Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a CV

Some job hunters believe it is simple to write a CV. They might be right, but you need to know what you’re doing and, more crucially, which positions you’re aiming for. There are many possible pitfalls; some may be little, while others may be rather significant. We’ve compiled a list of the top five mistakes job seekers make that adversely affect the quality of their applications. Avoid these, and you will greatly improve your chances of landing that crucial interview.

1. Not tailoring your CV

It’s possible that you don’t have a particular job in mind when you initially consider revising or preparing a brand-new CV. That is fine because keeping track of your most recent accomplishments is always a good idea. This, however, will never be the final CV you submit when applying for a job. Always customise your CV for each application by reading the person requirements and highlighting your qualifications. When being assessed by the recruiter, a customised CV will win out hands-down over a generic CV.

2. Not using the right key words

Many medium-sized and large-sized businesses utilise applicant tracking systems, or ATS, to compare candidates to job descriptions. They primarily function by analysing key terms and phrases, ranking the CVs that most closely fit the job description, and so on. Your CV will pass ATS filters if it uses the same terms and phrases from the job description. Use the same key words and phrases throughout your CV because it is claimed that 70% of CVs are rejected by ATS algorithms.

3. Spelling mistakes

According to various studies, up to 50% of CVs contain spelling errors. The more you consider this, the more unbelievable it seems. Even with all of the electronic spell checkers, mistakes occasionally slip through. Remember that spelling checks won’t catch every mistake because the English language is inconsistent. The best piece of guidance is to have another person review your cv before submitting it. When you are deeply familiar with a document, it is simple to lose sight of your own mistakes.

4. Not including achievements

In their CVs, many job applicants merely list their roles and responsibilities. The difficulty with this, is that the recruiter is well aware of what the position entails because they are, after all, looking to fill one. The hiring manager is more interested in your skill level. Giving particular examples of your work where you have made an impact will help you to demonstrate this. For instance, you might have increased margins, decreased costs, or improved customer retention. Include numbers and data to illustrate how your accomplishments have had a demonstrable effect.

5. The CV is too long

Instead of taking minutes, your CV will be read in a matter of seconds. You need to put yourself in the position of the time-pressed recruiter, even though it can seem unjust given the hours you may have put into it. Limit your CV to just two pages. This urges you to condense the data and carefully consider what to include and, more crucially, what can be excluded. Focus on your most recent years of work experience even if you have a 30-year career behind you because recruiters are not interested in what you did even 10 years ago.

OK, so that’s the CV sorted. But what about the Cover Letter?