National Consulting Solutions in Human Resources, IT, Pharmaceutical, Corporate, Support, Sales and Finance

Air Ball Resumes: 5 Harmful Effects of Shooting For The Wrong Jobs.

Last week, one of my recruiters had an all-out melt down. She was angry, frustrated and just plain pissed at all of the hours she spent going through “air ball” resumes. You know, those resumes that are totally, absolutely, embarrassingly off the mark. She bemoaned that more than 90% of the applicants were unqualified for the positions they were applying for. This statistic translates into dozens of wasted hours of time–hours that she could have used to help put people to work.

When it comes to sourcing resumes, quality trumps quantity every time. Recruiters and hiring managers would rather get 2 or 3 qualified applicants a week for each open job than be inundated by hundreds … ok, I’ll say it… crappy, air ball resumes that are completely off the mark. 

Come on, people. Now more than ever, employers can be picky when staffing their companies. Recent college grads, PLEASE do not apply for 6-figure, corporate management positions when your only leadership experience is that of a camp counselor. Part Time Bank Tellers, get real. You are NOT qualified for the VP of Banking Operations position.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not here to complain or begrudge the candidates I serve. I have deep empathy and truly understand the frustration of the unemployed/ underemployed, who are nervous, anxious and stressed over the disappointing job market. But when worry and fear lead to the complete lack of discipline in a job search, the process is hindered and everyone suffers.

Think there’s no harm in applying to a job that doesn’t match your experience, skills or education? Think about this…

1) On a Macro level, the ramifications of air ball resumes are numerous. Budgets, departmental efficiencies, quality of hires and, ultimately, the bottom line are adversely affected by the slews of air ball resumes that come across the desks of those involved in the hiring process, at every level. At the end of the day, all of that wasted time=lost revenue.

2) Air ball resumes clutter the process for those candidates who actually DO qualify for the job. (Put in simpler terms, one day YOU will be that perfect candidate but other, unqualified applicants will muddy the water and slow your progress in securing the right job…)

3) Air ball resumes delay the feedback applicants are desperate for. After all, it’s a chain reaction. If recruiters and hiring managers weren’t forced to slog through loads of irrelevant resumes, they could be returning calls more quickly, interviewing more candidates, being more strategic in their searches and ultimately filling more jobs, better.

4) Recruiters, staffing agencies and hiring managers make judgments about candidates who send in air ball resumes. If you think they assume air ball applicants are clueless, lazy and out of touch, you are right!

5) Time is being wasted on a chaotic, cluttered and confused job hunt. Applicants who want to shorten the job search cycle must be efficient. They should be connecting with others through networking, streamlining their resumes, and strategically targeting their perfect job.

Am I suggesting that all job searches be for lateral opportunities? Absolutely not. Everyone should aspire to bigger and better things. But in today’s competitive job market, it is vital that candidates remain focused and objective in identifying their personal strengths, weaknesses, skills, experience and best fit.

Candidates! Read the job description! If you don’t have MOST of the experience and credentials needed, move on to a more appropriate fit. Trust me; with discipline, strategy and patience, your job search could be a slam dunk.


Gail Miller is CEO & Chief Staffing Strategist at Consultnetworx. She has coached thousands of job candidates on job search best practices. If you have a question or comment, please share below. Or contact Gail at 973-309-5474.

  1. 1
    Dianne Haynes Said:

    I just goofed and of course it was the wrong job which somehow popped up after I filled in my application for Consultnetworx. Don’t hate me, I did not want the IT job and know I do not have the experience-I would never have applied to it.

    Reading airball resumes was funny! Even funnier has been working with some who had their graduate degree and no experience, or have been in the same job for 20 years where I have had to fix problems, and jump over them to move work forward, in a management turnover during audit..indeed it is interesting finding the right corporation or agency, and the right mix of people. Years of Experience does not equal knowledge and abilities.

Leave a comment