Thumbs downIn a recent survey of HR professionals conducted by Beyond, HR pros revealed that it is harder to find qualified candidates today than it was six months ago.

Is it harder to find candidates because it’s now a candidate’s market, or is it because employers are being too picky, disqualifying great candidates too early in the hiring process for committing forgivable mistakes?

According to Beyond’s survey, the most common reason why a recruiter disqualifies a candidate for a job is a spelling error on a resume; the second most popular reason is a grammatical mistake.

When employers had their pick of any candidate they wanted, they needed any reason they could find to disqualify some job seekers and narrow the pool.

However, now that hiring has become more challenging, one has to ask: Is a grammatical error on the resume of a software engineer really such a crime?

According to HR pros, it is — along with four other offenses:

Top 5 Mistakes That Cause HR Pros to Reject Resumes:

  1. Spelling Errors: HR pros said that this is the biggest offense a candidate can commit on their resume. But we all know the truth: no one is perfect, not even that candidate who says that perfectionism is their biggest weakness.
  2. Grammar Errors: This is the second biggest crime, according to HR pros — but maybe HR pros are coming down on candidates too hard? Let’s face it: who really cares if that amazingly kind nurse is a grammar expert?
  3. Not Listing the Specific Desired Skills Up Front: If a candidate’s resume isn’t customized to the specific job to which they are applying, it is likely to be trashed immediately. But keep this in mind: 83 percent of job seekers search for jobs on a mobile device, and we all know that mobile devices sometimes limit our capabilities. A candidate might not have the time or ability to customize their resume when applying via mobile, so let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Besides, if you just look briefly at their resume, you may see that they do have the skills you need.
  4. Not Listing the Exact Experience or Education Required: Since when do transferable skills not count? For example, some of the best recruiters are former salespeople and vice versa. While hiring someone who can hit the ground running is nice, 73 percent of HR pros say that they would hire someone who needs some training and demands a lower salary over someone who costs a lot of money but has a lot of experience. Consider the costs that can be saved if someone that needs a little bit of training is hired!
  5. Listing a Most-Recent Job Title That Is Unrelated to the Company’s Search: Does this mean that we’re opposed to career changers? Can we really afford to be, given that it is harder to hire now than it was six months ago? Plus, how valuable is a job title really?

These are some of the most common reasons why recruiters and HR professionals are rejecting resumes. Problem is, a lot of these reasons are actually pretty silly. Recruiters and HR professionals who stick to these criteria should ask themselves: Am I really acting in the best interests of my company/client? Am I needlessly passing over great candidates according to some totally arbitrary reasons?

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