Maybe those people looked at your resume in a rush, maybe those people looked at your resume on a small screen like a phone, maybe someone intended to give you a higher ranking than they actually did because the grid was so small and it had too many names on it.

3) When resume order matches the ranking grid

When I get the resumes, they're usually in a large PDF. Sometimes the order of the resumes matches the ranking grid. Sometimes it doesn't - let me tell you, it's A LOT easier when it does, otherwise I'm unlikely to sit there and hunt down everyone's name. The worst case scenario - and this does happen - is that I have a resume in my PDF but that name doesn't appear anywhere on the grid. Sorry, kid, can't rank you, HR left you off the grid.

4) HR might give us a faulty PDF

So now I have to scroll through all the resumes and every once in a while the resumes are in a funny order or have pages out of sequence. Last year I saw a resume that had a "second page" that looked like it belonged there because it had the same font, but the sequence and text made no sense; HR gave us a faulty PDF. So that's two people affected because someone's second page was lost and another person's resume had a phantom second page associated with it. "This kid's resume makes no sense to me, I'm ranking them low"

5) Our black-hole of a formula

Now I and my colleagues take our rankings and put them in to a black-hole of a formula and it's out of my hands. Were the rankings tabulated correctly? Did all committee members reply with rankings? Hard to say.

Wait! I know what you're thinking: "But Mr. GoingToBeAnMD, none of those items are my fault, I have no control over those!"

Sometimes there will be things completely out of your control

And that's exactly right. And that's exactly the whole point of this post. I know that this time of year can create a lot of anxiety and work on your part to land that ideal role. I see all of you at career fairs and interviews and you're all doing your best to put the best version of you out there and I commend you for all of that. But you're just going to have to accept that sometimes there will be things completely out of your control that affect your recruiting experience.

Please don't beat yourselves up over a botched call or interview or a missed OCR. There's a ton of reasons why a position didn't work out for you. Everything happens for a reason and the powers above will put you right where you should be.

I wish everyone a good recruiting season and I hope to meet some of you out there!

Comments (9)

Oct 17, 2019

quality post, thanks!

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

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  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Oct 18, 2019

Thanks OP, appreciate your kind intentions to alleviate anxiety for those going through recruitment, and agreed that it is a practical approach to move on / not get hung up on particular processes.

Having said that though, I frankly find errors / negligence in HR processes are taken too lightly. Things you mentioned like losing resumes, faulty PDFs, taking unreadable photos are so basic, that it just shouldn't happen - in one incidence during my recruitment days, I went to the bank's office and took a modeling test where case study materials given to me were missing an appendix. Imagine my surprise when I realised that after submission and was discussing the model with other schoolmates.

HR is still a professional job, and warrants professional standards. If we start accepting this behavior as the norm and extend it to other professions, everything would go to the crapper - imagine doctors go 'relax patients, its not your fault, our facility might not use the right medicine, might not interpret X-rays correctly, might slip up in surgery, but just move on'

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Oct 18, 2019

Obviously I agree with you and these errors are unfortunate. But the spirit of the post remains that sometimes you just have to let go of the anxiety - there are so many things out of your control that are going to affect your recruiting experience. And that's going to be true now and later in life when you change positions. I'm not a fan of some WSO posts where people beat themselves up over OCR, it's just something you can't control and don't want anyone getting discouraged.

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Oct 18, 2019

If you were a great candidate, none of these items would impact you.
I.e., if you had a bunch of people pulling for you, HR losing your resume wouldn't have any impact and someone would ask about you.

If you're mediocre or too lazy to go directly to the business, that's on you. These items are taken lightly because anything coming from a company database is an afterthought.


  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Oct 18, 2019

Using this line of argument, incompetent doctors should be absolutely fine too, no?

If you were a great patient, you either wouldn't even have health problems in the first place, or would have a good second doctor pulling for you / checking up on you to spot screw ups from the first doctor. If you don't get a second doctor, that's on you for being lazy.

Oct 18, 2019

If you think a mediocre person who probably won't get a second round regardless falling through the cracks is anything like a doctor screwing up, I'm not really sure what to tell you.


  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Oct 18, 2019

Obviously, if there was a good process in place, a mediocre candidate's CV should still reach a stage of review, and be rejected then instead of be lost due to HR processes. I would have thought this was common sense.

But I'm curious, how did you manage to come up with this non-existent issue from my comments about mediocre candidates slipping through cracks? In which part of my comments, has the argument or point about a candidate's competitiveness / mediocrity get brought up?

Do not manipulate this discussion towards a different context, i.e. unqualified candidates, so that it suits your tangential "argument".

  • Associate 2 in CorpDev
Oct 18, 2019

Good post - this shows how messed up HR really is, and on so many different levels.
Going through this narrative / example, essentially the takeaway is:

  1. HR is extremely incompetent, and make huge variety of very basic screw ups
  2. They don't even feel remorse for their incompetence, and think it's the way things are
  3. When they see victims of their screw ups feeling down, they think that it is the candidate's problem and should just move on. Even having the audacity to take the moral high ground and "advise" candidates to move on and ignore their HR mess ups - which is the real problem in the first place

TL, DR: let's not romanticize HR screw ups. Also, this post should be titled "why HR sucks a** "

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Oct 18, 2019