Competition for the top jobs is increasing and even the simplest mistake could be enough to put off any potential employer.
To avoid scaring off any potential employers, here are a few things you need to check before you press send on your CV:
Spelling & Grammar
We see at least half of all applications submitted with poor spelling and grammar.
In fact, when it comes to making a tough decision over similarly qualified applicants, this could even end up being the direct reason for missing out on a role. Poor spelling makes you look unprofessional and unprepared – two qualities not generally desired by hiring managers.
No matter what stage of your career you’re in, never underestimate the importance of proofreading. Asking a close friend can also be a great way to catch any overlooked mistakes, and help take your application to the next level.
Use The Same CV
CVs are not one-size-fits-all!
Whilst it may be tempting to start sending as many applications as possible, this approach will not increase your chances of success. In fact, it could end up having the complete opposite effect.
Without tailoring your CV and cover letter to the role in question, your application will be generic, and therefore not of any meaning to the majority of hiring managers. Different roles require different skills. Without focussing on what they’re looking for, you’re missing out on the opportunity to sell yourself.
No More Than 2 Pages
Some candidates are tempted to include as much information as possible in an effort to impress.
Employers don’t have time to read through your life story. Keep it short, relevant and to the point if you want your CV to be a success.
If it’s not relevant to the job, it’s not going to help you get the job. Employers tend to glance over CV’s, which is why bullet points work well.
Socialising with friends, team building, meeting new people…
These types of phrases will only make you slip back into the crowd, they are too generic to add value and not relevant to your application.
Add value to your application, and use adjectives and active verbs to help back up your achievements. ‘Successfully managed a team of X individuals’ not only sounds much better than ‘good team player’, it’s also far more likely to help get you hired.
Never underestimate the importance of presentation on your CV. It’s all very well getting all the words right, but if you haven’t displayed them in the right way an employer is unlikely to give your application the time it deserves.
Keep it simple. Avoid using anything too complicated in an effort to impress. Avoid using pictures, photos and graphs as they take up too much room and do not add value.
Choose a professional font, present things in a logical order, use bullet points where possible and embrace the white space.
Latest Contact Details
So you’ve written an engaging CV, put your personality across well and impressed the employer. Unfortunately, you haven’t included any way for them to contact you.
As surprising as it seems, this does actually happen. Some candidates spend so much time perfecting the finer points of their application; they simply don’t take care of the basics.
To avoid any potential missed opportunities, always check that you’ve put your latest contact number or email address.
Why not make sure your details are the first thing you include. That way, an employer will know exactly how to contact you when they’ve made their choice.
Other things to avoid on your CV: The date, the words ‘Curriculum Vitae’ (recruiters know what it is), physical characteristics, irrelevant work experience and emoticons!!!