A recent survey revealed candidates are missing out on their dream job because of easily avoided CV blunders.
The study found that badly presented and written CVs are more of a turn-off to 73% of employers than a candidate showing up late, wearing inappropriate clothes or even swearing in an interview. It found that the most irritating mistakes for employers were in many cases the most easily avoided.
These include spelling mistakes (67%), grammatical errors (89%) and including irrelevant information (65%). The research found that just one simple error can make a huge difference to a candidate’s career prospects.
Don’t forget the simple things
- Ensure your CV is typed (word processed) – helps with legibility and presentation and reduces any ambiguity in understanding key messages
- Use ‘Word’ or ‘Rich Text’ format. This soft copy format will not only give you the flexibility of keeping it updated, but also allows the CV to be accessed by software packages used by recruiters and potential employers and enables it to be sent by e-mail
- Ensure you check your spelling and grammar. Do not rely purely on spellchecking tools to do this for you. Ask a friend to proof read the final version for you; a fresh pair of eyes often picks up previously undetected errors
Keep the CV concise – but informative
- Keep your content short and to the point but not at the cost of diluting key messages that sell you and your accomplishments. 1-3 pages will suffice.
- Strike the right balance between brevity and quality of information contained
Make every word count
- Sell yourself using clearly written language and keep it compelling
- Avoid large paragraphs. Instead use bullet points so information can be easily digested or scanned by the hiring manager
- Use action verbs to emphasis your accomplishments such as ‘managed’, ‘developed’, ‘established’, ‘identified’, ‘launched’…
- Avoid passive constructions, such as ‘was responsible for managing…’ It's not only more efficient to say ‘Managed’, it's stronger and more active
- Avoid declarative sentences such as ‘I undertook the...’ or ‘I developed the...’; leave out the ‘I’
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