Oct13

CV Mistakes to Avoid

Categories // Top Tips

The Scenario:

You’re sat at home on your computer or flicking through a jobsite app on your phone and up pops the perfect job for you. Your CV is already stored on the website, so….you click the Apply button.

Days go by, sometimes weeks and still nothing. NO reply, NO communication, NO update.

Well there could be a reason for this. Perhaps the issue isn’t the skills you have but the way you’ve phrased them on your CV.

Your CV is the only advertising tool you have to promote YOU. It’s the only chance you have to sell yourself to a new employer and has to be good enough to secure an interview offer so it's worth putting in that extra bit of work.

There are some common mistakes that you could be making that are having an adverse effect in helping you secure an interview and the job you are perfect for.  
 
So here are some things to look out for and try to avoid… 

1. Submitting a generic CV

We all have our CV’s saved to our computers and in turn the job sites. This saves us time when applying for a new position and will allow you to send it out to multiple vacancies. 

This process doesn’t work…….sending out the same CV over and over again may decrease the chance of you getting past a recruiter who is working for multiple clients.

It’s worth adapting your CV based on the position you are applying for. Now I don’t mean edit the whole document or not be truthful about your experiences. I mean altering certain aspects to mirror the job description.

Pick out key attributes they are searching for and highlight achievements and transferable skills you possess. Then include these qualities and identify when you have used these in previous job roles so recruiters immediately recognise you’re a great match.

Please also don’t forget the importance of submitting a covering letter with your application. This can help to answer some of the instant questions that could restrict you getting past the vetting process. An example would be, if you applying for a job that is miles outside a commutable distance but are moving to the area then include this in your covering letter.          

2. Explain and Evidence your skills.

When compiling a CV it’s good to be positive and use the correct wording to highlight this. It is also recommended that you explain why you have used certain phrases and wording within your CV.

Therefore, if you’re going to use words to highlight your skills and attributes such as “passionate” or “motivated”, you need to use them in the right way and when relevant to the context. Don’t include too many as this can come across as forceful and could again be the cause of a rejected application.

As I mentioned before ensure you give an explanation of skill and provide some form of evidence that it will relate to. So rather than just stating “I am passionate about sales”, you should evidence why — for example: “I am a passionate about sales, proven by my ability to reach or exceed my sales targets every month”.

3. Failure to demonstrate and evidence your responsibilities.

When a recruiter is reviewing your CV and looking through your previous employment history at the previous position you have had, they want to know what your day to day responsibilities were.

Within certain roles an assumption can be made regarding these responsibilities based on the job title but sometimes these isn’t clear and therefore adding evidence can help recruiters to understand your achievements.

For example a sales consultant job title will always be assumed to have sales targets as a key responsibility. However just listing that you have hit these targets doesn’t necessary paint the full picture on paper of how well you performed.

Highlighting how you hit the targets as well as how often can always help to understand the responsibilities a little clearer. For example “consistently meeting targets each month by chasing and developing all leads and adapting my approach

This highlights that it wasn’t just a one off that you hit target but also shows that you aren’t afraid to chase the sale.

Using different wording to others will help your CV to stand out when it is being reviewed by a recruiter and will give you a better chance in securing an interview.

4. Submitting a lengthy CV

There is a high chance that your CV is going to viewed by a recruitment consultant before it gets to the employer. Recruitment consultants often have to scan through a high volume of CV’s and therefore, you need to provide them with the most relevant details quickly and clearly.

Keeping your CV to a relevant length is always important when looking to secure an interview and keeping all information on the CV relevant is just as important.

There is no right or wrong but ideally a CV should be as close to TWO pages as possible but also needs to be relevant information and a suitable font size.

Recruiters won’t have time to read your CV novel if it’s ten pages long or will they take the time if you have used a larger font size just to pad it out.

At a glance your CV needs to look professional without being complicated. It needs to highlight all transferable and relevant skills as well as advertise YOU to anybody viewing it that you are able to do the job confidently. 
 
As mentioned before you can always submit a covering letter to answer any question about gaps or information that might look out of place on your CV.

5. Errors

Wtih rgard to error, dont mak ani

This one is simple and should be easy to follow. Don’t make any spelling or grammatical errors in your CV. Any errors that get picked up can come across as unprofessional.

When writing a CV it shouldn’t be a rushed situation. You should always give yourself time to write it as well as give yourself time to review it. Once you have finished composing your CV, walk away from your computer and give yourself a break before going back to proof read it.

If you can, ask somebody else to read through it and proof read it for as it’s the most important document and tool to support you in landing a job.   

And of course please don’t forget to press the spell check button, that’s what it is there for. 

So next time you are sending out your CV consider the points I have raised in this article before clicking on the apply button and hopefully you will get the response you are after from that PERFECT JOB!

GOOD LUCK!

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