The 6 Biggest CV Mistakes
Posted by Ashleigh Polakiewicz
Writing a CV can be a daunting task on the face of it. You have to concisely summarise your entire working life into a few short pages and hope that your personality shines through enough that the HR manager will pick up the phone. With so much time and effort going into covering every single detail and crafting that perfect paper representation of you, are you missing the bigger picture? Our expert recruiters breakdown the six most common CV mistakes that may be killing your chances at success. 1. “I have good attention to detail” Ahh, one of the most frequently used terms in a CV when describing personal attributes, and what a great attribute to have! However, word of warning, if you are going to use this term make sure there are absolutely no typos in your CV. There’s nothing worse to be claiming to be something you’re not when it comes to applying for jobs. Always proofread your work, then proof it again and then get another set of eyes over it. Simple mistakes say a lot about a person and a huge 43% of hiring managers said they dismiss a CV because it contains typos! 2. Order, Order! It’s always a great idea to put the order of your previous jobs in chronological order, even better when you date them so it’s obvious where you worked, when and how long for. What’s confusing is when there is no order or reason behind the ordering of the past experience. It instantly sends out a bad message and reflects badly on your organisational and communication skills and almost immediately disqualifies you from progressing further. 3. Me, Myself and I One of the biggest bugbears that hiring managers have when looking at CVs is the use of I. Your name is at the top, it is implied that the document is about you and nobody wants to go through the repetition of “I did this” or “I did that”. It’s a surefire way to getting the reader to dismiss your CV almost instantly. Your CV is a factual representation of you be sure to keep it impersonal, concise and accurate. Instead of using “ I automated the hiring process...” opt for “Automated the hiring process…” 4. Tailor Made When writing a CV it’s always a great idea to tailor it to the role or firm that you’re applying to. Unfortunately, when it comes to CVs, one size doesn’t fit all. Whether you’re using a CV template or writing a CV from scratch, to really maximise your chances you need to really spell out the reasons why the hiring manager should choose you and the best way to do this is to match your experience up with the ideal candidate specification. Although it may seem like this may take a long time it is definitely time well spent. 5. OTT While it’s fine to show a bit of personality in a CV do not go over the top. Nearly 40% of respondents in a YouGov poll put poor design down as a reason to disqualify an applicant. So what counts as over the top? Unusual fonts for one. Stick with Arial, 11pt in black. Easily read, smart and formal it’s always a winner with recruiters. What paper should you use? Easy, white A4, that’s it. Do you need any snazzy borders to jazz it up? Absolutely not. Remember this is a professional document with the aim of selling you in a few seconds. You’ll definitely stand out using unusual formats, fonts and colours but not in the way that you want. Bullet points are your friend here. They’re to the point (no pun intended), easy to read and are great for people who are reading in a rush. 6. Honesty is the best policy Nobody likes being lied to. However, with one-third of CVs and job applications containing falsifications, it seems that the majority of applicants feel it is permissible to embellish their experiences to some extent. Now, by no means are we here to judge you, no, no, no we would just strongly advise against it for these reasons. Applicants tend to big up their CVs out of fear that their experience is not impressive enough. However, dishonesty is always risky, whether it is a small fib or a whopping great lie, chances are you will get found out. Companies usually carry out their due diligence and more often than not your white lie is uncovered and your reputation is left in tatters. Who wants to hire an ousted liar? If by some chance you don’t get caught out and get the job you now have to perform at the standard you perpetuated on your CV. This can get extremely awkward and embarrassing… There we have it if you are already avoiding these mistakes you're a CV superstar. If not, then why not? If you’re able to follow these simple steps your CV will be infinitely better. Remember if you need help or a professional point of view then our expert recruitment consultants are always happy to give you a few pointers. For more information on this article or to speak to Ashleigh about your recruiting needs or jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 020 7269 6324 or firstname.lastname@example.org.