Why is your CV not getting you interviews?

What makes an employer reject a CV?  What are the 3 fastest CV turn-offs?

1. Glance test

Forget the fancy formatting -  boxes, shading, borders or, worst of all, indiscriminate use of bold, italics, capitals and underlining all in the same sentence, for EVERY sentence of the entire CV. Your aim is to avoid making the person reviewing your CV instantly dislike you due to a busy layout where the font is so small they are getting a headache just looking at it.  It may sound superficial but how many times have you flicked through a book – saw the teeny typography and thought – Nah!   You could be the best qualified for the job but if your CV doesn’t pass the glance test you will never get to prove yourself in an interview.

Arial, Times New Roman, Tahoma  or Verdana.  None will set the world alight with their artistic merit but you are writing a professional document not a menu for a pizzeria.  And I know it’s tempting to reduce the font size to fit your CV to 2 pages but anything less than 11pt may make the CV reviewer start to dislike you again when they are squinting to make out the words.

2. HOW many pages?

In most cases if you present a CV that is more than 2 pages you will be at an instant disadvantage to other candidates who can summarise themselves on 2 pages of well spaced out text.  Use bullet points to summarise what you did for each role you have held.  Paragraphs of text will not be read.

  • Bullet
  • Point
  • It

Once you go beyond 10 years of career experience you can truncate the descriptions of what you have done in your earlier career.  I prepare excellent CVs all the time for people with 25 years career experience, all summarised onto two pages of grippingly readable text – it can be done!

3. Spelling mistakes – fastest way to the bin

CV and Cover letter howlers I see most often include – Reccommended , definatley, Batchelor degee, driving license, alot, asissted, principal/le, complimented, stationary – who wants to employ a graphic designer who claims that he/she “designs fabulous wedding stationary” or an administrator who writes that his/her “principle responsibilities were…….”?   When your  CV is competing against 100’s of others the existence of  spelling errors gives potential employers a really easy way to reject yours. 

I am hosting a workshop on CV Preparation and Cover Letters  called Your CV – getting past the 45 second rejection at the Dublin City Library, Ilac Centre – Feb 24th – 6.30-7.30pm – FREE ADMISSION and all welcome.

Comments are closed.

cv writing, cv preparation, career development, interview coaching, cv and cover letters, interview training, Outplacement, Redundancy Support, curriculum vitaes, CV samples, how to write a cv, effective CV writing