Here’s how to find the weakness in your CV and overcome the most common CV mistakes.
Have you been sending your CV or resume to companies and recruitment agencies, but getting no response? Are you unsure how to create interest in your CV in order to gain that vital interview? Maybe you are simply not aware of the weakness in your CV. This applies to many people who think they do not know what to do next.
The answer is often a lot easier than you believe. We have highlighted some of the common mistakes made in CVs and resumes below. All of these examples if not dealt with could be a weakness in your CV. Try addressing these points and you should soon begin to see positive results.
Most common CV mistakes.
Attention to detail
Probably the most common reasons for a CV being dismissed are spelling and grammatical errors. An incorrectly spelt word is a weakness in your CV and can have disastrous consequences in the meaning of a sentence or description. (See avoiding CV mistakes).
These types of mistakes can easily be eliminated by taking simple steps such as using the spelling and grammar check. But don’t rely on your computer to pick up all mistakes; even a machine can miss things. Always get a family member or friend you can trust to check your CV so that you can feel assured that it contains no avoidable errors.
Jargon / Abbreviations
Bear in mind that your CV or resume may initially be seen by a HR representative, who may not have the trade knowledge or level of technical understanding that the person conducting the interview or making the final recruitment decision will have. If they don’t understand your CV, this could greatly affect the chances of you being short listed. Therefore it is vital that you remember to keep jargon to a minimum and simplify all abbreviations, so that whoever reads your CV is able to appreciate your knowledge and assets.
Whilst you want your CV to stand out from the crowd; it should do so for the right reasons. Your CV will draw attention if it is written on red paper, but it might not make it attractive to the reader. Similarly using complicated fonts, layouts, colour, graphics and photographs can detract from the main purpose of your CV and could prove to be a weakness in your CV. A CV should be as concise and as simple as possible and be more reliant on the content of the document. Using fancy fonts is not a good idea as it may be that the font you have chosen is not recognised by the software that the company you are sending it to uses and leaves them unable to read your CV. Show your CV to several other people and get their views before sending it out.
Not Enough Information
Although a CV needs to be concise, if you provide only the minimum of detail, it is almost impossible for the reader to make an informed decision as to your suitability. Your CV or resume can be the initial stage in the recruitment process. It is usually used to help make the decision on short listing suitable candidates based purely on the information provided. Therefore, it is vital to make sure you have provided them with enough information to enable them to do so. Unless a company specifically requests otherwise; try to keep your CV to two A4 pages.
Our CV Writing Examples page gives you more information on what to include.
Even though your CV is a marketing tool, there is a big difference between self promotion and appearing arrogant. Ensure that every claim you make about your own abilities is supported by evidence throughout your CV so that your statements are believable. A very effective way of addressing this problem is by creating a Personal Profile that sells you.
Remember that regardless of how good you are at your job or chosen profession, if you appear too boastful on paper, it is still no more than a weakness in your CV.
A very common weakness in your CV
It is important that every piece of information included in your CV or resume sells you effectively and therefore there are certain things which can be omitted such as:
Almost everyone can claim that their interests are reading, listening to music and dining out. Similarly quoting dangerous or risque interests might deter a prospective employer. However if your hobbies and interests are either unusual, showing something about you or demonstrating a skill relevant to the role for which you are applying; they can greatly add to your value.
Date of birth: Following the introduction of age discrimination legislation it is no longer necessary to include this information.
Marital Status: Do not include your age and gender on your CV, except if you are specifically asked to. This information is not relevant to a job application. The reader should come to a decision on your ability to do the job based on your work experience and relevant qualifications, so it can be omitted.
Reason for leaving: Do not include the reason for leaving your last or current employment, you run the risk of putting off a prospective employer before they have even seen you. These matters can be discussed at interview. Similarly do not include salary details from last employment except if you have been asked to.
References: Unless you are in a profession that requires security checks as a condition of employment (such as Teaching, Social Work, Child Care or Security), a simple declaration at the end of the CV stating that references are available on request is sufficient. This eliminates any chance for a potential employer to contact your referees without your consent or before you have had a chance to inform your current employer of your intention to leave.
Do not send your CV or resume without a covering letter introducing yourself or explaining your reason for submitting the document.
Your CV / resume represents you so remember how important it is to check for grammar and punctuation. Sometimes a word transposed or omitted can have a devastating effect. Just look at some of the worst CV mistakes for examples of bad grammar and punctuation.
Whatever your profession go to our sample cvs and resumes by job title page where you can find free examples of:
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