The best of us are overwhelmed with fear at the thought of updating our Curriculum Vitae, commonly known as CV. The first step to combat CV phobia is to understand there is no such thing as a perfect CV. How is that supposed to make you feel better? Each appealing position requires an equally attractive candidate CV that stands out from all the rest. Making your CV standout can simply entail avoiding common mistakes. This does not mean you must write a new CV from scratch for every position, but rather make your CV relevant to the position you are applying for. There plenty of mistakes to avoid:
1. Grammatical Errors:
Grammatical errors are a common problem. Proofread your CV from top to bottom even after using the spell-check. Pass your CV to someone else to spot mistakes and rectify them.
2. Formatting Inconsistencies:
Jereon Kooman, a consultant with Mind Challenge, urged CV writers to be consistent with formatting. You can pull off various formatting styles but maintain the same formatting such as punctuation, fonts, spacing and lists, throughout the CV.
3. Too Much Information:
Avoid crowding your CV with irrelevant information. Narrow it down and make sure the information you provide is tailored to the position you are applying for. One exception is when applying through a recruitment agency. Some recruiters prefer candidates to provide more details in order for them to know the skills they possess.
4. Inappropriate Pictures
That small picture attached to your CV represents you. Sending a photo that is obviously taken with your phone in the bathroom mirror is not wise. Use an up-to-date and professionally made photo.
5. Hidden Contact Information
Be sure to have your contact information visible at the beginning of your CV and keep it simple and straightforward.
6. Lack of Specific Numerical Values
Jennifer Owen by, a professional resume and CV writer, suggests giving hard numbers for your achievements. Instead of vaguely suggesting your performance has been “exceptional”, give some specific data to show how exactly you excelled. As they say, put your money where your mouth is.
7. Vague Personal Statement or Career Goals
Be specific in your personal statement. Often, candidates list a wide range of interests and goals that can make them seem aimless. Employers do not want to hire someone unaware of their own goals. State exactly what you are looking for and make it relevant to the position you are applying to.
8. Lack of Relevance
Jereon Koomen from Mind Challenge warned that recent graduates may think their classes are the most relevant qualifications they have, but a candidate is more than their education. So unless you are applying to an academic position, start with your relevant work experience or personal statement.
9. Little Lies
Do not lie or exaggerate on your CV, as employers will check your references. During your interview, it will be obvious to the recruiter or HR that the person in front of them is not the same individual on paper. A recruiter from Halliburton said that he calls universities and prior employers to check on impressive CVs.
By Caitlin Margoulis