You can spend hours crafting your CV to show off your skills and achievements. But remember a recruiter looks at a CV for, on average, just seven seconds before deciding whether to put you forward for a job.
Most of you will know the basics: don’t make your CV too long and don’t falsify information – they can check. But there are other CV bad habits that may be reducing your chances of getting your dream job.
So, before you send your CV off to prospective employees, check you have ticked all the boxes.
A novel for a CV
As we said earlier, a CV that is more than 3 pages long won’t see the light of day with recruiters. Straight away it will put them off before even reading it. You need to ensure you are short, clear and concise. Don’t list descriptions of jobs that are more than ten years old, always keep it up to date with your last 5-6 employment positions.
Spelling and grammar gremlins
Everyone is guilty of making mistakes – we’re only human. But when it comes to your CV recruiters will bin CVs that contain mistakes and lack consistency. If you’re careless with your job application, recruiters will think this will carry on in your work. Get a friend, family member or a colleague to check over your CV before you send it out.
Not doing your research
There’s nothing worse than sending out the same CV to over 20 jobs, most likely you won’t get a response because you haven’t tailored your CV to reflect the job requirements. Research is crucial, you need to carefully read the job advertisement and make sure all the key requirements are covered. You will also need this later when preparing for your job interview. Always make sure the most sought-after skills are prominent in your CV so recruiters can see straight away, you’re the most suitable candidate.
Focus on your achievements rather than duties
It’s important to highlight all your relevant skills, experiences and achievements. Draw attention to your accomplishments rather than reeling off your job description. Think of your successes and achievements, what would impress your recruiter in relation to the job you’re applying for?
Formatting a CV
Formatting is an important feature, if your CV looks untidy or unstructured, recruiters will find it difficult to read and will not be impressed. Use fonts that are easy to read on screen, we recommend Arial, Calibri or Helvetica in 11 or 12 points. Avoid tables and columns. Make sure you save your CV in a recognisable file which can be opened as an email attachment such as a Word doc or a PDF format. Each CV will serve a different purpose depending on your career needs and the role you are applying for.
If you’ve nailed the CV and now you’re in desperate need of some other job search preparation tips, we have plenty of reading to keep you busy!