Why Would HR Scrap your CV?

Marlon Mai November 15, 2013 3 mins read

As a job seeker, you may feel like you have submitted a vast number of CVs and applications but gotten little in return—like your CV was just a stone tossed in the ocean.

This may be because the HR departments of hiring companies receive a monumental quantity of applications every day and yours got lost in the flow. More likely, however, was that your CV was tossed out by HR. What could have caused them to scrap your application?

Pay attention to the job’s description and duties.

Industry, technical, and education requirements, along with work background and management competency needs, may cause HR to scrap your CV. Take industry requirements as an example: Though the job title of “sales manager” may be the same, a candidate with experience as a sales manager in the medical devices, information or communication industries will be unqualified to act as a sales manager at an engineering machinery company—the sales channels are just too different. This is a prime example of compartmentalization.

Do you have a stable work history?

If you have changed jobs three times in the last two years, or if you stayed at your last few jobs for only a few months at a time, then HR is going to view your CV with heavy suspicion. Usually, they won’t take the time to find out about the “extenuating circumstances” that caused you to swap jobs repeatedly—they will just scrap your resume.

Is the position you’re applying for something you’ve done before, or just something you want to do now?

As far as the employer is concerned, they want a new hire to be up and running, working independently and leading a team after only a short period of acclimatization. For a managerial position requiring the candidate to lead a team of 3-5 people, if the candidate doesn’t actually have team-leading experience, why would an HR department want to oblige the candidate’s wish to get the hiring-company’s dime? Instead, candidates should get proactive and find opportunities for gaining team-leading experience at their current jobs.

Is your CV going to get your foot in any doors?

Some resumes are too complex, cumbersome and confusing, and don’t have much chance of catching HR’s eye. If you want to impress them, remember to keep your CV concise and logical—as far as HR is concerned, only a readable CV is true value for money. A lot of candidates put too much emphasis on the “job duties” section of the resume, but job duties are very different from actual achievements and experience. If you want to make yourself stand out on paper, don’t spend your time listing a boring page of job duties.

Regardless of whether you’re fresh from school or already have decades of experience, if you’re truly interested in a particular job then spend some time understanding the job description and perfecting your resume.

Marlon Mai's picture
Managing Director | Finance & Accounting, IT, Sales & Marketing Recruitment
mmai@morganmckinley.com