- October 07th, 2015
As a job seeker, your CV is your calling card. Often the first impression a hiring manager or future employer gets is delivered via this document. While it may not always make or break your job prospects, having a well-honed, professional CV can really give you that extra edge you need.
When crafting a CV, you’ll want to be sure to emphasise your skills, experience, and talent. It is also a great idea to tailor your CV for each new job you apply to. This adds a personalised touch and really helps you to stand out.
One way you don’t want to stand out, however, is through errors in your CV. Here are 6 common mistakes job seekers make when writing their CVs and how you can avoid them.
1. You’ve made errors in spelling and grammar.
Unfortunately, mistakes in spelling and grammar are far too easy to make. Yet because of this, making sure your CV is pristine goes a long way in indicating your attention to detail. Potential employers will appreciate your thoroughness and care; this demonstrates that you will likely provide the same level of excellence in your employment. It also ensures that your CV doesn’t get passed over for a tiny, tiny error. Reread your CV several times and have a few keen friends take a look as well to make sure any mistakes are caught and rectified.
2. Your summary is filled with cliches.
When introducing yourself and stating your professional objectives, it isn’t hard to fall into the trap of cliches and well-worn phrases. You’ve probably heard some of them many times. Instead of allowing these same notions to pepper your CV, work hard to make your summary represent YOU. Your CV should be original and demonstrative of who you are and what you would bring to an employer. You may have to rewrite this section several times, but it’s important to get it right.
3. You’ve designed a visually-unappealing CV.
Crisp, clean, and professional. That is the look you should be going for when building your CV. First impressions are huge, and aesthetics say a great deal. When a hiring manager or reader is leafing through a pile of CVs you want to make sure yours is visually dynamic, so that it jumps off the page and you end up in the YES pile. A simple way to do this is to use templates to keep your formatting in check, and to remain consistent with fonts, sizes, and line spacing.
4. You’ve made your CV too long.
Ideally, a CV should be around 1-2 pages. You can stretch it to 3 or 4 if necessary, but any longer and you run the risk of a hiring manager glancing past it. It’s important not only to include your professional experience and achievements in detail, but to do so in a way that is concise and well summarised. Make sure a reader can grasp the main points fairly quickly even when scanning.
5. Your CV is all over the place.
If you have a varied employment history, no worries. It’s fantastic to have an array of skills on your CV. However, you want to be sure your current CV is focused and aligned with your professional goals, as well as adapted to the role in question. If you have too many avenues and angles, or you attempt listing every single one of your skills, your CV will begin to look disjointed. Instead, uniquely craft your CV to each particular role you are after, highlighting the relevant skills you’ve gained as they relate to that particular position.
6. You emphasise your duties and responsibilities, not your contributions.
When listing previous employment, many job seekers mistakenly list the duties of each position. This is a poor choice. Most job titles will speak for themselves, so specifying responsibilities is not necessary. Instead, hiring managers want to see the precise ways in which you contributed to the organisation. How did you change or improve in your role? What did you achieve that made a difference at your previous employer? Focus on these “wins” and your CV will get results.
Are you a job seeker?
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