The Most Common CV Mistakes.

Writing a CV can sometimes seem like a particularly difficult challenge. After all, how can you boil yourself, your skills, passions and past, down to a couple of pages? And even then, how do you refine it into something so polished you can’t look at it under direct sunlight? A great place to start, is to learn from the mistakes people often make with their resumés, so you can avoid making them yourself and make sure each application is the best it can possibly be.

Spelling and grammar.

Probably the most common mistake made when people write their CV’s. This can instantly put a sour taste in any prospective employers mouth, as it makes it appear that not much care and attention has been given to your CV. Particularly if one of your qualities is listed as “attention to detal.” It can stop employers dead in their tracks and instantly damage your chances. Get plenty of people to check it for any spelling and grammatical errors, as it is far too easy to miss your own errors. Don’t forget to make absolutely sure that any contact details you have listed are correct and up to date as well.

working with computer

Not Tailoring Your CV For Each Job.

It might take a little extra time, but it will make all the difference when applying for a job. You want your CV to say that you are absolutely right for the position, and you can do this by demonstrating only the qualities they are looking for, and removing anything that doesn’t reflect a relevant skill needed for the job in question. You don’t need to list all of the things you’ve ever done, just put the ones that you think will really grab the employers’ attention.

Quantity over Quality.

Avoid waffling and spouting clichés. Even if they fit like a glove. Just listing things such as “good communicator” or “problem solver” don’t mean a whole lot, without examples to back up these claims. They’ve been completely overused. “Good communicator” might just mean you can use words, and “problem solver” could say that you just enjoy crosswords. You want your CV to be concise and easy for employers to see your best qualities quickly, to increase the chances that they see them. They are going to be looking through a lot of CV’s, so one that is brief but thorough is much more likely to be read. Make sure your CV stays under two pages as well. It’s more of a list than a novel.

Listing Duties, Not Achievements.

When you list your previous jobs, make sure to give examples of achievements while you were working at the position. Employers will most likely know what your past job was, and what you had to do. Instead, mention times and ways that you made a difference or exceeded expectations, so that potential employers can see how committed and competent you are.

Businessman Overwhelmed with Paperwork --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

And here is an example of a CV that Business Insider describes as excellent, to help you when you’re writing your own.

Louis Clayton | Strike-Jobs.co.uk Journalist

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