Many of us spend hours writing a CV, so it can be frustrating when you get no response after you have submitted your CV. The experience is common among job seekers, but don’t worry! Take a look through these common mistakes and put it in your hands to take steps to improve your CV and job-hunting approach… the simple changed can start landing you worthy interviews!
This is the opening paragraph, and a weak paragraph or a generic one will cause more damage than good. The majority of employers will be reading this first, so if on average a hiring decision-maker reads a CV for 7 seconds then this can be discarded at this point.
Clichés such as ‘I am hard-working’ or ‘I work well in a team’ can be seen across many CVs. However, a snappy introduction should include how you have excelled in your career and what hard skills you have to bring to your new role, it’s important to also tailor your CV so it comes across that you are writing this CV for this specific job. Take your time on this section, it can be tricky but you want it to be right a summed up in a few sentences.
Spelling and grammar:
As recruiters, we come across this a lot. But it can be very hidden. We would recommend that you check over your CV several times, copy and paste it into a grammar software (Grammarly is great for this) and then get someone else to look over it. Many people don’t see the importance of this, but look at it this way… it is a document that represents you and mistakes can reflect badly, for example, if you are applying for a role which means you will send several emails per day it can be off-putting if mistakes are highlighted.
Your CV is too long:
Most companies recruiting are only interested in relevant jobs you have had in the past 5-10 years, and it is most likely that your previous two positions will be the reason you will get hired for your next role.
So, don’t elaborate too much! 2 pages is the maximum, but 1 page is ideal. Use as much space as you can on the page, the less white space the better. Before altering your CV, write down 5 achievements, skills or anything unique about you that makes you stand out against other candidates. If you have your jobs elaborated on over 10 years ago then simply list the company and position along with the dates to show there have been no gaps in your employment.
Format/font hard to read:
Artistic CVs are great if you are applying for a creative role, but not for other job opportunities. Having 5 different fonts in a rainbow colour will only put off a hiring manager. Instead, use a black standard font and one other colour if you wish to highlight information. Also, use a standard font such as Calibri, Arial or similar. Avoid hard read fonts, a hiring manager wants to skim over your CV not read every word closely in detail.
The format should also be readable, the hiring manager doesn’t want to piece it all together when it should be done already. It’s not only the poor formatting that puts off recruiters and hiring managers but also job boards such as indeed or reed as they struggle to correctly display a poorly formatted CV.
Below, is an example of a CV template you can search for on Microsoft Word. Simply search ‘Resume’ when creating a new document and you have a simple, effective format. There are hundreds of designs but this is a great example below!
Lack of keywords:
Keywords are critical in order to help you get your CV noticed by employers. Recruiters especially will use software such as reed or LinkedIn to find you, but they can’t find you if you have no keywords on your CV even if you are the perfect applicant for the role. So, if you are applying for a marketing role for example, then you will need keywords such as social media, content creating, SEO, PPC, data and analytics.
These are just a few reasons why your CV might not be getting through to the next stage, but there are also other factors to check, for example, is your contact information up to date? Do you have a silly email address you created years ago? Address all the reasons one by one and think to yourself, if you didn’t know the person behind the CV would you hire you?