Why are CVs rejected?

First Impressions

First impressions matter; if your CV does not attract the reader's attention in the first 20-30 seconds then your chances of obtaining an interview are greatly reduced. An employer may have a hundred or more CVs to look through and probably only a couple of hours in which to make their selection. So put your work experience at the start of your CV, not personal or educational details, unless you have only just left education.

What an employer really wants to know is why they should invite you for an interview. For this reason a short summary of your capabilities and/or a list of your major achievements can often be a good idea. This should make an employer want to invite you for an interview - but please be careful that you do not oversell yourself.

Poor visual layout

The visual layout of your CV is very important. Even though the wording you use may be correct, if people cannot find the information they want quickly they will move on to someone else's CV. You should use plenty of 'white' space in your CV and appropriate headings and section breaks. Use Arial or Times New Roman type no larger that 12 

Length of CV

It is usually best to try and keep your CV to two pages of A4. Employers do not want to know your whole life history - just enough to decide whether they should interview you or not.

War stories

If you start talking about negative things, why you left, all the bits about what went wrong, poor management, impossible targets to achieve and why nobody loved you, then do not expect a sale. If your CV contains negative comments, views and reports then the Interviewer will feel negative about you.

The Main Don’ts are:

  • Photographs of yourself.
  • Any sort of failure and long winded explanations.
  • Salary expectation information - this can only be used to reject your application.
  • Fancy patterns/borders - these detract from your presentation.
  • Title pages, binders and folders are usually unnecessary and can be off-putting.