Some of the biggest CV mistakes found by our consultants are easily avoidable but even easier to make. The problem is once you press send on that email it’s too late to change anything. Read the below to find out what to look out for, or what to check for after you think you’ve finished your CV…
Spelling and grammar
Even one word spelt incorrectly can really put an employer off. This is why we say check, check and check again when you think you are done with your CV. Get other people to check it too. And when it comes to grammar, never trust a computer to get it right – it doesn’t understand the context of what you are writing.
Focusing too heavily on duties instead of achievements
Duties and responsibilities are really important as it shows the potential employer what you did for your job. More importantly, however, are your achievements within that role. Anyone can have lots to do, but showing how you excelled in that role will prove to the reader what you could do for them.
Going over 2 pages
Two sides of A4 really is enough, promise.
Even if you have the most amazing things to say, cut it down to the most relevant bits. You can share details not included on the CV, in either a covering letter or by bringing them up in the interview.
Don’t use clichés without including evidence. Clichés are bad when not backed up. Think about how many times a recruiter will see the words; “good communicator” or “team player”. You need to sell through explanation why that applies to you.
It’s always tempting to go for something slightly different when it comes to designing your CV. However, in general, a normal linear layout with black text and single font style is perfect. Your text should be easy to read when printed and have a simple flow from top to bottom.
Sometimes with design jobs, it could be worth creating a really smart looking CV that isn’t your standard Word document. This can show flare, design skills and knowledge of programs like those within the Adobe Creative Cloud. It has to be stressed, however, that this is rare and if you’re not sure, then stick with the normal CV style.
This might seem like an obvious point to make, but…check your contact details. Here at i2i Recruitment, we have received quite a few CVs over the years with the wrong or old phone numbers on. And trust us, it’s near impossible to contact you if you haven’t given us the correct phone number or email address.
It’s easy to do, of course. If the last time you needed a job was 3 years ago, you might have come out of contract with a mobile provider and started with a new one. Just check, check and check again!!
Don’t feel like you need to fill white space. White space can actually be really good at helping the flow of a document. Don’t use overly complicated words ‘just because’. Don’t use 10 words when 5 will do, and use bullet points to help be more concise.
Not personalising the CV to the role
Do not use a single CV and cover letter for all job applications. They need to be personal to each role, as we have been saying here and in our Writing a perfect CV guide. You may end up with a number of different versions of your CV, but this is OK. Save them on your computer with your name, the company name, and date. This way you will know which CV you sent where, and on what date.
Try to remember all your previous jobs when adding them to your CV. Gaps can appear odd and without an explanation may appear negative. Even if you weren’t working for a period of time you may have gained skills that are transferable to a new role.
Being too vague
Try and be specific when describing what you have achieved, and why it’s important to the new company. Being vague comes across as not knowing what you’re talking about, or lacking in confidence. Read back through your CV from an employers point of view, do you think you sound like you know what you’re talking about?
When applying for a job through i2i Recruitment we can help you tailor your CV. But ONLY once you have spent time creating your CV. We can help, but no-one knows you, your knowledge and your experience better than you.