There's a new email notification on your phone.
Expecting a reply after you applied to a favorite company, you rush to open your Gmail account, only to find another rejection email without clear feedback.
Anger, lack of self-esteem, doubt, and despair are just some emotions you may be feeling at that moment.
Don't lose heart, though - we have a write-up below on why your Resume may get rejected, so you can quit going as if blindfolded when applying for jobs.
In short, we will address the following points:
- Insufficient resume value proposition - not consciously packing the best skills and achievements to shine
- The wrong "looks" - inappropriate fonts, colors, and spelling
- The wrong "talks"- irrelevant, repetitive, or incorrect info
- Walking on thin ice - oversharing personal (weird or confrontational) hobbies, unprofessional email address, unsuitable photos, or using too many clichés.
Let's cut straight to the point.
Why does your resume get rejected in the first place?
First things first - you must face the inner "monster" of fear of failure before transforming your Resume.
People are not wired to like rejections. So, as a result, we rarely welcome them. And it is because we usually feel rejection as a blow to our self-confidence and worth as a person and a professional. Even worse, the more Resume rejections we receive, the deeper we internalize them as fear of "it's never going to work out for me."
Instead, Enhancv experts recommend pausing and shifting your perspective of rejection from a _penalty _to guidance for self-correction. This simple switch will hugely benefit you in interviews, giving you an aura of self-trust and competence.
Once you get the mental strength and resilience right, the rest is just a few simple specifics you need to follow. And we’ll get them sorted out for you.
Start with your value proposition
You've got a limited time window to impress the recruiter before they move on to the next Resume.
In an interview, you need to think about a couple of introductory sentences to present yourself professionally.
Don't skip the opportunity to do the same in your Resume via a personal summary.
The more you pack it with your professional achievements, the longer HR will spend examining your whole Resume. Take a look at this attraction-building summary statement below:
Don't forget to put forward your most significant achievements - relevant diplomas, certificates, stipends, awards, work acknowledgments, KPIs showcasing your success, and so on.
Crafting a breathtaking summary is a great start, but only a fascinating intro is not enough to guarantee you'll be bulletproof against rejection.
The visual appearance of your resume matters, too. This brings us to our next point.
Avoid the wrong "looks" on your resume
What a pity it would be if you presented yourself and your skills flawlessly, but the Resume design is disappointingly floppy and hasty.
Sometimes candidates wrongly assume they can impress HR by opting for an original, non-traditional design and formatting. Sadly, this strategy typically backfires, with rare exceptions.
However, in 99.9% of the cases, writing a successful Resume is like a science with clear rules.
Take a look at our elegant resume templates and choose the one that best fits your professional persona.
Use proper text formatting
Apart from a resume template, be very selective about the text formatting you use. Opt for traditional or neutral fonts - Times New Roman or Arial, 10p. sized. You would be surprised what an instant turn-off is choosing the wrong formatting. If you doubt that, try reading an article with a tiny font size or a book written in Comic Sans font.
Pay attention to your spelling & grammar
Sending a Resume with spelling mistakes is unacceptable, considering the vast amount of free copywriting applications you can use to create a text that captivates the reader like magic. In addition, it may take between 10 and 30 minutes to proofread your document. Are you willing to save this time while risking getting your Resume rejected? And is it worth it? Furthermore, you don't need a colossal spelling or grammar mistake to create a negative impression. It can be as small as mistaking company, city names, or missing commas here and there.
Not to worry, though - we have got you covered here, too. Upload your CV to our Resume Checker and have it bulletproof for success in just 5 minutes.
Apart from the "looks", let's dive into the type of content that can trigger rejection of your Resume:
Eliminate the wrong "talks" within your resume
Irrelevant or repetitive info
Let's take the simplest example - if ages ago you had a particular job that is not relevant to the position you are applying for, you can remove it from your Resume. HR is not interested, let alone inspired, to read about every single job you have done since college. So pack your best "gems" instead, and fascinate the recruiters.
No matter how tempting it may be, stay away from using clichés. They can make you look like you're just parroting others' opinions. Instead, highlight your theoretical background and practical achievements with diplomas, customer testimonials, and manager references.
Resume mistakes can be a real "quicksand" for your application success. Examples of not-so-big but still badly impactful errors are:
- Misspelled company names;
- Wrong start - end dates of job roles.
Beware that Recruiters will cross-check you on LinkedIn 9 out of 10 times after reading your CV, especially if you got them inspired by your application. So the last thing you need is for them to discover a mismatch between the dates on your Resume and your LinkedIn profile. As a result, you lose credibility, even if the mistake was an accident. However, there is an easy fix: compare and equalize the job specifics in your social media profile and your Resume.
Speaking of wrong or misleading details, an absolute "no-go," which can derail your candidature, is:
- Lying for certain positions or for being hired at a specific company;
- Inflating your work achievements and salaries.
Beware that an experienced HR can scan your Resume for any deception better than an FBI agent. So stay modest and boast only about your fundamental skills and actual accomplishments.
Missing company and duties overview
Putting an effort to describe your job duties, "accompanied" with achievements, will make a world of difference. See this example:
- Bad example: developed an education app using AI models;
- Good example: created an innovative application for detecting AI intersectional Bias in partnership with world-famous universities.
See the difference? Don't miss a chance to shine and sell yourself!
Walking on thin ice
Last but not least, what does "walking on thin ice" mean in your Resume, and how to avoid it?
Typically, rejection occurs when the candidate can not estimate the right balance between valuable information and what is better left out.
Examples of such Resume epic fails can be numerous.
An unprofessional or inadequate photo
We can't stress this enough! The best option is to get a professional headshot done. The sooner, the better. If you can't bring yourself to do it soon, choose a neutral photo with business clothing and a close-up plan.
Photos from parties or other leisure activities spell the word rejection loud and clear. Even if you have the perfect beach body, your Resume is not the place to showcase it. Indeed, statistics confirm that beautiful and charismatic people are invited to interviews much more often than those who make no grooming efforts. Even so, there are many ways to look neat and presentable without crossing business boundaries.
If you use any unsuitable photos of yourself, you will give HRs a good reason to smile or tell stories to their friends over a few beers, but you will not inspire them to call you.
Unprofessionally sounding email
Let's face it - if you were an HR, would you trust someone to successfully run an Account management team if their email contact is email@example.com? We know you are laughing now! Even if you might be a good match, you’ll create a negative impression and get automatically rejected.
Weird, controversial hobbies
The Hobbies section of the Resume is yet another minefield territory. Again, if you don't carefully curate your image, you risk getting your CV rejected.
Let us give you an example. If you apply for a very conservative high-level position at a governmental organization, it wouldn't be wise to share that your favorite hobby of all time is pole dancing. Of course, there is nothing wrong with pole dance per se or any other leisure activity that puts your soul on fire. However, don't mention it if you risk driving unnecessary attention or creating false impressions. Less is more.
Lastly, even if you made a top Resume, sometimes you may still get rejected due to recruitment and digital AI bias, subjectivity, too tight a foreign market, economic stagnation, or extreme competition in the field. So do not take it personally. Instead, say "Next!" and send your new rejection bulletproof Resume.
In this article, you learned that:
- Use a suitable template for a successful Resume;
- Make an irresistible summary of your value proposition;
- Use factually correct information that puts your achievements in the limelight;
- Curates an intriguing professional image of yourself that recruiters fight to get onboard.