Are you struggling to write your CV? Or perhaps, you already have one, and it hasn’t landed any job so far? Writing a CV is a very responsible and difficult task, and it is not as easy as it seems.
It’s essential to write all the right things, but more importantly, it pays to know what NOT to do.
Most Frequent CV Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Here are some of the most common pitfalls that hold back your CV.
1. Spelling and grammar mistakes
This is a basic rule for any written document: if it contains mistakes, the reader will most likely get a negative impression of the document regardless of the value of information in it.
It is good to give your CV to someone to proofread because we often fail to notice our own mistakes.
2. A personal picture
A very common mistake is an inappropriate choice of picture. Pictures taken in swimming suits, with children, at a restaurant are all not suitable for a CV.
Make a picture on a neutral background, with your face clearly visible, and your clothes being smart or smart casual. A picture is vital because it is the first impression of you and of your CV.
Nobody has the time to read through a long CV. The point here is this: there is important information and unimportant information. While your CV should not be longer than 2 pages, you should exclude unnecessary introductions, references that were not yet requested by the recruiter, long descriptions of companies, job titles and skill sets.
Be very concise, and the recruiter will appreciate you not taking too much of their time with unnecessary text.
4. Gaps in employment record
Everybody has gaps in their CV for various reasons: maternity leave, vacation, personal projects,care of relatives and so on. It is a normal part of life, and every CV has that.
However, it is important to explain and justify a gap and show that you were actually working on something instead of doing nothing.
5. Intricate design
Too many visual effects are very distracting, and may cause the recruiter to overlook important details. Excessive page design is better left to a graphic designer portfolio, but your CV needs to look simple and professional.
6. Standard phrases
There are so many words and phrases that do not actually mean anything. Including something like “a good team player”, “hard-working and diligent” in your CV will not have any positive effect.
Instead of listing down your good qualities, choose to state your personal impact in every job that you had. Don’t write about who you are, but about what you actually did. Actions speak louder than words in this case, as in any.
7. Vague job description
A good CV is all about being specific. It is better not to write general statements, like “I took part in many projects”. Instead, list the projects and state your personal role in them.
The recruiter is always looking for specific details that will tell them that your CV is better than 500 others.
8. No research of future employer
A very common mistake is to write a single CV and send it out to many companies, hoping that one in a hundred will buy it. The truth is that every job opening and every company needs to receive a CV prepared by the candidate specifically for them.
Firstly, it will show that you are very motivated to work for them. And secondly, it will simply be a better match in their eyes, because the information you provide will answer their questions.
Lying in a CV or at an interview is a very bad strategy. Recruiters can check facts and get references, and the true story will surface. It is better to be transparent from the start to avoid misunderstandings. The same goes for concealing information.
It is ok not to mention some facts that you would like to avoid mentioning, however, if you are asked about them directly be honest. Unless you have a criminal record, you have nothing to hide. Everybody makes mistakes, and recruiters understand that.
When writing your CV, stay positive about your chances. Don’t beat yourself up if your CV got rejected a couple of times. After all, you only need one job vacancy.
Try to stay positive while writing your CV and stay inspired by the future job prospects, and your wording will look much better in the end.
These tips are sure enough to get you started on tweaking your resume and making it look attractive. Make it a priority to follow all these steps in preparing your CV for the next job opening, and you will feel the difference.