8 awesome ways to avoid making common CV mistakes
Employers and agencies look at CVs all the time but you’re most likely to see yours and perhaps one or two others (i.e. your mates’), especially during the early stages of your career. So how can you make sure that your CV stands out for the right reasons? Here are our tips on making the best impression.
1. Having a generic CV
Tailor your CV for each job application to ensure that a prospective employer will see what they need to see. You want to meet their criteria and get through to interview, right? Well, make sure you match what they’re looking for as closely as possible. Check out other job ads for similar roles and your would-be employer’s website to get a feel for what that might be.
2. Including mountains of text
Structure you CV clearly and make sure your relevant work experience is really easy to read. Having to pick through umpteen paragraphs to find out key facts about you will really put the reader off.
3. Hiding your light under a bushel
Let yourself shine by showing the positive effects of your work in previous settings. Did you win Employee of the Month for taking on some administrative burden for your manager as they were short-staffed? Write that here. Did feedback from parents improve after you took over the Baby Room? This is the spot.
4. Including too much info
Help recruiters to help you. We go through so many CVs every day so we need to get to the heart of what you can do really quickly. Don’t slow us down with info that isn’t relevant to the job/s you’re applying for.
5. Having unexplained gaps
If you’ve taken time out between roles, do let us know why. Otherwise, we’ll assume you’ve been living the life of Riley and haven’t been doing very much at all. Travelling, raising children, studying and/or illness are all viewed as valid reasons by employers for career breaks.
6. Making mistakes
Incorrect grammar, names, spelling, dates, etc. will make readers think you’re sloppy. Spell check doesn’t pick up everything – and autocorrect can create some right howlers – but it’s unacceptable to have any errors on your CV. It’s your one chance to make a fabulous first impression so don’t be sabotaged before your CV reaches an employer’s inbox. Ask a friend or family member to have a read first.
7. Failing to think digitally
Don’t call the digital copy of your document ‘CV’. Make sure it has your name on it so recruiters can quickly identify it as yours. Also, don’t forget to actually attach it to emails. We all get a bit trigger-happy from time to time but now is not the time to leave your CV off your covering email altogether or attach some other random document instead.
You will be caught out. We check your references and qualifications. Even if you do trick your way into a job, you’ll probably struggle to meet expectations once you’ve started and won’t see to the end of your probation period. What a waste of everyone’s time. You’ll also find that you won’t be able to work at a particular setting or through a specific recruitment agency ever again.