Your CV is usually your first opportunity to impress a potential employer, aside from your online footprint. As a result, it has to be well presented, read well, and be relevant to the job description in mind to get you to the next stage. If doesn’t fit this bill, you could miss out.
Below are some of the less obvious mistakes that you might be making with your CV, which could be losing you some brilliant interviews. We all know to double check for spelling mistakes and good grammar, but there are other mistakes that we see people making all the time…
Your CV might be viewed on paper, digitally on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device. This means that the format has to be readable on all of these platforms. If you are sending your CV to a recruiter, it’s best to send it in word document format so they can edit it on your behalf if needs be. But if you’re sending a CV directly to a potential employer, the best way to achieve a consistent format is to send it as a PDF, as this can be opened across different devices and will fit to size, plus it’s also easy to print.
There is no excuse for a CV that is untidy. It looks sloppy and a potential employer will assume you don’t have good attention to detail.
Not having a summary of your skillset
The top half of your CV will ideally read like a mini statement of your key skills. Some potential employers will skim read CVs, so keeping the most important information at the top in bullet point form makes it easy for them to see if you will fit the bill, before they move on to looking at your past experience and qualifications.
A jam-packed CV can be difficult to follow, so keep it clear and concise, particularly at the beginning.
You might like the ‘freestyle script’ font, but potential employers won’t. It’s hard to read and you’re unlikely to find an employer that will have the patience to decipher what your CV says. Stick to the standard Arial or Calibri, for example, and avoid using obscure fonts.
It might not look as exciting to you but at least your CV will be easy to follow.
Making claims that could be difficult to prove…
Think you’re the best project manager in the digital industry? Brilliant, but don’t write it in your CV. Unless you have won an award that stipulates it, these kinds of claims don’t look credible, and are likely to immediately put off a potential employer as you will come across as wildly arrogant.
Use facts and real examples of your achievements, this will mean you remain humble and come across well.
Unexplained gaps in employment
You won’t be the first person to take time out to go travelling or try out another venture. But if you don’t stipulate this in your CV and instead leave this time blank – employers could be concerned that you didn’t do anything in this period of time.
If you’ve been travelling or undertaking a personal project, mention it. A lot of employers will like this as it shows more depth to your character. If you’ve been off sick, don’t be afraid to mention this either. The worst thing you can do is not explain why you were out of employment, and employers are a lot more understanding than you might think.
Ultimately, your CV might be the first contact you have with someone you want to work for. Put the time in to perfect it, and you will be much more likely to get to the initial interview stage. If you don’t, you could be missing out on the job of a lifetime.
Have any other tips for a good CV? Let us know on Twitter @Found_People.