It's important that you get your CV right as it is your one shot at impressing potential employers. Your CV should really impress your potential employer, it’s what determines whether you’ll be shortlisted for an interview or not! However, most people tend to make mistakes in their CVs that end up costing them the jobs that they have applied for.
The following are 10 of these mistakes:
1. Not Including Your Accomplishments in the Career History Section
It is important to demonstrate progression and a consistent ability to produce results. It is advisable to pair your accomplishments with your career history. Utilize specific achievements to demonstrate the value proposition and personal brand that is portrayed in your CV.
Most of your accomplishments are best illustrated within the situational and chronological context in which they occurred. Include an outline of accomplishments that will demonstrate your brand and value proposition. Moreover, the body of your CV ought to incorporate achievements and results that show your impact in every organization you have worked for.
2. Being Vague
Using words and phrases like a few, a couple and various can make you sound too vague. For instance, if you spent 4 years as a chef in a particular restaurant, say so. Also, if you exceeded a client’s expectations, then clarify how you did that. If you come across as being vague, it might look like you are either exaggerating or making something up altogether.
3. Overemphasizing On Education
Many seasoned professionals often make the mistake of overemphasizing on education. As an experienced professional in your field, your accomplishments and ability to deliver are more significant than your academic papers. Maybe you’re from a country whose native language is not English; in this case, seeking employment in the U.S, for example, will require that you take the TOEFL exam. You probably passed this exam with help from the best causal essay topics However, if you’ve worked in the U.S previously, then no need to emphasize on this. Instead, focus on the job that you did and highlight your competence. If you’re a fresh graduate on the other hand, with little or no experience, then you can shine light on your educational background.
It’s important that you prioritize your selling points, listing those of primary importance first.
4. Writing a Long CV
Most individuals tend to write a long resume thinking that certain opportunities will elude them if they are precise in their CVs. However, this approach mostly backfires. At times, those who read the CVs might give your CV a few seconds before deciding whether to either read it thoroughly or toss it aside.
Therefore, it should be as short as possible and at the same time, convey the information that the employer is looking for. So, it’s advisable to stick to about two pages. Unless it’s relevant, don’t include every course taken.
5. Ignoring Gaps in Your Employment History
Having gaps in your employment history is a common phenomenon and hardly ever a problem as long as they are clarified. You don’t have to stress over gaps of several weeks, but if you haven’t been employed for months or even years, you have to explain why clearly. Any unexplained gaps of this length will be viewed with suspicion by potential employers.
Do not hesitate to inform potential recruiters that, for instance, you volunteered at given point in time or even decided to travel to various countries. Also, there's no harm in informing potential employers about time spent away from employment as a result of joblessness.
6. Using an Autobiographical Style For Your CV
Your CV isn’t an autobiography. It is a marketing tool. While the choice of how far back to date your CV relies upon the personal circumstances, for the most part, you can go back 10 to 20 years. In case experience earlier than that is still applicable, summarize it in a few sentences without specifying the dates.
Think in terms of impact and relevance. Does a specific bit of information or accomplishment support your brand? Does it promote your qualifications with regards to your career objectives? If it doesn’t, leave it out. By including irrelevant information, the recipient might wonder if you really understand the position that you’re applying for.
While your CV ought to be the best version of you and your experiences, including fake qualifications or accomplishments will invalidate any of your genuine success. Potential employers are always keen on anything that looks out of place, including salaries and job titles. More often than not, these recruiters are good at spotting them. Therefore, it is advisable for you to be forthright and give your real accomplishments so that you increase your chances of landing that job.
8. Poor Grammar and Spelling
You might find that one spelling error can ruin your chances of getting that job that you desire. Therefore, before you send your CV, use the various online grammar and spell checking tools for proofreading purposes. Moreover, you can also ask your friends or family members to give it another look.
9. Including References
You have minimal space on your CV to ensure that you showcase yourself completely. Do not squander any with lengthy references. Most employers do not expect them, and a note that will tell employers that references can be availed if requested is sufficient. On the other hand, if a job advert asks for references to be included, you can then include them on a separate sheet.
10. Including a Summary Statement
While it has become normal for a CV to include a summary statement, more often than not, these are just general statements that do not differentiate the individual from their competitors in the job market.
What differentiates you and makes your contributions to the organizations that you’ve worked for better and unique than your competitors? What is the value proposition that you are making to your potential employer? What separates you from your competitors and what makes you qualified for the position advertised?
Furthermore, it’s not sufficient to tell the recruiter that you have certain abilities or attributes; you should demonstrate them through examples of past accomplishments. Show the impact that you had. Soft skills are equally essential, but even those ought to be backed up by specific achievements that best illustrate them.
There you have it. The above are just but some of the mistakes people make while drafting their CVs. Are there others that you can think of? Share with us!
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