A young woman wearing dark rimmed glasses bites down on a pen whist looking at her laptop. She is frustrated that her CV is being rejected by recruiters and hiring managers.

Four Reasons Your CV Is Being Rejected - And How to Fix It

Hannah Mason

Four Reasons Your CV Is Being Rejected - And How to Fix It

Hannah Mason • Apr 30, 2022

Why is your CV being rejected?

Writing a CV is not a small task, going through the process of choosing a professional CV template, writing and re-writing the content and agonising over the formatting takes hours, if not days.

Once you're finally happy with the finished product you begin to send it to job boards, recruiters and HR team, only to find that you get no response, nothing!

Whist it could be a problem with your CV (and this is always the best place to begin), you need to remember that the job market is a saturated and often complex place where even the best CVs fail to get the attention that they deserve.

Coming up

In this article I'm going to tell you four things that you can do today that will give your CV the best possible chance of being read by recruitment agents, hiring mangers and HR teams.

Follow these four simple and easy to execute steps to ensure that your CV does not get ignored.

These four tips come straight from my experience as a recruitment consultant in Dubai, where I recruited top talent from all over the world.

Trust me when I say, even the very best candidates with the most impressive CVs fail to get hired when they ignore these steps!

So, let's jump right in.

Tip number one for getting your CV read – send it to the right people

Listen, if your CV lands in the wrong inbox, it’s going to end up on the metaphorical trash heap. 

This may seem obvious, however, many of the CVs that are sent to recruiters and HR managers are not even relevant to the industries for which that particular recruitment consultant, or even recruitment agency, actually specialise in or hire for.

If your CV ends up in the wrong inbox, it’s a complete waste of time. So instead of spending hours sending your CV everywhere you possibly can, spend quality time sending it to the right people.

How can you ensure you send your CV to the right people?

• Firstly, search on LinkedIn for the HR managers working at the companies, or in the industry, that you want to work. Send them a personal invitation to connect and get their email address. Don't take any chances, make sure your CV is going to hit the bullseye.

• Look for the recruiters in your city that specialise in your industry. These are the people who will be interested in reading your CV and the people who can really help you.

• Find job descriptions for roles that closely match your skills and experience. If you apply for these roles your CV stands a much better chance of actually going to, and being read by, the right people. Applying for a role online for which you meet fewer than 75% of requirements is a complete waste of time and it'll just end up on the desk of the wrong recruitment agent.

Make sure you're using the right CV template

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Tip number two for getting your CV read – take time on your applications

Your CV needs to make a great first impression. Now, you wouldn’t turn up to an interview without first taking the time to brush your teeth, do your hair and shine your shoes…at least I hope not! 

We all know that first impressions count, and the same is true for your CV and job applications, so don’t send it off until you have first taken the time to get it dressed up for the occasion. 

Send a customised email that demonstrates why you are a great candidate for the role. Take your time and consider how you can make yourself stand out above other candidates.

• Check your CV one last time – is there more you can do to ensure it highlights your relevant skills? Are there any last little spelling and grammar issues that need correcting?

• Reach out to your network – do your research and find out if there’s anyone who can refer you into the company.

Tip number three for getting your CV read – focus on the most relevant information

What is the most relevant information for the role you are applying for? You need to make sure that this information is right at the top of your CV template.

• Read the job description in detail and ask yourself ‘what would this HR or hiring manager be most interested in seeing?’ For example, think about your education, if the job advert asks that you are ACCA qualified, make sure your opening statement includes the line ACCA qualified accountant with X years of experience. This will entice the reader to read on!

• Remember that recruitment consultants and hiring managers will most likely not have the time to read through every CV they receive in detail. Your job is to grab their attention in the first few lines! 

Tip number four for getting your CV read – follow the instructions

Have you ever seen a recruiter advertise a role on LinkedIn? No doubt you would have seen a number of comments below that say, “Interested, please check my CV”. 

These comments completely ignore the fact that the recruitment consultant has provided their email address and asked interested candidates to email their CV with the subject line of the email mentioning the job title.

It’s important to carefully check any instructions given and make sure you follow them, If they ask for a cover letter, send one.

If they ask for your CV in Word format, then send it in Word format. 

We use Microsoft Word for all of our CV creation and edits and suggest that jobseekers send their CVs in this format wherever possible.


In reality there are may reasons why your CV could be being ignored, if you are struggling to get responses from your CV I would firstly advise you to ensure that you are using an ATS-friendly CV template, you can find some here. Secondly, make sure that your CV is well written and lastly make sure you are following the four tips outlined in this article.

If you still require assistance with your CV, consider taking advantage of my professional CV services.