Nine Simple Rules To Stop Your CV Getting Rejected

Nine Simple Rules To Stop Your CV Getting Rejected

26 May 2015



Most candidates think the job interview is the first stage in making sure they get that dream job, when in reality the most competitive part of finding a job is making your CV stand out to employers.
It’s a tough job market out there. Your CV is the first thing potential employers see of you, and it’s true, first impressions last!  

Here within the Office Services Division of HR Consultancy, our experienced consultants see hundreds of CVs on a weekly basis, so we have identified below some of the most common mistakes candidates make.   These tips can make the difference between getting a rejection letter and landing that interview! Following these can help us to help you.


  • Be Specific, Don’t Generalise - Be honest, when did you last take time to review what’s on your CV?  Do you send the same CV out to agencies and prospective employers over and over again?  Stop!  We need you to tailor your specific skills and experience to each and every role you apply for.  We appreciate this may mean stating the obvious on your CV or duplicating information but it’s essential to show the experience you have, at what level, and that you actually match and understand our clients specifications. Take time to read each job advert before you apply and review your CV accordingly.
  • Don’t Waffle - Identify all the duties and responsibilities you have had in each job, we don’t need a description of the company, or the team, we need to know what you were doing on a daily basis.  Our clients like to see clear and concise information on your CV in relation to the experience you have, so they can identify if you are right for that role.  Let clients see the transferable skills you have. Best way to do this?  Use bullet points to show your skills.
  • Dates of Employment, Company and Job Title - Don’t miss this information out for any of your jobs.  We need to know where you are, and have been working.  Dates of Employment should include month and year, for both start and finish dates.  If you have left your last employer be sure to have updated this on your CV.  And please list your job title, this will be the first thing our clients look at on the CV.  Your most recent job should be the first job on your CV. 
  • Gaps in Employment - Briefly explain any gaps in employment.  You don’t need to go into huge amounts of detail but it’s essential for us to know this information.  E.g. Sickness, travel, career break, starting family, caring for relative – all valid reasons for a gap so let us know this.
  • Cover Letters - Only include a cover letter if you are asked for one as all important details will be on your CV. Be sure to check the cover letter – we often see covering letters addressed to other agencies, consultants and companies.  Not a great first impression. Attention to detail is key!
  • Your Contact Details - Are they on your CV?  Here at Office Services, we regularly see CVs with no contact telephone number.   Often the mobile number is no longer active.  Ensure your contact details (name, address, email and telephone numbers) are current. Also have a think about the email address you are using to search for employment – is it portraying a professional image of you?  We all have that dodgy email address we have when we were 17, this may not be the best one to use to job hunt.
  • Your CV should be no more than 2 pages – MYTH! - Don’t limit your CV to 2 pages – this is a myth!   We need to see the skills and experience you have gained.  The more information you can give us, the more we can help you.  We can take information out of your CV if we don’t feel it’s relevant.
  • Word Format Please - The majority of our clients require CVs to be submitted in a certain layout or format, so send your CV in a word format, please.  This allows us to edit it to match clients’ requirements.
  • Grammar and Spell Check - Read your CV, double check it, triple check it!  Make sure it does you justice.  And then spell check it.  It sounds obvious but if you apply for an Administrator job and spell Administrator wrong, it doesn’t really sell you does it?


These are simple tips but worth thinking about.  It’s a competitive job market out there, clients have their pick of good candidates, so make sure you use your CV as the selling tool it should be.   It will increase your chances of getting the interview.

Jackie MacGregor is a Senior Consultant within our Office Services Team. Jackie specialises in the placement of support staff within solicitors, accountants and consultancy practices. 


Written By Jackie MacGregor


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