You’ve spent hours trying to create the perfect CV and have considered everything from layout to font size, yet you still can’t seem to land yourself that dream job. But before you throw in the towel, have you considered that you might be dropping a serious CV clanger that’s costing you an interview. Take a moment to read through our top 5 things to avoid when writing your CV:
Generic CV– Try not to use the ‘one size fits all’ approach when applying for jobs. We know it’s probably tempting to use a generic CV, especially at 2am when you’ve just finished completing a company’s 20 page application form, but tailoring your CV to suit the role you are applying for can be the difference between getting an interview and not. So make sure you do your research about the company first and try to sum up the key qualities that you think you could bring to the specific job. This will demonstrate that you are serious about the role and eager to work for the company.
Spelling mistakes– It might sound like an obvious one, but this really is one of the most costly errors you can make on your CV. There’s a special place where employers file these grammatical gaffes…the wastepaper bin. So read, and read again and remember that spellcheckers are not always a fail safe, some mistakes can slip through the net so if you’re not sure, get a family member or friend to have a read for you.
Lying/ misleading– While it might be tempting to embellish your CV slightly, potential employers will pick up on this- remember that companies do background checks and might ask for a reference from your previous employer. So bear this in mind when you claim to be a word-renowned lion tamer or fluent in Pig Latin.
Ditch the embarrassing email address– firstname.lastname@example.org might have been a cute email address when you were 15 but it doesn’t really scream professionalism. Keep it simple, and make sure your email address resembles your name. After all this could become your point of contact for the next few years of your career, so you might want to check that your online identity is something you would feel comfortable using. That includes you beerlover99….
Don’t just list qualities- There’s a reason why your teacher drummed the Point, Evidence, Explain essay method into your head: because it’s relevant to any kind of persuasive writing- that includes your CV! So be dissuaded from just listing that you’re a “good communicator”, “great team-player” or “enthusiastic”- what you need to be doing is explaining how you have demonstrated these qualities in your previous job role and what positive impact you made.