No Interviews? 6 Common Reasons for CV Failure

No Interviews? 6 Common Reasons for CV Failure [Guest Blog]

Have you been applying for jobs for weeks, yet not secured a single interview?

After a while it can feel pretty disheartening.

Unfortunately, you’re probably facing CV failure.

In other words, your CV is likely letting you down.

But don’t fret!

The good news is a few small tweaks can boost your CV and help you to land an interview.

Below we’ve outlined six of the most common reasons your CV is being rejected and what you can do to solve the problem.

1. You’re not tailoring your CV

Recruiters can spot a generic application from a mile away, so while it can be tempting to put together a generic CV and fire it off to several employers at once, this tactic often proves ineffective.

Recruiters want to know that you’re genuinely interested in their role and not just trying to land any old job, so a quick, generic CV just isn’t going to cut it.

Instead, you need to spend time researching the company and role before you begin writing your CV.

Make use of the job description, company website and internet searches to help you tailor every application you submit.

2. Using an unclear format

It can be tempting to make your font smaller or put the text close together to allow you to fit in as much as possible.

But using an unclear format like this is off-putting and can make it difficult for the recruiter to read – so they’ll probably just push your CV aside.

You need to make sure it’s easy to read and that the recruiter can quickly scan through and find the key information they need.

You should use small paragraphs and break these up with subheadings and bullet points.

A clear font is important, usually Calibri, and using size 10 or 12 is recommended. 

3. Not using keywords or keywords stuffing

Using keywords in your CV helps the recruiter to quickly identify if you match their criteria, and not doing so could cost you the interview.

To do this, you should use the job description to highlight any key skills or requirements the employer is looking for and then utilise these words whilst writing your CV.

That said, be careful you’re not keyword stuffing – it’s about getting the balance just right.

Don’t shove a load of keywords and phrases in for the sake of it.

You still need to create a strong and coherent application.

4. Not listing your achievements

It’s all well and good listing your skills, but without context, these don’t mean much to the recruiter.

So, you also need to make sure you’re giving examples of your achievements.

Using facts and figures to show what you’ve achieved during your time in education and in your previous roles, helps to demonstrate to the employer how you can add real value to their business.

For example:

– Typically exceeded sales targets by 45%.

– Boosted customer retention rate by 30% in 12 months.

– Recruited and trained 4 junior staff members.

5. Using too many clichés

Are you a passionate team-player that works well with others but also on your own?

That’s great!

But it’s not going to encourage the recruiter to keep reading your CV.

Employers are fed up of the same old clichés which, in reality, don’t help them to decide if you’re a good fit for the role.

As such, you should avoid filling your CV with these clichés and instead make sure that you list your core skills and achievements to show how you can add real value to the employer.

Clichés = CV failure x 100

6. Choosing a bold design

Finally, you’ve seen some of those quirky CVs that have gone viral (like those written on cupcakes or made into a rap video) and decided to follow suit.

Unfortunately, this isn’t usually the answer.

You might think that choosing a bold design can help you to stand out, but the reality is that it can be distracting and detract from the information contained within.

It’s best to avoid bold colours, quirky layouts or using imagery and graphics.

The general exception to this rule is if you’re applying for a high creative role; but for the most part, simple is often best.

Wrapping up

Thanks for your advice Andrew!

CV failure isn’t easily identified.

It can be infuriating when you think you’ve got everything right on your CV but your applications just keep getting thrown back at you.

So, if that’s the case, take the advice from StandOut CV.

It’ll definitely help!

And if you’re also in need of aid with answering interview questions, I’ve got you covered.

This video will give you the perfect answers to 10 Common Interview Questions.

I hope it helps!

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Leonard Harris
Leonard Harris
2 years ago

Bad CV really reduces the chances of getting an interview invitation. And it’s not just the content, but the design and even grammatical mistakes.
It must be trivial things, but before I underestimated the importance of CV and lost some good jobs.