Why are CVs rejected?
First impressions matter; if your CV does not attract the reader's attention in the first 20-30 seconds then your chances of obtaining an interview are greatly reduced. An employer may have a hundred or more CVs to look through and probably only a couple of hours in which to make their selection. So put your work experience at the start of your CV, not personal or educational details, unless you have only just left education. What an employer really wants to know is why they should invite you for an interview. For this reason a short summary of your capabilities and/or a list of your major achievements can often be a good idea. This should make an employer want to invite you for an interview - but please be careful that you do not oversell yourself.
Poor visual layout
The visual layout of your CV is very important. Even though the wording you use may be correct, if people cannot find the information they want quickly they will move on to someone else's CV. You should use plenty of 'white' space in your CV and appropriate headings and section breaks. Always use a word-processor/DTP package. Never use a typewriter as you will look old fashioned and out of date. Use good quality A4 paper, preferably 100gram for both your CV and cover letter.
Length of CV
It is usually best to try and keep your CV to two pages of A4, unless someone specifically asks you for a longer CV. If you cannot keep your CV to this length then you probably have not understood an employer's requirements. Employers do not want to know your whole life history - just enough to decide whether they should interview you or not.
Organising the information on your CV
If your CV is not well organised then the reader will find it hard to follow and will not be able to build up a picture of you quickly. Remember the reader will not spend very long looking at your CV - so if they cannot find what they want they will not bother to read any further.
Overwritten - long paragraphs and sentences
This makes it difficult to read quickly - try and keep your sentences short and punchy and use bullet points to break up the text under section headings.
Too little information
A lot of people do not include enough details about their previous jobs and experience and an employer therefore does not have enough information - they will therefore have to reject your application.
Not results orientated
You need to shout about your achievements. Please remember that your CV is your sales document to an employer. If it does not tell an employer why they should employ you then it has failed. An employer will only want to employ you if they can see a benefit in it for themselves. So do tell them the benefits of employing you.
CV makes you look too young/old for the job
In general being too young/old can be a real problem and a barrier to future advancement, or even to getting a job in the first place. There are a number of ways round this problem - but this depends very much on your individual circumstances and the industry/job you are applying for.
Mis -spellings, typographical errors, poor grammar
Your CV should be carefully checked for such errors before you send it out to employers. Tiny errors in your CV can detract from an otherwise good CV and make you look lazy or careless - not the sort of qualities you want to portray to an employer. As you will probably be 'blind' to these errors you should get someone else to check your CV for grammar and spelling errors