Applying for jobs is a tricky business as there is a lot of competition. Your CV is the only information that a prospective employer has about your skills and experience, and whether you will fit into their company. You need to make sure that it is immaculate in order to avoid being dumped straight in the bin!
Recruiters are attracted to CVs that are clear and easy to find particular information on, one that has clearly taken a lot of the candidates time to consider and prepare, and tailored to their unique keywords that the job role requires. If a resume looks tatty or is poorly laid out the candidate either gives the impression they aren’t really interested in getting the job, or the relevant skills may be lost as the recruiter spends too much time searching and gives up.
So having reviewed many CVs there are a few common mistakes that can easily be avoided if you spend a little more time checking the details. It would be such a waste to miss an interview opportunity on a silly mistake.
1. Spelling mistakes a typos.
You would think it would be obvious to check and double check for spelling mistakes and typos, yet so many CVs continue to be submitted with these. Don’t simply rely on the spellcheck on your word processor to pick these up. Take some time to read through every detail of your CV and then ask a trusted friend to check as well.
2. Don’t make it too long.
Keeping your CV to no more than 2 pages, or 3 if you are seeking a more senior level, ensures that you stick to only the work history and details that are specifically relevant to the job you are applying to. A good rule of thumb is to have a maximum of a page for every decade of your professional career. If you’re finding it tough to stick to the limit then take a good look at your CV, is all of the information relevant to the job you are applying to? If not, take it out! The recruiter doesn’t need to know everything you have ever done, just the experience that would make you great at this job!
3. Layout the page effectively.
Think of your CV as a tool to get the relevant information across to the employer to demonstrate that you are capable of undertaking the job at hand. If the reader has to search for information or read text laid over an image which can take time, then they will not be absorbing the necessary information. Make sure your layout is clear and simple. If you’re not sure how to layout your CV there are plenty of templates available free online or free with word processor software. It is frequently recommended that you amend the template to suit your style, but if you’re unsure then stick with the basic format. It is the content that will win you the interview, not the colour of the paper.
4. Don’t lie.
Not ever. Every year a higher number of employers check career history and contact references to ensure their new employees have been honest and provided the whole truth. Even if you win the job, your employment will be at risk if your employer identifies a lie or misrepresentation on your job application form.
Related: Top 10 Tips to Write Your First CV
5. Keep your Objectives on the point.
Career objectives on your CV are often the most challenging aspect to get right – should you suggest your lifelong ambition is to be a waiter if that is the vacancy you’re applying for, or should you be clear that this is intended as a temporary post while you continue studying? Well, the best advice is, to be honest. If you think honesty will lose you the job, then consider removing the section from your CV altogether. If you’re keen to retain the section then make sure you tailor it to highlight your intentions for the role to which you are applying. Your objectives are likely to be worded differently for different level posts or at different companies.
6- Never copy!
Never copy someone else’s CV or use free templates to create your own one.
Happy job hunting!