Once your CV has been submitted to an employer it is now too late to repair any damage done by not noticing punctuation, grammar or spelling errors. Therefore it is imperative to pick up on any mistakes before your CV leaves your hands as after that the mistakes will significantly reduce your chances of getting an interview.
Below is a list of the most common errors that employers tend to see on CV’s they have discarded and ways of avoiding this from happening.
Grammatical and spelling errors
You may think that the odd spelling mistake here or incorrect use of grammar there does not matter that much as the job you are applying for is not as an English teacher. Wrong, any errors show that you have not been thorough and meticulous in your CV preparation and carelessness is not a quality that any employer wants to see in their staff no matter what the actual job entails. Always get an independent party to read your first draft of your CV and read your CV out loud, if it doesn’t sound right then it still needs to be worked on.
Avoid padding and stick to the facts
Say everything you need to say in as few words as possible, be concise and don’t think pretentious and grand language will impress the reader as it won’t. A potential employer wants to know if you have the required skills to do the job but doesn’t want an autobiography or too much irrelevant additional information just stick to the facts that comply with the job description.
No generic CV’s
There is no such thing as one CV fits all, no two job descriptions are going to be exactly the same so you need to avoid using the same CV over and over. Granted many parts of your CV can be used consistently but it is the fine tuning of details to specifically match the position applied for that will make all the difference. This will clearly show the employer that you have a good understanding of what they are looking for.
Be innovative when elaborating on experience
Instead of constantly re hashing your past skills on your new CV why not think of innovative new ways of describing how you developed and enhanced the company you worked for and the new strengths and ideas you brought to the position. Think in terms of new systems you might have introduced to increase efficiency or ways you improved sales pitches for the business wherever possible always back these statements up with statistics such as percentages.
Always keep to 2 A4 pages
Two pages should always be enough to entice a potential employer to call you for interview. Submitting a CV three times this length may only anger them as they don’t have the time to be meticulously going through reams and reams of CV’s. Also make your CV attractive to the eye and leave as much white space as you can manage and make sure it doesn’t look crowded or disorganized.
Stick to a chronological date pattern
Never leave gaps in your CV a potential employer will notice this and will want to know what you were doing during that period of time. It is better to include some explanation for that period as you may have picked up skills that will be useful to you in your new position. Do not draw attention to any potential short comings by just leaving a blank.
Avoid using blasé statements
No employer is overly impressed by sweeping statements such as ‘Great team leader,’ ‘Brilliant Marketer,’ if these are not backed up by any cold hard facts. If you have written your CV well and given a description of your past skills and experience the information should speak for itself and the reader will already have gauged that you have these skills. If you feel you have to make such a statement then be prepared to back it up with at least one example from your work experience to date.
Design and layout are crucial
When it comes to the design and layout of your CV less is usually more. The layout of your CV should be simple, easy to read and follow an on-going pattern. Don’t keep changing font sizes, styles or opt for luminous orange paper you will simply give the reader a headache. Instead stick to black print on white paper with a simple layout and style. This invariably always looks professional and polished. Also show your CV to at least a few people for their opinion before sending it out.
Check your contact details
This may seem like an obvious one but many people have made the mistake of typing their phone number incorrectly or using an old contact address or forgetting they have now changed their mobile phone or have typed their email address incorrectly. Make sure you have a professional sounding message on your answering machine and if your email address is a bit risqué you might want to create a new one for business purposes.