It’s sometimes hard to get feedback about your CV. It’s particularly hard if you don’t even get to interview when you at least get the opportunity to talk with the recruiter and ask the question.
So here are some key reasons CVs are rejected. If you aren’t getting through to interview stage have a read through these and see if any apply to you.
1. ONE SIZE FITS ALL? NOT WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR CV.
CVs that are tailored to the role you’re applying for create a much better impression than one you use for everything. A tailored CV ensures you are highlighting the skills and experience to do this particular role and that’s exactly what a recruiter is looking for.
2. THERE’S JUST TOO MUCH PASSION!
Yes, if recruiters had a dollar for every CV that contains the word ‘passionate’ we would be booking that world cruise! You may be passionate about your job but it’s an over-used word. Other over-used examples would be superb, accomplished, results-oriented, excellent, exemplary etc. These are adjectives that are over-used so have little positive impact.
3. IT READS LIKE A POSITION DESCRIPTION.
Position descriptions give little to no information about you as a HR practitioner. They simply tell the job you were recruited for but not how well you did it. It’s a sure fire way to indicate that you couldn’t be bothered to take time and care over your CV. That can be interpreted as a reflection of your attitude to your career.
4. LACK OF EVIDENCE.
Your CV has to show what impact you can make. There is no point in simply saying what you can do, you have to demonstrate it. Make sure you take every opportunity to do that with quantifiable facts where you can provide them.
5. IRRELEVANT DETAIL.
Don’t waste the space in your CV filling it up with irrelevant detail. For example, if you are applying for a senior role what you did in the early stages of your career is really not relevant. Keep focused on level, skills, experience and the achievements you need to showcase for the role you are applying for.
6. YOU’VE JUST ADDED TO IT OVER THE YEARS.
You can always tell the resume that’s just been added to. Different fonts, styles, language….they’re all the giveaway signs. Not only does this make it hard to read but there is no flow and usually there’s too much focus on irrelevant detail. What was a focus 5 years back is not necessarily the focus now.
7. LESS IS MORE.
If it’s more than 2 double sided pages then you’re probably going into too much detail, going too far back in history or you’re leaving too much white space. Be succinct. Get your message across in a clear and thoughtful way. Remember, recruiters are no different from anyone else. If a document is well presented, clear and easy to read then that will always be the one that gets the attention over the long, messy, one.
8. POOR INTRODUCTION.
Your introductory messages should be succinct and clear. Bear in mind the role you are applying for and ensure your introductory summary reflects what the job requires.
Spend as much time on your CV as you would if you were being asked to present to your CEO. Make the time to give it the attention you deserve.