So, you’re looking to land your dream job. Understandably, it’s hard to get a job that meets all of your requirements and preferences. Isn’t it? Recruiters usually receive tons of applications when they post a job. They have to scan through a pile of CVs and resumes to shortlist candidates, and most are filled with CV mistakes.
Is your CV powerful enough to help you stand out from the crowd? If not, it’s high time to take a step back and work on the basics. For example, analyze your current CV and see if you’re making mistakes that are stopping you from getting a good job.
In this blog, I’ll identify some of the common CV mistakes and how you can avoid them to make a good first impression on recruiters. But before we dig deep, let’s quickly define what is a CV and how it is different from a resume.
What is a Curriculum Vitae (CV)?
A CV is a long document that you use to showcase your academic and professional achievements. Your recruiter should be able to find all the information they need to verify your skills, job experience, or qualification. While a resume is a short one-page document that highlights key facts, a CV is a more detailed document that presents the whole course of your career.
8 Common CV Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
1. Spelling & Grammar Mistakes
Let me start with the basic ones. It’s pretty obvious that submitting a CV with grammar or spelling issues showcases that you don’t pay attention to small details. So, before sending your CV to a recruiter, be sure to double-check everything.
A survey of 379 recruiters revealed that CVs with typos and grammatical errors were an instant deal-breaker for a staggering 79% of respondents.
2. Exaggeration is a CV Mistake
Sometimes it feels like a good idea to boost your academic grades or exaggerate the truth just to impress potential employers. Here is the deal: don’t lie or exaggerate facts on your CV. It could cost you the job. The best strategy is to be who you are and be honest about your skills and experience.
3. Poor CV format
Most candidates use a chronological CV format. However, it’s not always the right choice. You should select a CV format based on your situation. For example, if you have employment gaps, a skill-based format will be a good choice.
When people submit their CVs, the first thing recruiters see is the CV format. So, be consistent throughout the CV. Font changes halfway or typos can reflect badly on you.
Here is another tip: try to make your CV scannable, professional, and clean. For example, use suitable fonts like Calibri or Arial that are supported by most word-processing software.
4. Generic Language
Do you think it’s a good idea to have a CV full of cliches? Your objective should be to stand out. This goal can’t be achieved when candidates use CV cliches and buzzwords. Recruiters don’t find any attraction in those vague, unimaginable phrases that show no real value. They have probably read those generic phrases thousands of times. So, try to avoid them. Instead, use simple language without stuffing your CV with heavy words.
5. Use of Old-fashioned ‘Objective Statement’
We often see an objective statement in CVs. However, you need to pay attention to outdated CV writing practices. Objective statements don’t help recruiters because candidates don’t write original statements. Here is an example of a generic statement: “A passionate individual with 5 years of experience in digital marketing seeking full-time employment with a reputable employer.”
Hey, your CV is all about you. Therefore, focus on how your skills can help employers achieve their business goals. The right way is to write a summary explaining how your experience has helped your previous employers. For example, if you’re a digital marketer, write in your CV summary how much revenue you have generated for your clients.
6. Not Taking Time to Customize CV for a Job
How much time will it take to customize your CV to make it more relevant to the job you’re applying for? We’re not sure about the time you need to update your CV, but one thing is for sure: you have to show the recruiter that you have the skills and experience you need to step into the job and succeed.
Your CV might get rejected by the applicant tracking system (ATS) if you haven’t mentioned the required skills and qualifications in your CV. Bots are quick when it comes to candidate screening. So, make sure your CV passes through the ATS. Besides, you can afford to use a generic CV when it comes to signing up on a database or when attending a job fair.
An increasing number of organizations use ATS to automate their recruiting processes. So, take into account how applicant tracking systems work and how to use relevant keywords to increase your chances of getting shortlisted. Spell out all the abbreviations and acronyms in your CV. This also makes things easier for human readers.
7. Including Past or Current Earnings
It’s not a good idea to mention anything about your past or current income or salary expectations unless the job advertisement requests you to do so. Leave that part to the interview or negotiation stage. That’s where you should openly talk about your salary expectations.
8. Writing in the Third Person
It is another common CV mistake when people write their CVs in the third person. Since you want to minimize the distance between you and your recruiter, write in the first person as if you’re talking directly to the recruiter. Try to drop personal pronouns wherever possible.
Final Thoughts on CV Mistakes
So, are you ready to create a memorable CV for your job-hunting campaign? Remember, your CV is your first chance to stay ahead of the competition. Let your recruiters know that you’re serious about the job you’re applying for. Employers receive hundreds, if not thousands, of job applications every day. A great CV can put you at the top of shortlisted candidates.