5 Reasons Why Employers Reject Your CV

Why does my CV keep getting rejected every time I submit my application even for the roles that I qualify for? Why do I get radio silence despite sending my application on time??

It can be frustrating investing time into creating or updating your resume only to receive that dreaded response from potential employers. While it’s impossible to pinpoint the exact reason why your CV fails to impress the recruiters, there are some common mistakes and oversights job seekers make that cause their applications to get overlooked or rejected.

Creating a great CV that rises above the rest and secures you an interview takes time, effort and an objective eye for perfection.

Let us keenly look at five of the most frequent reasons recruiters and hiring managers reject CVs without consideration:

1. Poor formatting and visual appeal

The way your CV looks matters just as much as what it says. Recruiters are busy people screening dozens, if not hundreds, of applications. A cluttered or poorly formatted CV will lose their attention within seconds. Some key visual issues that get CVs tossed include:

  • Non-standard fonts or font sizes that are hard to read
  • Dense blocks of small text without adequate white space
  • Bulleted lists that run on too long without breaks between items
  • Sections not clearly labeled or organized in a logical flow
  • Important details buried or lost among unnecessary information

Studies show recruiters typically spend only 6-7 seconds initially scanning each CV. Yours needs to use clear, scannable formatting to catch their eye and stand out from the pack right away. Consistency, whitespace, and an easy-on-the-eyes design can make all the difference.

2. Irrelevant or outdated content

Recruiters want to see how your qualifications match the specific role. Including past jobs, skills, or projects on your CV that have little relevance to the position only wastes valuable space. Things to watch out for include:

  • Job histories that are outdated and don’t reflect recent experience
  • Duties and accomplishments not tailored to the job requirements
  • Irrelevant coursework, hobbies or other fillers added just to lengthen the CV

Try focusing on showcasing only the 2-3 most applicable and recent points from your background. Recruiters don’t have time to dig through irrelevant statements. Strive to give them what they need to assess your fit up front.

3. Incorrect information or typos

Simple spelling errors, incorrect dates, or inconsistent formatting all call into question the quality and attention to detail in a CV. Even one typo can result in an instant rejection due to:

  • Carelessness and lack of proofreading raise red flags
  • Misleading or inaccurate information is difficult to trust

Always have at least two other sets of eyes review your CV before submitting. Use spell check and be cautious of common auto-correct errors as well. Take the time to perfect even minor details – it shows pride in your work and attention to presentation.

4. Lack of measurable achievements

Recruiters want to see concrete examples of your impact and value, not just a list of tasks and responsibilities. Weave qualifications into your CV using the PAR (Problem, Action, Result) format to highlight your skills:

  • Problem/challenge faced
  • Action you took
  • Quantifiable results of your work

For example: “Identified a deficiency in sales training processes lacking accountability. Developed and implemented a new system tracking completion rates, increasing compliance by 25% quarterly.” Numbers, stats and metrics make your experience tangible and achievements impressive.

5. Poor personal branding

Your CV is a marketing document for yourself as the product. Selling your unique value proposition requires intentional branding statements woven throughout:

  • Customized objective statement
  • A descriptive title for your name
  • Highlight transferable skills

For example: “Experienced sales leader with a proven record of motivating teams to exceed quotas in competitive markets. Seeks challenging role to apply a metric-driven approach to increasing revenue.”

A personal brand leaves the recruiter able to recall your strengths and qualities even after reading multiple CVs. Strategic self-promotion through branding helps separate you from impersonalized applicants.


To increase your chances of getting noticed by potential employers, it is important to customize your CV according to the job requirements. Follow some best practices to highlight your qualifications and quantify them. This will help your CV stand out and increase your chances of getting hired.

Is your CV not getting you your desired jobs? If your answer is yes, then it needs professional touch.

Consider  investing in our Professional CV Writing Services. Our experts will review your CV and provide comprehensive feedback to make sure that it perfectly represents your background and makes hiring managers eager to learn more.