If there’s one document you’re likely to pen in your life that’s guaranteed to play a key role in your future, it is of course your CV. This one relatively simple document has the very real potential to map out the years and decades to come of any human being, which makes it wholly unsurprising that the prospect of penning a CV isn’t one that most relish. In fact, it’s more common than not for a person to script out a CV at the age of about 17, then summarily make the odd change year after year rather than facing the horror starting again from scratch.
Suffice to say, this represents one of the biggest mistakes in its own right.
The simple fact of the matter is that whichever way you look at it, a CV represents the kind of investment that’s worth putting every fibre of your being into. Rush through a hashed attempt because you simply can’t be bothered and you really can’t expect it to sing your praises – it really is as simple as that.
But what about those instances when a person wholly believes their CV is 100% killer, yet seems to be letting them down? Well, the simple answer is that it probably comes down to one of several very simple and hugely common slip-ups, which despite being minor in nature can kill a CV’s chances of standing out for all the right reasons according to recruitment company Anglo Technical Recruitment.
1 – Too Much Information
First of all, the rule you’ve probably heard with regard to keeping your CV short and to the point is indeed one of the most important of all. The reason being that if there’s too much information there of which 75% is not exactly relevant, there’s a strong chance they won’t bother taking the time to ‘mine’ for the information they’re actually interested in. If there’s anything in there that isn’t 100% relevant to the job you’re applying for, it’s worth considering taking it out.
2 – Too Little Information
And then of course there’s a polar opposite situation where far too little information is provided to the recruiters who are then left with more questions than answers. A CV should represent something of a snapshot of the person penning it, so make sure you get across who you are, what makes you tick and why you’re the best person for the job.
3 – Careless Mistakes
These days, it’s extremely unlikely that anyone is ever going to ask for a hand-written CV under any circumstance. And because you’ll therefore be using a computer to type and print the thing, there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for careless mistakes. From minor typos to odd use of grammar and really anything else of a similar nature, if it isn’t 100% perfect in quality you’ll find that every other plus-point of the CV is diluted exponentially.
4 – Contact Details
This sounds like a no-brainer but is nonetheless overlooked rather too often – have you checked that the email address and mobile phone number on your CV are both accurate? Chances are you’ll change your phone number more frequently than you’ll rewrite your CV, so pay attention to this one.
5 – Overly Complex Design Elements
If you really go to town with fonts, colours and fancy layouts with your CV, it’s safe to say it will get noticed though perhaps not for the right reasons. Generally speaking, recruiters favour neatness and clarity above everything else, while those going OTT with decorative touches are often presumed to be compensating for a lack of substance with style.
6 – Not Checking Your Own References
There are two important reasons why you need to check your own references before you list them. Not only may it be possible that the no-brainer referee in your mind won’t give you the glowing reference you’re expecting, but you might also find that they no longer work in the same place and so cannot be contacted when the time comes. This never fails to rub recruiters up the wrong way…time is money!
7 – Failing to Explain Gaps
Last but not least, while there’s nothing to say that gaps in any given CV have to be fatal as such, chances are they will do a number on your chances if they aren’t explained. For example, if there’s a sudden two-year gap with no explanation, the recruiter won’t know you were travelling the world and doing your ‘bit’ for charity unless you tell them. Instead, they might just think you were at least temporarily unemployable, or perhaps incarcerated for something quite hideous!