9 Reasons Why Your CV is Not Impressing Recruiters!

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1. Recruiters receive too many CV’s all the time

If you’re looking for a great job or any job that pays really well, you’re probably applying to opportunities that quite a lot of people are competing for. This means that the potential employer is getting a very large number of applications. While it may initially look exciting to the recruiter to have received such a large number of applications, it eventually gets difficult and very boring to go through all those applications.

Most candidates will also claim to be the best talent out there. So imagine what would happen if the recruiter started believing every word that is written in all those CV’s. There is no way to shortlist.

2. Most CV’s look very similar

I’ve been in a position several times where I’m looking at 2 candidate applications and thinking if both of them got the same person to write their CV’s. Identical stuff! I almost always expect it and that is the saddest part.
Starting with a useless objective statement, then mentioning their academic credentials followed by a boring-to-death description of their project (not mentioning their accomplishments though) and finally ending the CV with their hobbies which talks about things like “reading books”, “listening to music” and “watching TV”. This is how most CV’s are these days.

So when most CV’s look alike, the recruiter eventually stops believing most of the stuff that’s written there.

3. Tall claims on Behavioral Traits

When you claim in your CV that you have exceptional leadership, team, motivational or creativity skills, there must be some evidence, in the CV itself, to support that claim. While we all want to come across as pleasing and impressive personalities, sometimes it’s just overdone in the CV.
It’s mildly shocking for a recruiter to find such behavioral traits written in a fresher’s CV. Most of these traits maybe contextual, meaning that leadership and team skills may depend on the kind of work environment and people you’ve worked with.

If you’ve only worked on standard 6-week internship projects, that too alone and yet you claim to have top motivational skills then it’s not too convincing, is it? All such claims on behavioral traits make the CV look quite superficial and unbelievable at times.

4. Recruitment processes are Long and Tedious

A typical recruitment activity starts from deciding a Job Description and relevant Skills. That is followed by a long and tedious process of sourcing CV’s, shortlisting, evaluating, interviewing, internal discussions and reviews, job offers, salary negotiations and finally culminating with the suitable candidate actually joining the company. This may take up to a few months.

The CV is thus only 1 part of the entire flow, even though it may be the 1st window to your profile. Hence, it is hardly a surprise if a recruiter believes only so much in your CV. Even if a candidate is shortlisted, there may still be a thorough evaluation process waiting to happen.

5. Recruiters want to see beyond your CV writing Skills

Believe it or not, there are a large number of professional services out there ready to take your money and to jazz up your profile by writing a flashing CV for you. Almost like a makeover. If you’re profile is actually interesting but you don’t know how to communicate it well on paper, then some of these services might actually do you good.

However, if statistics are anything to go by, then it’s quite probable that the CV makes the candidate out to be a bigger hero than he/she may actually be. A recruiter typically finds this out the hard way, when an evaluation happens.

6. Not enough evidence of Functional Skills

Usually most CV’s have a section on Skills, but unfortunately a large number of candidates don’t use that section well. An employer wants to know what you can do, what kind of results you can deliver and how you’re going to be able to do that. All of this information starts with knowing the candidate’s skills.

Functional skills are your domain specific skills that you actually use in your work. They could be in Marketing, Finance, Sales, Operations or just about any other area of work. If you don’t know about your own functional skills, your strengths and weaknesses, then you don’t know your own capabilities and that leaves you at a disadvantage. Putting them in your CV comes next. If your CV does not have that information, then it’s clearly not telling the right things about you as a professional.

7. Most CV’s lack useful information

Candidates write about the projects that they’ve been a part of, but often they miss out on mentioning their own accomplishments. It’s one thing to say – “Worked on a market research project for ABC Corporation” and quite another to say something like “I Successfully conducted a 4 weeks quantitative market research activity, as part of a 3 member team, for a yet-to-launch mobile phone for the mass market in India.”

If a CV does not have this kind of information then most likely it’s not going to get you anywhere.

8. CV’s make the Recruiter do a lot of hard work

The first time a recruiter looks at your CV, he/she may typically spend between 10 to 20 seconds to form the first impression. After that the details are really looked into. If you’re making the recruiter hunt for information then you’re making his/her life more difficult that it already is. The relevant information should be obvious and easy to find. Isn’t that the whole purpose of the CV, to give away the right information and to easily make you look good?

In case you’re not doing that, then your CV is clearly not doing what it’s meant to.

9. There is no standardized way to evaluate and benchmark a CV

Finally, there is no standard way to evaluate and benchmark candidate profiles only on the basis of a CV. Each employer has his/her own checklist.

There are quite a few automated resume’ parsing solutions out there that scan your CV for key words, patterns and specific clues and shortlist based on those criteria. Now, CV’s can be made to work around such automated solutions, but you cannot fool your way through to a great career. If you temporarily beat a software tool, then you have the actual interviewer to impress which may not have a standard workaround.

These are 9 ways in which your CV may be failing you.


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