Writing a CV can be tough. It is time consuming and exhausting. Across the internet there are many examples of the do’s and don’ts of writing a CV and it’s easy to find yourself even more confused wondering which information is correct and which could lose you that crucial interview.
The experts at Grad Offer set out below the definitive Top Ten “don’ts” and what you need to do:
1: Irrelevant work experience
It is tempting when you are excited by a job application to include as much information from your previous work experience as you can to impress your recruiter.
Only include experience that is relevant to the job you are applying for. This will help your potential employers see quickly and clearly how your skills match the role they are looking for.
2: Complicated and long text
Did you know that employers only spend seven seconds on a CV? Imagine how fast they scan one and move to the next. To make sure that they pay attention to YOU so aim to keep it short. Avoid long passages and use bullet points to summarise the skills you acquired during previous work. Make the process quicker for both you and your recruiter.
3: A simple list of past duties
Let’s face it, reading a simple list of previous tasks and duties is boring, especially for your potential, so it is important to underline in your CV your contribution to past work and the skills you developed. Take time and think about how you developed professionally in your past experiences and the value you added to the organisation.
4: Not enough keywords
According to a 2020 survey on Zety, approximately 250 CVs are submitted for every corporate job offer. From these 250 only the best four to six resumes will be chosen for an interview. In order to make your CV stand out from the rest, you need to include keywords. When recruiters scan your CV, they pick out keywords that underline your experiences, skills and capabilities. To find the right keywords you need to look at the job description for the words that your recruiters are using. But do not overdo it– a few words are enough to show how you match the job description. Another way to search for keywords is on Google. Explore your industry and CV keywords, the results may surprise you.
5: You fail to customise your CV
Every job is different, even if it is from the same professional field. Make sure that you read through the job description you are applying for and change the appropriate sections in your CV to match the job you’re applying for. This shows your recruiters that you took some time to work on the application and you didn’t just randomly apply for the job.
Appearance Mistakes – “It’s all about looking good”
6 : Experiment with length, fonts and colour.
One to two pages is the ideal length for a CV– remember that seven second rule when it comes to how much information you include. Different fonts and colours can be fun, but you don’t want to distract your reader with a bright colour or a dazzling font. Also note – the fonts and the overall look of your CV should aim to match the field you want to be hired in – an original looking CV can look very good if your goal is to be hired as a designer, however, if you are looking to be employed by a law firm – steer clear.
7: Irrelevant personal information
You should only include your name, phone number and email address. All other information– marital status, age, sex –are protected under the Equality Act of 2010 and employers should not require you to include them.
8: Bad spelling and grammar
Bad grammar and mistakes make you look sloppy and irresponsible. Review your text at least three times and ask for a friend or a family member to check it as well. You don’t want to miss out on a great job opportunity because of a typo or poor grammar.
9: List of hobbies
The truth is, your recruiter does not care about your hobbies unless they are relevant to the job. It is better that you don’t include them, and use the extra space to write more on a different topic or experience.
10 5: References
There is no need to include references on your CV, they will usually be requested later in the recruitment process. Including references at the bottom of your CV is also another waste of valuable space!
Remember, your CV is the key to unlocking your future career. It has to be perfect to maximise your chances of securing an interview. Getting every detail right is not an easy task to tackle and may feel overwhelming. Enter Grad Offer: our top career consultant Oleg Rak knows exactly how to make your CV not just right, but to make it stand out. Book your FREE 15-minute coaching call to discover the path to your dream job.