Some jobseekers are fantastic at answering interview questions, but struggle to even get to one because of a lacklustre CV. Their failed attempts at explaining why they are worthy of employment means they keep on receiving rejection email after rejection email.
If this sounds familiar to you, or you just want to ensure you get through to the interview stage; then read on for some great advice. We have 5 reasons why your CV will be rejected and how to avoid them.
1. Employment gaps
An employment gap of a few months or even years will raise suspicion. The employer will jump to conclusions if you don’t attempt to explain your gap, which will likely result in rejection. Also, check back over your timeline to ensure there are no discrepancies that make it look like you were out of work. It would be unfortunate to be rejected when you haven’t done anything wrong.
If however you do have an employment gap then look to explain this within your cover letter or on your CV. The letter is a great place to go into more detail and make it absolutely clear what was going on.
Assuming you weren’t sat watching TV for those few months and being lazy, let the employer know what was happening. Maybe you decided to look after a sick family member, or even just spend more time with your kids. No matter what the reason, give an explanation so they can move onto more important matters.
For a recent employment gap, make it clear that you are passionate and ready to get back into work. You want the employer to know that your time away from work won’t affect your future performance.
Recommended: How to explain an employment gap on your CV
2. No personal statement
Although the personal statement isn’t always mandatory, most employers do expect some kind of career profile to act as an introduction on the CV. So you can name yours anything from personal statement to career objective, but make sure something is there.
Your statement should cover these three main subjects:
- Who you are – a brief explanation of your background
- The skills you have to offer – make them relevant
- Your aspirations for the future – align with the company
Your statement needs to grab the reader’s attention and make a memorable impression. It has to be written professionally otherwise it could have the opposite effect.
TIP : don’t get confused with an academic personal statement used for a university or college application. You can see the difference between this and a career-focused personal statement here.
3. Your own CV template
If you choose to create your own CV layout without any guidance then you could struggle against other applicants who have chosen to download a CV template. So why should you let someone else do that hard work?
If you can find the right CV template website you can save a huge amount of time and stress. Let the experts create a CV template for you and simply enter your details into it. You can choose from hundreds of free downloadable templates, and even customise it to suit your needs.
Unless you are a graphic designer then we would always recommend using a CV template. It will ensure your details look great and have all the right sections included in an easy to read format.
You can find good quality FREE CV templates readily online – for example:
4. No employer information
When listing your previous places of employment you need to consider providing a brief description of what the company does. Although you may think it obvious as to what they do, the employer may not and it could leave them a little in the dark.
Don’t worry too much about providing descriptions for every single role if you feel they are too old and irrelevant to worry about. But for anything else you should give a brief description to help the employer understand your position. This little addition will not go unnoticed.
5. Incorrect contact details
On your CV you need to provide your full name, email address and contact telephone number (typically mobile). However, if you miss one letter or number out of your contact details they will not be able to get hold of you.
The employer may have one preferred method of contact, so even though they can still email you rather than call, they may decide not to bother. A bounce back on your email is very frustrating, and if they attempt to call you only to find the number is out of service, they may not take you seriously.
Additional tips – use a professional email address and not something silly. For example, ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ may seem like the perfect tribute if you’re an Avengers fan, but could leave the employer scratching their head. So always create a new one and use your name, for example – ‘email@example.com’.
Finally, create a professional, friendly and polite voice message for your answering machine if you’re at work when the employer calls. Let them know that you’ll call them straight back, and make sure you do. Check your messages at lunch or break time and keep that promise.