Your CV is the first impression you make on prospective employers. Their quick look into your skills, achievements and professional background is what ultimately makes you stand out from other applicants. Your goal should, therefore, be to make into that ‘interview’ list.
One of the ways to do this is to get rid of unnecessary mistakes on your CV and get yourself closer to securing an interview spot.
Here are some of the CV writing mistakes you should avoid:
1. Failing to Include Specific Accomplishments
Think of your CV as a chance to showcase skills and achievements that make you smart, skilled and a beneficial employee that the company needs to stand out.
It should include specific accomplishments, statistics and facts about your qualifications.
For example, did you increase sales by 60% in your last position? Did you manage the copy for a website with one million monthly page views? Mention them and back them up with hard facts and figures. This way, you strengthen your CV and illustrate the value you provide.
2. Making it Cluttered and Difficult to Read
Employers are busy people and do not have the time to look through the whole of your CV to find something that catches their attention.
Therefore, your CV should not only be attention-grabbing but also easy to skim. As a rule of thumb, keep the “30 Second Test” in mind, as you write your CV.
The rule states that employers generally spend 30 seconds or less glancing over your CV hence make use of bold headings for sections like your career summary, key skills, professional history and education, so that this information jumps right off the page.
3. Sacrificing Content for Length
The statement, “Your CV should only be one page,” does not always ring true. Depending on your years of academic and work experience, your CV may need more than one page to detail your experiences. Therefore, never feel pressured to cut out information, in the interest of achieving a one-page document.
4. Forgetting About Key Words
In this digital era, many businesses utilize applicant tracking systems (ATS) to sift through their first round of CVs.
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To ensure you make it past these systems, use appropriate keywords on your CV. Print out the job description and then highlight the words that are mentioned frequently.
Whether you see general words like “collaboration” and “leadership” or more specific things like “Wordpress proficiency” and “Photoshop expertise”, you should go back and insert some of these vital terms into your CV to increase our chances of being picked by the system.
5. Neglecting to Proofread
There’s nothing as unprofessional as a CV that is filled with typos, spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. You, therefore, need to go through your CV in detail before sending it anywhere.
Read each sentence on your CV, aloud. Then, read that same sentence again. This will help you break the document into smaller, more manageable pieces, as well as encourage you to pay close attention to every last word.
You can also pass your CV to a friend with a great eye for grammar. This way, they will be able to spot the errors that you might have skipped.
Do not let your CV stand out for the wrong reasons. Look through it and ensure you are not making mistakes.