Our previous post outlined five of the most common CV errors that could cost you a job, but those are just the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps you have scanned your CV for those errors and found nothing; or you may have already fixed those mistakes in your application. Yet, there are still no call-backs and you cannot figure out what is going wrong.
We are here to help! In this post, we highlight six more CV mistakes and tell you why they are a problem. It could be time to review your application once again.
CV errors that are hurting your application
- Too many words: A CV should always be precise. Recruiters look through hundreds of applications every day, spending only a few seconds on each CV. Make life easy for your harried recruiter: If you can say something in three words, don’t use 10.
- The same CV for all jobs: A personnel manager can distinguish between a generalized CV that will be used to apply for multiple positions, and one that is specially tailored for a given job. To hold his/her attention for just a little longer and avoid the ‘rejected’ pile, take the time to put together a customized application.
- Listing only responsibilities: Have you listed only your duties at a current job? Bad idea! Instead, connect these responsibilities to actual achievements—e.g. instead of ‘organized events’, write ‘organized promotional events drawing 500 attendees on average’. Give the employer a taste of what you can achieve.
- Avoid technical jargon: You are a specialist in your field, and so is your future boss, but your CV might not go to him/her directly. The non-specialist personnel manager who first reads your CV could be annoyed or confused if you use too much jargon or too many acronyms. When in doubt, remember this: A simple CV is a smart CV!
- Avoid irrelevant information: Your marital status and your parents’ professions have no bearing on your professionalism or ability. So, before including any information, ask yourself this: Is it relevant to the position? A spotless driving record is a great qualification for a racing car driver, not so much for an office-bound financial analyst.
- Excessively long CVs: A CV is not a monologue—it is a brief overview of your skills and qualifications. Train yourself to select only the relevant and most important details, so that your CV is no more than two pages in length. If your resume is longer, cut the fluff and keep it short.
A CV that is free of error is invaluable in today’s competitive job market. Making your application perfect will give you that necessary edge over everyone else.