CV’s are a piece of marketing data, an advertising tool that should be designed to sell you as perfect for the role you have applied for.
Like a newspaper article, the headline should be snappy and draw the reader in, and the content should be concise, easy to understand, and engaging.
As a recruiter, I see a lot of common mistakes regulary on CV’s where valuable space is taken up that could be used to promote yourself more clearly.
What to Avoid…
- Hobbies and Interests at the start…
I for one, find hobbies quite interesting to read at the close of a CV. Not all recruiters would agree but, I think we would all stand in unison on the fact that hobbies should not be one of the first things we read on your CV.
It’s not relevant to the job.
Take it off.
- Reasons for Leaving…
CV’s are gateways to your career history. Like a game of poker, you don’t want to show your hand immediately. Save reasons for leaving for a face to face conversation and just display the dates you started and left the business.
- Long paragraphs…
It is the age of the internet and our eyes are becoming more accustomed to shorter, snappier, sentences. Bullet points are great; if you find the need to write long drawn out stories, then you are probably over explaining your role.
Again, save for interview.
I don’t think I need to explain this one, fibs are bad, you will get found out.
- Spelling Mistakes and Typos…
It is your CV, the first thing your future manager will see in respect to yourself. Make sure it is perfect.
- Creative Font…
Many think this is a way to be noticed, it simply makes it harder to read. There is a reason why so many people use the same plain font, it looks nicer.
- Company Lingo…
Many businesses have their own language internally, and depending on how long you have been there it may have become ingrained in your speech. However, when applying for roles, you need to translate for us. That way we can see how your skills match our needs.
Ensure your CV is a powerful first impression.
Do include, achievements, key skills, scant details of projects you were involved in that benefited the business.
When writing your CV, make sure you read each statement as you write it and think what it the benefit to the company? Does this reference the skills they are looking for in the advertisement?
Keep it short and sweet, two pages maximum.
Let me know if there is anything you would add?
For more tips on how to write an outstanding CV, have a look at this post.