Writing your CV over and over again can be one of the most infuriating things to do. Not only do you spend hours carefully wording what you did at your office job 3 years ago, but trying to relate your experience to the role you’re applying for can be easier said than done. But over the years there are many mistakes that candidates include or forget to write about that can completely reduce your chances of bagging that job. Recent studies have shown that recruiters will look at a CV for just 7 seconds before knowing whether the candidate is suitable or not, so here are a few tips to ensure that you don’t trip up at the first hurdle!
- Don’t include words you don’t understand
A very common mistake is to try and sound intelligent and use ‘big’ words to impress the company you’re applying for. If you’ve ever seen the Friends episode where Joey uses a thesaurus for his recommendation letter on behalf of Monica and Chandler, you’ll understand what I mean. For example Joey signs the letter ‘Yours Sincerely Baby Kangaroo’ I mean as silly as this sounds, this is what you’re sounding like to a recruiter without even realising it. It’s easy to just to click on synonyms and think ‘well that sounds alright I’ll just use that’ but you’re probably actually boosting your chances of getting your CV binned.
- Keep your CV in chronological order
Without sounding patronising, you can sometimes get carried away with trying too hard to make your CV relevant to the job you’re applying for. Many people can mistake putting roles and experiences that they think will catch a recruiter’s eye at the top of their CV rather than what their current role is. Don’t get me wrong it’s important to include these roles as you want to demonstrate that you have the relevant experience, but what recruiters find the most annoying is having to do dig around your CV and try to place when you did what job and what did you move onto blah blah blah. Bearing in mind there is a lot of applications to one job role; recruiters don’t have time to be flicking through trying to place your career in order.
- Include address/location
Again you’d be surprised at how many people don’t include where they live. How can a recruiter know if you’re right for the job if they don’t know where you live? Having said that it has caused quite the controversy as some people don’t want to include it in case they don’t get the job based on where they live or they don’t want people knowing their address, but if this is the case just include your location. If you are applying for a job that isn’t where you currently live, why not underneath your address add ‘looking to relocate’ so this demonstrates to the employer how serious you are about the job. If you’re struggling and unsure what to do about this refer to our previous blog post “Should you include your address on your CV.”
- Don’t include a photo
Why oh why would you do this? Believe it or not some candidates do which baffles me. Unless you want to be Britain’s next top model, a photo is never necessary. You are applying for a job based on what you know and your previous experiences, not whether you’re a blonde or brunette. Nowadays employers are actually trying to prevent unconscious bias and use more tools to make your CV more anonymous, so by using a photo this is contradicting everything that recruiters are actually trying to do.
- Always ask someone to check over your CV
Rule number 1, never submit a CV that you’ve been writing all day. I know it can be the easier option as you’ve been trying to perfect it for hours and you just want to get your application sent (not to mention you don’t want to hear someone say that it sounds all wrong). But if you’re really serious about the job you’re applying for then a fresh pair of eyes are a must before pressing that send button. An easy spelling mistake that could have easily been looked over, can risk you landing an interview. The amount of recruiters that say they would throw away a CV if there’s spelling mistakes is extremely high, so don’t risk it and make sure you ask someone to read it before you send!
Hopefully these few tips have helped you on your way to bagging yourself that job you’ve had your eyes on. If you’re still unsure on how to write your CV check out some of our other blog posts that could help you…