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Common Mistakes of CV writing

Common Mistakes of CV writing

I hate it when I get a CV in where I can clearly tell the Candidate has been coached by a high street recruitment firm. It looks awful and smacks of un-professionalism.

At this level you need to be mindful of certain, specific things. For example, there are lesser recruiters out there who say that each position must be suffixed with a heading of "reason for leaving, which can be a recipe for disaster. Can you imagine the implications for some-one who works in the start up space and the myriad of potential reasons a start up Company may or may not be successful. Here is a classic example why telecoms executives need specific tailoring.

Resist the urge to put your life story on there. Go into great detail about personal matters, hobbies, family, etc should be kept to a minimum & do not go into detail about what you were doing 15 years ago. Recent, relevant experience is key here.

Time spent making sure your CV is crisp and relevant is always time well spent. Resist the urge to jazz up your CV with images or use long blocky paragraphs of space, the human eye needs white space or will quickly tire of reading. Don’t overuse bold , underlining should be reserved for website links only use classic typefaces like ‘Times New Roman’ or ‘Arial’ – they’re easier to read. Use tiny type, it hurts people eyes. Don’t use acronyms unless they are universally accepted.

Do not put resume/CV or Curriculum Vitae at the top of your CV. It is obvious to most people that is what it is. Also most documents on databases are indexed by means of what comes first, which should always be your name and personal information.

These simple mistakes will turn your reader off straightaway. Typos and spelling mistakes  scream I don’t care. Do not make simple spelling or grammatical errors in your own field of expertise, it is extremely embarrassing. Don’t put all your faith in a spell checker, have a friend or colleague review your CV before you upload it.

Grammar- read your entire CV out loud to yourself. If it doesn’t sound right it needs changing, writing lots, but saying nothing.

I see profiles and CVs all day long that are nothing but a long collection of superlatives, BS adjectives, and non sensicle buzz words of management speak with very little meaning or substance, no more, ever. It ends here. I will not tolerate this kind of lunacy.

Why use 20 words when 5 would do, try taking out small link words to make sentences shorter, punchier and more direct. Write it, then rewrite to make every word count; Rip out stuff that isn’t super condensed, pure gold I say again, no life stories, grab attention with bullet points not long sprawling sentences.

Highlighting duties Instead of achievements, not all roles have KPIs that are quantifiable, but– you must have had some impact in the business. Think of time-saving activities, new procedures, successful campaigns and increased sales penetration, giving percentage increases wherever possible.

Breaking the two-page rule,leaving out information and using clichés, If you’ve worded the achievements in the rest of your CV well, the fact that you have these skills will already be evident. If you feel you must use these phrases, at least try to link it to something you’ve done such as a quote; used my communication skills to build and retain a substantial client base.

Don’t be vague, Using fluffy lines like seeking a challenging position that offers professional growth, doesn’t really give your reader anything to go on. Say something specific that focuses on their company’s needs as well as your own. I’m looking for a challenging entry-level Marketing position that allows me to utilise my skills and experience to sell software licenses and drive revenues is much better.

You might be shooting me down right now, fearful that I am touting a load of hocus pocus baloney and airy fairy nonsense. This stuff actually works, try it. Lets cut to the chase here, thousands of successful athletes use this technique to shore up their determination, belief and dedication to the process of winning. So that’s what you’re going to do to win the opportunity you want.

Start with all your preparation done and finished. Basically take the entire interview process in your mind. Plan the whole day in your subconscious, Play it out like a scenario from a film screen. Watch it play out in individual scenes. Picture yourself walking confidently into the offices. Visualise yourself waiting without any nervousness at all. Imagine yourself sitting across a desk, looking the hiring manager directly in the eye, envisage yourself answering interview questions with poise and calm in your heart.  In your minds eye see yourself walking out from the offices, smiling happily, having  the Company for a further interview/feedback/to hire you.

What this will do, is mentally prepare you for every step of the interview process, so when the time comes, all you are doing is playing out the steps you have already planned. So you know exactly how to remain calm, muster composure, ooze quiet confidence. In short, you know exactly what to expect and how to handle it perfectly.