Career Explorations

Every Hiring Managers Pet Peeve

“Excuse me sir, may I ask you a question?”

“Sure go ahead, what’s your question?”

“Instead of typing out my work history is it okay if I type in “See Resume” on the application and attach my resume?”

This was the question a potential applicant asked me a few weeks ago. I am assuming she did not know that I was the hiring manager being that I was at the receptionist desk covering while the rest of the staff was out of the office. So, I politely responded with a quick “no ma’am, you need to fill out the application entirely.” She accepted my answer although she seemed disappointed as she went back to the computer to fill out her application. I started to think in my mind, does she understand why “See Resume” is not acceptable? Does she understand how this one statement “See Resume” could scratch her out of the opportunity of her dreams? Does she understand that “See Resume” is a pet peeve of most hiring managers?

It was at that moment I was reminded of my first job search out of college. At this point in my life I really didn’t understand the danger of “See Resume”. When I initially completed job applications online I would fill out everything including the work history section. Then I would type in a text resume and attach my MS word formatted resume. I was very adamant about filling out everything until my job search started to become severely dry and lasting longer than expected. In the middle of my drought, I recognized a common and tedious theme with all of these online applications. They wanted me to fill out the work history section, enter a text resume and then attach a resume with all the same information. What the heck was all this about? Why would any company need all this information three times on the same application?!! It didn’t make sense and seemed like I was always repeating myself. It was frustrating because I would spend hours on the computer for that reason alone! So, in my mind I remember thinking “Enough is enough… I am…not about to enter in my entire resume information if I have to attach my resume anyways!” So from that time on I would type “See Resume” in the past employers section and gracefully attach my resume believing that this would save the company some space and myself some time all at once. The truth is my job search lasted nearly a year and at the end of it all, I wasn’t hired by any of my online submissions. Even though I didn’t know any better, I thought this was going to be a short cut that took me to the top. But what I didn’t realize was that this short cut would quickly take me to the bottom.

It’s only after working the last five years as a recruiter that I have realized the importance of filling out everything on an application and the danger of the words “See Resume”. It may seem useless but there are significant reasons why you need to fill out applications in their entirety. Here are 3 major reasons:

  1. “See Resume” may save you time but it only gives off the stench of sluggishness and apathy. Please keep in mind one of my goals on this blog is to reveal the truth and sometimes the truth will hurt, but it will always set you free! Whenever the hiring manager notices the word “See Resume” it says either one of two things them about that person. One, they were too lazy to fill out the entire application. Two, they filled out so many applications hoping to get a bite, but they never had a true desire for the position.  
  2. The primary use of online applications is to gather information, not advertise jobs. I know… I know you have always thought you were filling out applications for one job and one job only (and most of the time that’s true). But companies value online applications mainly because of the information that is stored in the database which is used for future recruiting. This database is not just a bunch of frivolous information to a company, it’s what we call human capital $$$. Job applicant information that is inputted into a company database today will save the company on recruiting $$$ tomorrow. If hundreds of applicants applied for one job, then it’s truly a success for any company because they can potentially utilize those excess applicants for future recruiting.

Jeffery Grant is a leading career expert, speaker, author and Founder of Maximum Potential, a career training & development company created to equip, train, and empower individuals to maximize their full potential. In his years of experience, Jeffery has had the privilege of managing over 1000 employees, interviewing over 1000 candidates, and building relationships with hundreds of clients each year. He has worked in the private and public sector as a Senior Human Resource Manager and currently as a Director of Human Resources. Jeffery is an ASA Certified Staffing Professional (CSP), HRCI Certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR), and has also been featured WATC ATLANTA LIVE for the announcement of his power packed presentation and CD Series “The Secrets That No Employer Will Tell You But Every Candidate Should Know. Each year he speaks to organizations such as corporations, colleges, professional associations, churches, school systems, and civic organizations. 

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