If you want to impress with your CV, make sure you’re not doing these things.
On average, each corporate job opening attracts 250 CVs. Of those 250 applicants, only two percent of the of them will be granted an interview. As you can see, each of your job applications will face some pretty tough competition. You need a stellar CV if you want to get noticed.
While the CV is a comparatively brief document, it can be incredibly difficult to write. After all, you have to present your experience and skills in a page or two. You also have to make it both original and professional-looking. Accomplishing all of these goals at the same time is far from an easy task.
Remember that recruiters only spend six seconds looking at a CV. That’s how much time you’ll be given to plead your case and stand out from the crowd. If you want to make your CV shine, you simply can’t afford to make mistakes. Here are a few of the most important CV mistakes you’ll want to avoid if you want your job applications to be impressive.
CV Mistake #1: Submitting incorrect information.
When writing a CV, most people feel tempted to exaggerate things a little bit. This is never a good idea.
Submitting incorrect information may help you win that interview but it will lead to serious problems down the line. If you start the job, your supervisor will assess your skills pretty quickly and determine whether your CV has been falsified.
Don’t forget the fact that just about everything you say on your CV can be verified by a former employer. While most recruiters are not going to go through the process, an overly-exaggerated CV may trigger some suspicion.
It’s a better idea to stick to facts and include as much relevant information as possible. While it may seem somewhat unimpressive to you, the experience that you already have could potentially turn you into the best candidate for the position.
CV Mistake #2: Not checking for grammar and spelling errors.
What could be more indicative of sloppiness than leaving grammar errors, spelling errors, and typos in your CV? An employer will quickly pass the piece of paper through the shredder and never look back upon the discovery of such a mistake.
Recruiters confirm this is one of the most common and most annoying mistakes that they come across. In fact, the UK Recruitment and Employment Commission reports that half of all CVs come with such errors.
CV errors tell recruiters that you either didn’t take the time to look through the document again or you lack the skills necessary to carry out effective written communication.
Double-checking every single entry in your CV doesn’t require a lot of time. When editing, you shouldn’t rely solely on text processing software to pinpoint the mistakes. Often, these will remain undetected. Instead, go manually through each sentence. If necessary, let somebody else look at your CV prior to sending it.
CV Mistake #3: Taking a one-size-fits-all approach.
If you’re applying to multiple jobs at the same time, you may feel tempted to create a one-size-fits-all CV. While this approach may save you time, it is also more likely to land your job applications in the trash. Employers expect your CV to be tailored to their specific job opening. When you use a generic, one-size-fits-all CV, you’re leaving out essential details that are relevant to the specific position and necessary to help you avoid the job search black hole. Even if you’re applying to jobs within the same industry and niche, chances are, you can still tailor your CV.
Always take a close look at the job ad before submitting your job application. You may start with a generic document, but you’ll definitely need to modify it. Answer all the questions that a potential employer may have about your candidacy. Tweak your professional summary to highlight your relevant qualifications. The best way to stand out is to speak directly to the recruiter. If you’re trying to address many recruiters at the same time, you’ll most likely fail.
CV Mistake #4: Not including relevant skills.
We all know that a concise CV is the best one. Some people, however, will take it a step too far in an attempt to keep the document brief and focused. They’ll only list work experience without providing any relevant additional skills.
The skills section is the one that often gets abused in CVs. People include all kinds of information that may or may not be relevant to the respective position. The skills section, however, could contribute to the quality of the CV. Often, it helps recruiters decide between several qualified candidates who all have the necessary work experience.
This is the main reason why you should consider adding something to the skills section of the CV. Once again, the key is to make the information concise and focused. List skills that are relevant to the position that you have acquired at your previous places of employment. You may also consider adding an explanatory sentence or two about the relevance of each skill and how it makes you a better candidate for the position.
CV Mistake #5: Focusing on heavy formatting.
Playing with formatting options is so much fun that many people go overboard. They think that funky fonts, bullet points, and numbered lists will add to the overall value of the CV.
Good formatting should be all about increasing the readability of your CV. It has to be functional. A well-formatted CV enables a busy recruiter to go through the document quickly and identify the most important information in the blink of an eye.
While a generic, boring CV template isn’t necessarily the best pick, you should definitely refrain from going crazy with the formatting tools of your text processing program. Examine CV samples online to get a better idea about different styles. Choose the one you like the most and adhere to the stylistic idea without borrowing many other elements from alternative templates.
When writing a CV, you should focus primarily on your skills, who you are, and what makes you a good candidate. If you’re authentic, you pay attention to details, and you know how to write a strong professional summary, chances are that your CV will guarantee you the success that you deserve.
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