Most applicants fail early on in the recruitment process because of their CV. There are many reasons for this, these include:
First impressions: Your CV is a "sales tool" and you only have one chance to grab the reader's attention - use this sales tool to market your skills. An employer is only likely to spend around 30 seconds browsing your CV. If the information they are looking for has not been found in this time, the chances of you being included on the short-list will be reduced.
Length of CV: It is usually best to try and keep your CV to 2-3 pages of A4. A reader does not want to know your life story - just enough to decide whether they should interview you. Read our article on how to reduce the number of pages if needed
Too much/too little information: Providing the reader with too much information will decrease the chance of you being included on the short-list. The reader could become bored of reading or it could take too long to find the information they are looking for. On the other hand, some CVs do not include enough information with regards to their history.
Spelling and grammatical errors: Checking something you have compiled on your own is probably the hardest thing to proofread. It may be worth asking a friend/family member to check over your CV and do not rely on spell checking software!
Incorrect personal information: Believe it or not - this does happen, regularly! You could have a powerful and eye catching CV but how will this help if your address, phone number or email address are wrong? One digit/letter out on your email address will prevent you from receiving emails from interested recruiters.
The Royal Mail recently conducted a survey within HR departments highlighting that incomplete/inaccurate addresses on CVs were rejected immediately by 83% of HR departments.