UAE jobs: Why 90% of jobseekers' CVs are rejected even before reaching hiring manager

Firms receive over 200 applications a day; they use AI to sort through the resumes and pick the most relevant


Waheed Abbas

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram


File photo
File photo

Published: Mon 27 Feb 2023, 6:42 AM

Last updated: Mon 27 Feb 2023, 9:40 PM

Up to 90 per cent of applications of UAE jobseekers are rejected in the first stage and don’t reach even the hiring manager due to various factors but mainly due to CVs being not properly framed by the candidates.

According to the recruitment and HR consultants, big companies in the UAE have deployed artificial intelligence (AI) systems to sift through thousands of CVs that they receive every day from prospective candidates. Therefore, if CVs are not properly framed, presented and emailed, the chances are quite high that they will not reach the intended person and for the desired post.

Mayank Patel, vice-president of sales for Eastern Europe and Mena, and country head, Adecco Middle East, said AI tools not just reduce the time-consuming screening process but also sift through candidates based on their skills rather than a personal choice, thus ensuring the best candidates are brought to the hiring manager’s attention in a matter of minutes.

“A hiring manager receives approximately 200 resumes a day or even more. Due to AI screening, the system analyses the criteria set by the hiring manager and filters down applications to around 10 per cent to 20 per cent applications to be contacted for the next round of screening,” Patel said, adding that “around 20 per cent of candidates make it to the hiring manager lens”.


Waleed Anwar, managing director of Upfront HR, said they receive thousands of applications, so it is hard to review every application, especially the ones that are not relevant.

“Typically, only 10 to 20 per cent are relevant for each job, the rest are not, unfortunately.”

According to Upfront HR, the majority of companies have a filter in place to select the right applications for the job in the form of an internal recruiter, recruitment agency or software/AI, so it is very much down to the candidate to make sure that their CVs are at the top of the list.

“It is so easy to apply for jobs nowadays, and because of this candidates don’t take to the time to customise each application to the job to beat the competition. They could add or highlight more relevant skills to their CV in the form of keywords so that the software or recruiter would pick this up and the CV is shortlisted. The candidates could take time to find out who the hiring manager or recruiter dealing with the vacancy is and personalise the application directly to them instead of just clicking and applying,” he added.

Anwar added that the biggest issue for recruiters is candidates not taking the time to read the job advertisement and apply without matching the required criteria.

“Applicants need to take time to read the advertisement and make sure that they match at least 70 to 80 per cent of the requirement and then apply.”

Mayank Patel said considering the new ways of recruitment such as virtual interviews, use of AI and automation, remote hiring and working, talent diversity, video interviews etc., It is now even more important for candidates to position themselves in terms of “personal branding” in order to remain at the top of the mind of the hiring manager.

More news from Jobs