5 Reasons Your CV Was Rejected

By Andrew Fennell

Share on: 

Let's face it, creating a CV from scratch or revamping an old one can be a painstaking experience. After all of your hard work, it can be disheartening to think that it still may end up being rejected.


Whether you are building your CV for the first time or you are wanting to update your existing one, there are a few areas that you should pay particular attention to if you don't want your CV to be rejected when it reaches the hiring manager. Let's take a closer look at the five main areas where your CV may be letting you down.


1: It wasn't even opened

Applying for a job and sending your CV without an appropriate cover letter is like arriving somewhere without introducing yourself. A good cover letter is your first opportunity to introduce yourself and make a great first impression. Your letter must entice and draw the recruiter in so that they go on to open up your CV to take a look at your credentials.


It is easy, if not lazy, to reproduce a generic cover letter time after time for each job application, but letters that lack personality and don't relate to the position being applied for will quickly be spotted and rejected by recruiters who see hundreds if not thousands of these each year. You need to state in your letter the reasons why you are interested in the role on offer and that you are serious about working for the company. Address the letter to specific individuals if you can to make it even more direct and personal.


2: It wasn't tailored to the role

Quite a lot of people forget to draw a clear connection between the job they are applying for and their CV. Sending in a CV that lists absolutely every job they have ever held to prove that they are employable is a common mistake. Doing this can reduce your CV to look like an unfocused and generic attempt at getting a job. Instead, you need to frame your CV to show how you are are the best fit for the job. Search out appropriate phrases and keywords to use from the job description and candidate requirements. Try to pick up on the sort of company language and tone of voice being used and mirror this in your own CV and cover letter.


3: It was poorly structured

Building your CV may not be the most fun way to spend your time, but you have to realise just how important it is to get it right. Many job seekers rush through their CV preparation and make lots of errors that they rarely make time to correct. These include structural mistakes such as the format, failing to use a mixture of figures, stats and words, mixed font type, and poor capitalization.


When your CV looks like a mixed up jumble, the recruiter gets the idea that you are inconsistent and will likely be the same when working on the tasks associated with the job; something no employer wants to see.


4: It lacked achievements

Don't be afraid to tell recruiters just how great you are! Simply listing your qualifications and mentioning previous job titles isn't going to be enough to convince recruitment officers that you are a worthy candidate for the job. Explain how you won 'employee of the month' for your outstanding customer service achievements, or that you won a company bonus for beating set targets during a sales campaign. Your CV is all about selling yourself and what makes you a better fit for the role than the next candidate.


Employers will come away far more informed from reading your CV if you include detailed summaries of your qualifications, accomplishments and skills learned both in-work and outside of the work environment.


5: It was too long

One of the biggest mistakes job seekers make is to cram too much information into the limited space on the CV. Including all of your information along with the kitchen sink is not the best approach for winning the attention of busy recruitment officers. Keep it short and keep it relevant to the role you are applying for.


These sort of mistakes can see your CV being cut from the shortlist for interview. Don't give recruiters the chance to overlook you for the job. Take your time and check carefully to trim away all these common mistakes from your CV and you will be better placed to impress your future employers.


Andrew Fennell is an experienced recruiter and founder of London CV writing service StandOut CV - The best place to get help with your CV and improve your job hunt strategy

The kind of stuff that Social Hire do...

At Social Hire, we don't just do social media.

Our digital marketing managers are the wizards that can give you the insight you need to develop your business. Have you had enough of making complex personnel choices that don't work well for your digital presence?

Our team are a company that assists our customers further their presence online by giving digital marketing on a regular basis.

You might like these blog posts Brexit: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Implications For Recruiters, How Has Social Media Influenced HR Technology?, Every Generation Needs This From Your Communication Strategy, and How Modern Businesses are using Social Media and Artificial Intelligence.

  Back to Candidate blogs