GNcareers, from Gulf News

4 things that turn off job recruiters before an interview

Looking for a new job in a competitive market is no easy task. What makes it more daunting is that many applicants don’t get any feedback from a potential employer.

In fact, the majority of jobseekers once polled by CareerBuilder (75 per cent) said they never heard back from the company after submitting their application.

There are a number of reasons recruiters or employers don't bother to respond to a job applicant. It is likely that the position has already been filled and the company doesn't have the time to reply to the hundreds of applications.

But in many cases, recruiters are simply turned off by what they have initially seen.

Here are some of the most common pet peeves that turn off recruiters when reviewing CVs of UAE job applicants:

1. Using tiny fonts or bright, shiny colors in the CV

Hiring professionals receive hundreds of CVs for a particular position, especially if it is offered by a popular company. It only makes sense that your CV should stand out, otherwise, your chances of getting an interview slot would be slim. However, you don’t need to spice up the page with bright, shiny colours to get the recruiter’s attention.

"It can get a little irritating when candidates choose the tiniest font available or use bright, shiny colours to write their CV. But ultimately, it's the content that really matters," said Annalinde Nickisch, an HR consultant at the Thought Factory.

2. Spelling mistakes, bad grammar, irrelevant history of personal achievements

Nothing turns off a recruiter more than reading a poorly composed CV. Before you hit “send”, it is a good idea to review what you’ve written. Recruiters get discouraged when they spot spelling errors, bad grammar or end up reading a long list of personal achievements dating back to when you were in grade school.

“Spelling mistakes, bad grammar, irrelevant history of personal achievements back to nursery school [are turnoffs, as well as] no clear understanding of what the role being applied for and no tailoring of the generic CV template to adapt it at all,” said Martin McGuigan, partner, Middle East and Africa, McLagan & Aon Hewitt Middle East Limited, Consulting.

3. Not being specific

To get your message across, it is important to be careful when crafting the job description section on your CV.  Some recruiters don’t care whether you save your CV in PDF or Word document, just make sure you write in a clear, concise manner, lest they would lose interest. “Not including a detailed job description or being vague about joining dates, education or a past designation would make me question an application,” said Nickisch.

“Generic untailored CV which does not make a clear case for the value that individual can create for the organization [is another turnoff],” said McGuigan.

4. Ignoring qualifications required

Companies are often clear about what kind of talent they are looking for, whether an English-speaking or Arabic-speaking applicant, or a certified accountant or engineer is required. If you don’t meet the initial requirements listed, it’s better not to waste your time.

“Candidates generally don’t screen the job advertisements. For example, if we place an advertisement for an Arabic-speaking receptionist, the majority of the CVs would be non-Arabic speaking accountants, engineers, nurses,” said Nickisch.

“From a personal viewpoint, I genuinely understand that candidates may be desperately looking for a job and therefore believe that their chances increase with every CV they submit, but from a recruiter’s perspective, it is merely impossible to maintain a personal touch with all job applicants, simply caused by the sheer volume.”

McGuigan said he gets discouraged when the applicant shows “lack of technical know-how demonstrated with a focus on irrelevant skills” that add no value to his team.



Source: Cleofe Maceda, Senior Web Reporter,