Breaking it off – why job applications can be rejected

The main reason job applications are rejected comes down to not demonstrating the right skill set and experience for the job applied for; however there are a number of little mistakes which can put you straight into the rejection pile. When I say little – these are big errors which often get overlooked but should be addressed as a first port of call when proof reading your CV and applications.

Here’s some food for thought:

  1. Grammar – poorly written CVs are still a major concern for employers, think about writing your reports for senior management, badly written pieces of information in the workplace are not acceptable and by demonstrating poor grammar in your application you are effectively telling the reader that your reports won’t be much better.
  2. Spelling – spelling mistakes are very common in CVs and with the likes of spell checker in-built into software packages these days, it is unacceptable. Make sure you proof read the entire document carefully and get someone else to do this for you too.
  3. Incorrect information – do spend time gathering information which is true to your work experience, you will get found out if you are bending the truth as recruiters and hiring managers do check the details out for validity.
  4. Etiquette – your approach to applications should be professional from the outset, you are being judged from the moment you send in an application. Make sure you add an introduction email in the form of a cover letter not just a line stating; “see attached” or a blank email with your CV attached and if you call to check the email have been received, be professional and polite to all you speak to.
  5. Following instructions – read the job advert properly, check who you are sending it to, if any additional information has been requested and demonstrate that you can follow instruction.
  6. Contact details – make sure they are correct and included on your CV; I have seen a great deal of CVs with incorrect phone numbers and email addresses and also CVs with no contact details at all. How do you expect to be contacted if you cannot provide the right information?
  7. Misguided focus – keep focus on the work history and skill set not on activities out of work and family, you can add a short statement about hobbies to the back of the CV but the hiring managers want to know about you in a work capacity over flying kites at weekend and what subjects your children are studying at school.
  8. Format – try to keep the document in a professional format, adding colours and clip art is not what the employer wants to see for a professional role – it can detract away from the content and a good deal of databases cannot handle images etc so you will lose them and the format of the CV anyway.

Remember it is not always the best candidates which make the interview short-list – it is often the best CVs! Take time to do the basics and you will notice a marked increase in activity after submitting your applications.

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