5 common CV mistakes and how to avoid them
Given how competitive the jobs market is at the moment, it’s never been more important to have a stand-out, professional-looking CV that really sells you and your experience.
In this blog, we’ll highlight some of the most common CV mistakes, and tell you how you can avoid making them. So, let’s begin!
It goes without saying that spelling and grammatical errors on your CV are an absolute no-no. Letting them slip through the net will create a poor first impression with hiring managers – who will likely assume that your CV was rushed, and cause them to question your attention to detail.
To avoid any mistakes, make sure you use spellcheck, and ask a friend or family member if they can have a read over it before you send it off to employers. Whilst it’s important to proofread it yourself, it’s easy to not notice your own mistakes – so having a second pair of eyes looking at it will help to highlight any typos.
Length and format
Employers spend as little as eight seconds reviewing each CV, so if there are pages of information to trawl through, there’s a good chance your CV will be overlooked. Instead, aim to keep your CV to a maximum of two pages in length. Keeping things succinct will help recruiters to see straight away whether your skills make you a good fit for the role – so use bullet points rather than lengthy paragraphs.
Also make sure your CV is in an easy-to-read format with a consistent, reasonably sized font (we recommend Aerial, Calibri or Times New Roman) and have your most recent employment at the top. Think of your CV as a chronological timeline of relevant work history and experience.
Focusing too much on responsibilities not achievements
Whilst it’s important to list your responsibilities for each role, it’s even more vital to list your achievements to show how you added value to the business whilst carrying out your duties. This could include how you contributed to the success of a project, how you drove sales or how you helped to shape improvements across the business. It’s this kind of information that will showcase your competency and capability.
Not explaining gaps
Many people feel that gaps in their employment history can hinder their job prospects – but this is rarely the case as long as they’re explained.
Make sure you let employers know if you took time out to travel, volunteer or care for a relative. You should also be honest about redundancies or having to leave a role due to illness or a medical condition. Hiring managers will appreciate your honesty and transparency.
Using the same CV for all applications
By failing to tailor your CV for each job you’re applying for, you could be hampering your chances of being invited to interview. As we’ve highlighted, hiring managers spend very little time looking over CVs, so you need to make sure the key skills for each role are highlighted first. Read job descriptions thoroughly, so you know exactly what the business is looking for – then tweak your CV so that it showcases how you excel in those particular areas. A generic CV definitely won’t make you stand out from the crowd, so it’s worth putting in the extra time and effort to create bespoke applications.
If you’re looking for new opportunities at the moment, Employ GM is here to help you every step of the way. Get in touch to find out how we can help you with your job search.