These CV mistakes are sabotaging your job search
Working on your CV can be hard, but here are some CV-writing tips to make it easier.
The job-application process these days isn’t too dissimilar to a game of careers Tinder.
With a high number of CVs received for most job listings, you can’t afford to submit a sloppy CV, as silly mistakes can seriously dampen your chances of success.
No fear – we’ve identified the most common CV mistakes that lurk in the shadows and tips you can easily use to rectify them and ensure you get a match.
CV-writing tip #1: Don’t send a generic CV
Your CV isn’t just a two-page documentation of your employment history and education. While it includes this information, its purpose is to show exactly why you’re qualified for a job.
As a result, when it comes to CVs, one size doesn’t fit all. Every detail included in your CV must be tailored to the organisation and the position you’re applying for.
Simply evaluate your skills in relation to the job description and tailor accordingly. That way, you make it clear to recruiters that you’re a great match and worthy of an interview.
CV-writing tip #2: Don’t forget to prove your value
Throughout your CV, you should detail the work that you have carried out over the years. But simply saying that you’re ‘skilled in relationship building’ or ‘have great customer service skills’ doesn’t show off your value.
To make yourself a desirable hire, highlight the impact you can make by expanding on your achievements and results.
Show prospective employers exactly what you did that makes you so skilled in relationship building or customer service. Support your claims with concrete facts and figures where possible, such as targets you have met or exceeded. Measurable results provide recruiters with tangible reasons to invite you to an interview.
CV-writing tip #3: Be concise
Your CV might be tailored to perfection and feature a range of numbers, facts, and statistics. However, if it’s giving the book ‘War and Peace’ a run for its money, your hard work will be for nothing.
One in five employers* decide on a candidate after scanning their CV for under a minute, so you can’t expect recruiters to read and digest every part of a five-page CV.
To communicate your value with prospective employers as quickly as possible, shoot for a two-page CV. If you’re struggling for space, shorten older roles to brief summaries rather than in-depth descriptions. You can also remove irrelevant details and non-essential duties from your job descriptions.
CV-writing tip #4: Proofread your CV
Your written language needs to be on point as 71% of recruiters** believe spelling mistakes are the cardinal sin of all CV errors.
While spellcheck helps, it’s not enough. After all, you could write ‘manger’ and mean ‘manager’, but a spell checker won’t pick that up.
To capture every error or awkward phrasing, start by reviewing your CV from bottom to top, last page to first page. Reviewing your CV backwards will help uncover typos. Then, read your CV aloud as you’re more likely to spot anything that sounds off. And finally, it’s worth passing your CV to a friend or family member so they can give it the once over.
CV-writing tip #5: Update your CV format
Your CV must be clean, slick in its design, and easy to read. If it isn’t, not only are recruiters unlikely to read it, but if they try to, they’re likely to struggle identifying and absorbing relevant information.
A cluttered look is a huge turn off. If you have any chunky paragraphs, try to break it into a smaller blurb and then use bullet points to call attention to the most important and relevant information, such as your measurable results and other achievements.
Also, keep your formatting consistent throughout and avoid anything overly confusing, such as too many font types or a wide range of font sizes. Top tip: keep one font style and size for your headings and another for the body of your CV. This will break up the design of the CV without over-complicating matters.
Avoid these common, yet costly, CV mistakes and your job application will be one step closer to getting into the recruiter’s ‘yes’ pile.
Need more help with your CV? Request a free CV review today.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on the site Trade Me Jobs.