CV Failure – The real reasons your CV got rejected


CV Failure

“CV Failure – The real reasons you are rejected” was added to the Comments section after our article ‘I have too much experience’.

Stock Message

Bear in mind that most of the time you get a rejection they won’t tell you what the REAL reason was for your CV failure.

Every CV rejection almost without exception says the same stock messages. Sorry, there were other candidates who better fitted the requirements. If you push them then they will come up with stock answer level 2  – too much experience, too little experience, the wrong sort of experience.

Major Reasons for CV Failure

Major reasons you didn’t get an interview:-

1) Your CV arrived after agency had already sent in their “shortlist”

(usually 3 or 4).

It doesn’t matter that the other candidates are worse than you, as, once an agency has sent in their quota, they will virtually never send in any more CVs unless the client asks them to (i.e. these are all c**p). Even if you are God‘s gift to IT for this particular role you haven’t a chance unless the client wants to see more candidates.





Gets the best person for the job?


2) They weeded you out on the “simple tick list” test.

No matter if you’ve done exactly that job for 20 years and are the world expert in the field, if the clients/agency tick list wants a O level pass in Woodwork and your CV doesn’t clearly show it, you will be screened out. They’ll consider you unsuitable for the job. You have to remember that agencies and often HR departments (esp for Permanent roles) will screen your CV.

These people often are not the most IT literate people and hence will not understand the terminology. Hence they will work from “word match” check lists. Hence you need to customise your CV to match the role. Don’t lie, but make sure you emphasise the key words likely to be asked for or checked for.

3) Your CV looks so impressive

the boss of the position feels you might be a threat to them.

4) There may not be a job

See other threads re non-existent jobs (agencies phishing), plus clients changing their minds, or advertising a position which has already been filled internally (but they have to advertise either legally, or in case no suitable internal candidates apply).

5) The other candidates were better liars than you.

Unfortunately agencies (and many clients) aren’t able to spot the liars from their CVs (or sometimes at interview).

6) Your CV wasn’t as attractive to read or was hard-going.

When faced with many CVs to wade through even the simplest deterrent can mean your CV in the NO pile. This is a major reason for CV Failure.

7) Spelling mistakes and/or bad grammar

Especially in product / technology names where this implies you don’t really know the product but are just quoting the name will result in CV Failure.

8) You have a “bad name” company on your CV.

Don’t ask me why, but some company names on your CV can actually be a black mark. If they are reputed for overpaying staff, or poor performance, ineptitude etc., then the assumption can be that you are part of the problem.

9) Last salary or rate too high.

The perceived problem is that you will want too much money, or will take off when something better comes along.

10) Last salary or rate too low

(regardless of benefits).

Implies that the position is too senior for you and you may be pumping your CV.

Those are the main reasons for CV Failure.