Top 10 Things NOT To Include 0n Your CV
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You probably have dozens or even hundreds of CVs to shift and sort. So you’ll be lucky if your CV is read for more than 10 seconds.
Here then are ten ‘CV clangers’ to avoid that will help keep your CV in the in-tray and OUT of the bin:
1. Applying for a position for which you’re not qualified
You may look at a job advert and think, ‘I like the sound of that! I think I’ll apply!’ However, if you don’t have the right qualifications or experience, then it’s probably not the right fit.
Make sure you read the job description carefully and any other additional information that may be available.
Ask yourself, ‘I might like the sound of the job, but do I really have the right skill set and experience?’
If the answer to your question is still ‘yes’ then go ahead and apply, but if you don’t fit the bill then please don’t go any further. Save yourself the heartache of rejection.
2. Providing irrelevant personal information
You may be very proud of your personal achievements,but unless your personal information is relevant to the job you’re applying for, do not include it on your CV.
3. Burying important information
Remember, your CV will have little time to impress. The recruiter will look at your CV and think ‘Why should I interview this person? What will they bring to the organization?’
So when compiling your CV think ‘Benefits and make them obvious. That doesn’t mean putting them in all CAPS. It means making what you’d bring to the role easy to find, easy to understand and, above all, compelling.
4. Spelling errors, typos and poor grammar
This should be obvious. But it obviously isn’t. The number of CVs that recruiters see on a daily basis with spelling errors and other mistakes is terrible.
You’ve got a spell checker. Use it!
5. Unexplained gaps in employment
Having unexplained gaps in your employment history is a big ‘no no’. It makes recruiters nervous. If you’re lucky, they’ll briefly wonder what you were doing during that mystery period as your CV is folded and thrown towards the trash can.
6. Lying or misleading information
Recruiters are not stupid. They can spot information that doesn’t add up. For example, they’re always on the look out for inflated:Qualifications, Salaries, Job titles, Achievements.
Employers are conducting increasingly vigorous background checks on candidates. This can range from conducting a Google search on you to employing a specialist candidate checking service. Something that you think is just ‘bending the truth’ could really cost you.
7. A long CV
Keep your CV short, punchy and to the point. This means it shouldn’t be more than 2 pages of A4. When your CV is too long ,then this suggests that you’ve been either job hopping or you can’t write concisely.
For the older job seeker, focus on your recent experience and achievements. If you must refer to a job(s) from a while back, then you could create a separate ‘Previous Employment’ document and refer to it in your cover letter. This will show you’ve thought about your application and will put you in a good light.
8. Badly formatted CV
Format your CV so that it is easy to read on a screen.Stick with fonts such as Arial or Times New Roman at font size 10 or 12. Use italics sparingly and don’t use any colours, crazy backgrounds or, heaven forbid, flowery page borders.
9. Meaningless introductions
Your CV has got to make the recruiter get on the phone to call you and appoint you on the spot. Your CV has got to get you noticed and invited in for interview. So an opening paragraph that says everything and nothing at the same time is not going to do it.
10. The ‘So What’ CV
To give yourself the best chance of it actually being read, make sure that it ‘looks right’. Make sure that it’s not too long, that it’s laid out correctly, is properly formatted and so on. If you do all of these things then you have a chance.
Your CV has to sell you. It has to make you sound interesting. It has to make you sound as though you’ll fit into the organization and that you’ll make a quick and substantial difference.
Because if all your CV does is make the recruiter think, ‘so what?’ you’ll have dropped the biggest CV clanger of all.