Articles - Top 5 Mistakes To Avoid In Your CV
First impressions are everything.
When a potential employer scans through your CV, even the simplest of mistakes can result in it meeting an untimely end by the office shredder. A recent survey found that just one grammatical or spelling error is enough to scupper your chances entirely. But aside from avid proofreading, there are other steps you can take to increase the likelihood of your application bypassing the bin and landing you with that golden interview. Explore these five most frowned-upon CV mistakes to avoid...
1. Lack Of Personality
The person dealing with your application will no doubt have a pile of other CV's to wade through. In fact, the average job advertisement will receive around 250 applications. Combine this with an average time of just 5-7 seconds spent by the recruiter perusing your CV, and it is evident that making yourself stand out is paramount! Instead of jumping straight in with monotonous lists of your education and qualifications, begin your résumé with a succinct personal profile underneath your name in bold letters. Capture the recruiter's interest by outlining - in a 3-4 sentence nutshell - your working ethos and why you're so interested in this particular role.
2. Buzzword Cramming
With the attention-span of a recruiter limited due to time constraints, make every word count. Avoid reeling off the keywords listed on the job specification: the recruiter already knows about these, and repeating them won't make you stand out. Instead, focus on your personal employment experiences and how these relate to the role. Try to condense your points into short, snappy sentences rather than elaborative, adjective-embellished ones. Remember you're trying to persuade them that you're a suitable candidate for the role - so focus on concise, highly relevant bullet points that prove you can do the job!
3. Job-Description Heavy
When it comes to work experience, many people simply list their previous job descriptions. But, since the recruiter is considering you as a potential employee, they are interested in learning about whether you fulfilled these responsibilities. Rather than just reciting what you were expected to within your previous employment, think about what you brought to the company. From sales stats to successful campaigns, give real examples of what you achieved - and how you benefited your previous employer. Proving your past successes makes you an appealing candidate for the interview, as potential employers want to learn more about what you could offer them.
4. Generic Statements
With covering letters becoming a thing of the past, your CV needs to say it all. If you're applying for multiple positions, it's tempting to use generic statements for every résumé you send. But recruiters are looking for CV's which stand out. Aim to tick the recruiter's boxes by ditching the generic statements for role-specific points. Always tweak your CV, making small adaptations to ensure it matches the requirements of each new position applied for. If the recruiter remembers your résumé after the initial 5-7 second scan, you're much more likely to be selected for an interview.
5. Unintentionally Illusive
Your CV is the first and most crucial point of contact with potential employers. These employers want to know that, along with fitting the bill, you're also an all-round reliable employee. As such, they look into more than just the words. If you have unexplained gaps between employment, this could be construed as a negative sign by recruiters. Instead of leaving these dates blank to run wild in the imagination of potential employers, simply summarise the reason for not having being in employment. Whether you were travelling, suffering from an illness, or were unable to work for any other valid reason, including a brief explanation helps to paint a clearer picture of you as a suitable and reliable candidate for the role.