Here at Recruitrite, we don’t like waffle. Rather, we want to give you the real deal by sharing insider’s tips on the recruitment and hiring process. Because who doesn’t want an easier life? If you haven’t already, check out our Rite CV resource for simple steps on how to write a CV that is going to get you noticed and help get the ‘rite’ job for you.
Even if you’re confident that your CV is already up to scratch, it’s always worth knowing the mistakes to avoid in case of a few lurking.
Your CV is really a “make or break” for securing job interviews, that’s why getting it rite really matters. And, while there’s definitely a process to writing a CV, this doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it. If you’re looking for some top tips – you’re in luck.
Weak Opening Line
You need to hook the reader in from the get-go and a weak opening line isn’t going to do that. Don’t bore recruiters with a paragraph containing the generic words we all see, all the time. Instead,
talk about your skills and qualities. Aim for 3-4 sentences and demonstrate your value early on.
An Untidy Professional Experience Section
We cannot stress the importance of keeping your CV easy to understand. Your professional experience section that outlines the recent roles that you’ve worked in is really important. Therefore, you should structure it well. Avoid presenting roles as huge chunks of text as you’ll end up making your CV look chaotic. An employer will want to be able to understand the role and the responsibilities that you held – that’s why bullet points work wonders here.
Being Too Generic
A CV is your opportunity to stand out. You don’t need us to tell you that. When you apply for a job, you’re not going to be the only candidate. Therefore, it’s paramount to do everything you can to make your CV the best one in the pile. While you may think using keywords such as “hard-working team player” sounds impressive, the truth is we hear them all the time. Overused phrases should be left out from your CV, instead provide real-life examples of actions you’ve taken to achieve results.
Providing Too Much Info
Us recruiters have to read lots of CVs every day and do this within tight deadlines. With that said, we’re often doing parts of our job quickly. If your CV exceeds the recommended 2 pages of A4, we’re likely to spend less time reading it. On average, just 8 seconds are spent to scan a CV to look for the key pieces of information that is needed about you. Make sure that you’re not providing too much text and keep things simple and to the point. When it comes to your personal statement you can add far more detail. Think about whether the information that you’re providing is adding detail, always.
Gaps In Your Work History
You’re not alone if you’ve had a period of unemployment, in fact, many candidates do. Most recruiters won’t view this as a negative as we’re human too, but you should be aiming to explain what caused the gaps. If a gap was due to a long-term illness, you should state so in your CV or, where applicable add in other valuable experiences such as traveling.
Failing To Demonstrate Your Impact
As part of your professional experience, you may have been involved in lots of team projects. We want to hear about them. And, more specifically we want to know about your personal impact and the results of your hard work. If you’re going to include this type of information in your professional experience section, highlight the value that you provided the employer at the time. This will score you big points and show that you have an understanding of what an employer is looking for in terms of quality and personality.
A recruiter’s dream is for a clear, well thought out CV to land in our lap. The truth is this doesn’t happen often at all. We don’t expect you to start using design software, but good formatting does help. The information that you write in your CV can become chaotic very quickly if there are all sorts of fonts, sentence spacing, and no distinct headings. Though your focus is (rightly so) on the content and making sure you include the valuable bits that we need to know, consider how your CV reads and looks overall.
Think of your CV as the first opportunity that you have to present your standards to a company. If yours contains typos, spelling mistakes and major grammar issues, it’s not going to look good. Be sure to revisit your CV once written and give it an eye over to pick up on any potential errors you missed. Then rinse and repeat, even get somebody else to read over your CV to catch anything that you may have overlooked. Most of the time errors are likely to be found in the capitalising of words and the tense used. If in doubt, there are plenty of free proofreading tools online that you can use.
Unless you feel that you are lacking in professional experience, usually there is no need to include a section on personal interests. You should only include information that will be deemed valuable by the reader. Each line of your CV should be used to try and get yourself an interview. At the interview stage, you’ll be able to elaborate on points made in your CV when questioned.
CV writing is a difficult task but with a systematic way of doing it coupled with knowing the mistakes to avoid, you’ve got everything that you need to get yourself that well-earned interview. In the meantime, be sure to check out our other resources for our tips and advice on the recruitment process and do things the rite way!