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Three reasons why your CV is rejected

Job seekers line up to meet with a recruiter during a job fair/AFP

Job seekers line up to meet with a recruiter during a job fair

It is the hope of every job seeker that when they apply for a job, the response will be an invite for an interview.

However, and as many of you will attest, it is becoming increasingly difficult to hear from employers and recruiters. I know of a case where an individual has applied for more than 900 jobs in a year and only got called for one interview. That’s an average of 75 jobs applications and rejected CV’s in a month.

Now, if you consider the time spent and money, from buying internet bundles to at times sending hard copies, this is a substantial investment. On average, a job seeker will use Sh2,000 in a month for their job search.

So, how come you are making applications without hearing from employers?

These are some of the major reasons why your CV gets rejected:

1. You applied for a job where you didn’t meet the criteria.

A lot of job seekers don’t take the time to understand what an employer is looking for and gauge whether it’s a role they can perform. The easiest way to do this is to look at the JD critically and if you can perform 70 percent of the tasks outlined, then apply. However, if it’s clear from the JD that this will be a tall order, then it’s not worth wasting your time and the employer.  Other considerations that are in line with criteria include years of experience and specialization.

When it comes to job application and job search, in general, aim for quality and not quantity.

2. Your CV isn’t appealing to the employer.

By appealing, I don’t mean CV formatting although it’s equally important.  By presentation, I mean talking the language of the employer. A simple trick here is to mimic the language and style of the job advert.  Study the JD and look at the choice of words, for example if the advert is asking for a self-motivated, aggressive sales person, then have the same words or similar words on your CV. Have a look at the way you’ve indicated your current job in your CV and compare it with the employers advert. The next step is to edit your CV, having it rhyme with the JD. This way, whoever is screening applications will find your CV fitting what they are looking for.

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Always remember that employers have thousands of applications to go through. Time being a constraint, employers rarely spend time looking at a CV and deciding whether it’s worth an interview. Make the task easier for the employer by making sure you have a presentable CV.

3. When you apply makes a huge difference.

In the internet era, as soon as an advert goes out, candidates start to make applications. If you are the type that waits for the closing day, then you are doing it wrong. Always apply as soon as you see the advert. Don’t procrastinate. It has become the norm that job applications are processed as soon as they are received. With this, it means that an employer is likely to have shortlisted candidates and maybe called them for an interview before the closing date. The early bird gets the worm.

If you work on fixing the top reasons why CV’s are rejected, I guarantee you that you will see an improvement in your job search rate. So, whenever you see a job advert ask yourself whether you meet 70 percent of the requirements. If you do, then edit your CV and incorporate as many keywords used in the job advert as possible. Finally, don’t take a lot of time between when you see the advert and applying.

Perminus Wainana has over ten years experience in human resource management working with employers from different sectors. His major goal is to build relationships with employers in order to gain a better understanding of their recruitment needs and meet the requirements in a cost-effective and timely manner.

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