Have you sent out your CV and heard nothing back? This could simply mean you weren’t suitable for the role you applied for. However, if you’ve sent your CV out many times and heard nothing back, it’s time to revisit your CV – as it obviously needs some work!
There are many common errors that many people seem to make, they don’t seem like a big thing at the time, but trust us, even the littlest thing can affect your chances of landing a role. Many hirers will receive a mass of CVs without any prior knowledge of the individuals. The little errors can be the difference between landing the job and being bottom of the pile…or even in the shredder!
Here are 10 of the biggest mistakes that people make on their CVs, avoid these and you should be ok.
No attention to detail
This is the biggest mistake you can make and will definitely find your CV in the shredding pile. Sloppiness on your CV, whether this is spelling mistakes, outdated/irrelevant information, or use of unprofessional fonts, these all directly reflect on you.
Mistakes like this will make the hirer assume that you are lazy – as you have not bothered to check through your CV before sending – and therefore unsuitable for their organisation.
Your summary should do ‘exactly what it says on the tin’, it should be a simple and concise summary of your skills. Its purpose is to entice the hirer to look at your CV in more depth, so it should be considered as an advert for your CV – make it sharp and punchy!
A lot of people make the “how can I make myself sound amazing in this summary?” mistake. They then adopt a very formal tone and pack the summary with long, complicated words and endless adjectives, to make themselves sound intelligent…error.
Too much jargon
“Thinking out of the box”, “Change-maker”, “Thought-leader” – if you have lots of phrases like these in your CV right now, it’s definitely editing time. Take a second to imagine a person who would use jargon like this on a day-to-day basis. Would you want to work with them or have them represent your company? Spoiler alert, the answer is no.
If you believe you have all the above skills, you should have no problem proving it. Instead of using these awful buzzwords (which everyone hates), just use other techniques to get that point across.
Bullet points and lists are a great way of getting a lot of information onto your CV without writing War and Peace. However, it still needs to be written well, this will not work:
1 Responsible for changes to the project when necessary
2 Responsible for project running on time
3 Responsible for managing risks in project
This repetition is pure laziness and you’ll be surprised how many people make this same mistake. Struggling to see how to get round it without opening a thesaurus? Instead of looking at your job requirements, instead look at what you did to accomplish these responsibilities.
Overly formal language
Now before you edit your CV too much, we’re not telling you to be informal. It is suggested that overly formal CVs are not very engaging and don’t allow the readers to feel the candidate’s personality. We’re not asking you to include jokes or anecdotes, just refrain from using words that you would never usually use.
Replicating online templates
The internet is full of CV templates, some amazing and others not so much. These are great little guides to give you an indication of what is expected. However, they’re not a rubber stamp, you need to adapt them for your own personal style.
Your formatting is the first thing an employer will notice when looking at a CV. You could write the best CV in the world, but if it is formatted badly there is a possibility it may not even be read in some circumstances. Think about the space on the page, don’t be cramming everything on with tiny text and no margins. Alternatively, don’t use huge margins and justification to pad out your CV. Too much random space is just as bad as no space.
For your contact information, you should be focusing on using just four lines for your name, address, email, and phone number. Don’t waste room on your CV for this, if you need to, remove your address. Try to see your pages as advertising space. You want the reader to see your achievements and why they should hire you now – not the street you live on!
Not including or poor personal sections
Many hirers love to read this section of a CV, it’s a chance to get a view of what the candidate is really like as a person. The main issue here however is having this section in your CV but using this space to pack in more…. “I’m a hard-working, driven individual, who works well….” STOP!
Instead use this section to tell them more about you, it’s always great to mention hobbies and interests. These can be great to demonstrate some valuable transferable skills. Your hobbies may also highlight that you work well within a team, or you have leadership and communication skills without having to say it.
One CV for all occasions
The opportunity is there to tailor your CV for each role you apply for. The hirer will then have a version which is completely bespoke to their company and the role they are hiring for. Why would you not do this?
You may have created a decent CV, but if it isn’t targeted for the role you’re applying for, it can be seen as too vague by the reader. You should be researching the company you’re contacting and picking out keywords and phrases from the job description. This gives you the chance to tick all their boxes. If you don’t have work experience in the role you are applying for, then demonstrate relevant skills you’ve learnt from other roles.
Inappropriate Email Addresses
Being LadyKiller457 or Jagerdowner69 may get a few laughs from the lads, but trust us, this will only reflect badly on your chances to land the job. You need to understand these people don’t know you and don’t know the jokes behind them. Most times a hirer will just veto your CV completely regardless of the content, so Mr Ladykiller just set up a new email now!
So if you improve your CV and land your interview, we have other blogs to help you crush the interview too! We have tips on the phrases to use in an interview, job interview preparation and 20 of the most commonly used interview questions. Don’t say we don’t do anything for you.