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Simple CV Writing Tips to Get Your Resume Read

Why recruiters bin CVs

You have been trying to get a job in vain. Worse still, nobody calls you for an interview even after making numerous applications. Recruitment managers receive hundreds of CVs for every advertised post and discard most of the applications. CV writing can be a challenge. However, there those common mistakes that job seekers make, that get them rejected. When drafting your CV, remember recruiters have hundreds of CVs to read through and they, therefore, spend as little time as possible on each.

Keep in mind that your CV is what will secure you an interview and if recruiters are not reading it, you will not move to the next step. Remember, your CV must make an impression so that you can secure an interview. This is your first impression, make it count.

Below are the main reasons, given by hiring managers, on why your ‘perfect’ CV is not helping you secure the all important interview.

         1. Your CV contains irrelevant information


A human resource manager quickly skims through your CV in an average of 7 seconds. This means that you have a very small window to capture and retain his/ her attention. Avoid including unnecessary information such as marital status, religion or age in your CV as these tire the recruitment manager before s/he moves to the most important parts of your CV. Irrelevant information also lengthens your CV and this might make the recruitment manager to avoid reading it.

Your CV might have too much information which might bore him/ her. Remember the human resource manager is busy and spends as little time as possible on each CV so make sure that yours is read.

How to correct this:

Optimize your CV by staying relevant. Leave out unnecessary personal information in your CV unless such information has expressly been requested. Your CV should also not be a dumping ground for all your skills and competencies. Read through the required skills and competencies for the job and only point out what is relevant to the job. This helps you to get your CV to be read and get you an interview. So, keep it short and precise.

         2. Lack of keywords


Technology has literally revolutionized our lives. People are increasingly turning to technology to ease their work and increase efficiency. Hiring managers are, thus, using computer programs to skim through your CV and pick out the best candidates based on certain standards. If your CV lacks certain keywords, the hiring software automatically eliminates your CV from the recruitment process even if you have all the necessary qualifications; and this means that your CV will not be read. This is also closely tied to relevant information.

How to correct this:

Keywords help the hiring manager to closely fit a candidate to the advertised position. Read through the skills, competencies and main duties and responsibilities of the job and structure your CV accordingly. This will help the hiring software to quickly pick up keywords in your CV for short listing. If your title or key responsibilities do not use the exact words as those used in the advertisement, then tweak them a little bit so that they are as close as possible to the terms used to get your CV to be read.

        3. You do not highlight your accomplishments


When conducting a recruitment drive, the human resource manager is looking for a result-oriented person. Too many job seekers only highlight their responsibilities and fail to point out what they have accomplished. Remember, the recruitment manager is focusing on what value you bring on board and if you do not state your accomplishments it may mean that you have none and this makes your CV not to be read. For example, if you are in customer service, you can say “During my tenure at company X, the customer engagement improved by 50% due to timely and personalized responses.” This will show your actual value and you can get an interview to further discuss your strategy.

How to correct this:

Your accomplishments should be your main selling points. State what you accomplished in your position without going into details. You may, for example, say, “Improved customer satisfaction by promptly responding to queries via email.” This shows that a particular action on your end improved the company’s operations. A failure to state accomplishments often leads to CV binning as the hiring manager is not sure of what you can bring on board.

        4. Poor CV structure

This can never be over emphasized. Many job seekers have poor CV formatting which confuses the hiring manager and leads to CV binning. Although there is no standard formatting, there are certain guidelines on how to write a good resume as pointed out here. Some job seekers even have CVs with no logical flow of information and this leads to CV binning because your CV is a forest. If your CV lacks a chronological flow of dates and experience, the employer rejects it as he/she does not have the time to figure out your experience.

How to correct this:

Ensure that there is a chronological flow of ideas and information on your CV that correlate with your cover letter. This ensures that the recruitment manager can keenly follow your skills and experience with ease and make a decision based on the available position. A poorly structured CV leads to CV binning as the manager has no time to Look for information on your documents and piece the information together.

        5. You do not qualify for the advertised position


Finding a job has become hard and as such, most job seekers apply for open positions even if they just meet the basic qualifications for the job. This is one of the main reasons why your CV will not be read, as recruitment managers will consider you incapable of handling the job. It can lead to frustrations as you constantly feel rejected despite having some skills that you find applicable to the job.

How to correct this:

Avoid frustrations that arise from CV binning by ensuring that your skills and experiences fit the job’s requirements as closely as possible. Narrow your job search to only those jobs that match your qualifications closely to avoid rejection.

In a tight job market, the recruitment manager receives very many applications for any job advertised and it is, therefore, important to ensure that your CV is read by staying away from common CV writing mistakes.

        6. Failure to customize your CV


Every job advertisement is unique as different companies look for different skills and experiences. However, most job seekers have a standard CV that they submit for every job advertisement. This can be annoying to recruitment managers who have a lot of CVs to go through.

A recruitment manager quickly skims through each CV and if your CV does not immediately sell you as a good candidate for the job, chances are very high that it will not be read thoroughly. The recruitment manager will quickly bin your CV because there is no time to start analyzing your CV for relevance.

How to correct this:

Once you read through a job advertisement, go through your CV and remove any information that is not relevant to the job. Tailor your CV to suit each job application so as to improve its chances of being read. This also shows focus and attention to details.

        7.  Lack of contact information


Believe it or not, some candidates submit their CVs with no contact details. It often baffles employers how a well-written CV can lack such vital information as there is no way of reaching out to the candidate. CV writing is a critical undertaking that requires close attention. A lack of contact information also shows an inability to pay attention to details, something that employers are always looking for. This is why job applicants get no feedback from employers. Additionally, some candidates provide unprofessional email addresses which make recruiters perceive them as jokers.

How to correct this:

Pay close attention to contact information, apart from ensuring that your CV is bespoke. Ensure that your contact information is accurate and correct. Provide a logical email address and a phone number that you can be reached on anytime. Ensure that your email address is logical. A fancy email just does not show seriousness.

      8. Spelling and grammatical mistakes

Surely, sending a CV with grammatical, spelling and formatting errors will definitely reduce its chances of being read. One crucial skill that employers look for is attention to details. Mistakes communicate carelessness and laziness. You do not want to be qualified for a job and lose out due to avoidable mistakes. Recruiters hate carelessness so do not give them an excuse to bin your CV effortlessly.

How to correct this:

Mistakes are the surest way to make your CV not to be read. Avoid falling victim to this error by carefully going through your CV before submitting it. This will give you a chance to weed out any grammatical, spelling or formatting mistakes you may have made. You can also ask a friend to go through your CV just in case you missed out on something.

All the best!

Njeri Karanja
Njeri is a reading and creative writing enthusiast who is neck-deep in research writing. She is well versed in researching and writing on various topics.
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