These major faux pas could be losing you interview opportunities.
The job hunt is on! You've searched the depths of the web to find the best new role opportunities and you're ready to start applying for your next post. Before you start sending out your CV, though, you may want to take another glance over it. Here are five things that you ought to remove from your CV right away.
1. Photos of yourself (or anything else!)
You may look like an absolute supermodel, but there's no need to put a picture of yourself on your CV. The small, seemingly unimportant image could detract from your skills and experience, but there's another surprising reason you may want to leave it out:
The unconscious bias of a recruiter plays a part in who makes it to the interview stage. That means that those reviewing an application make snap judgments on the candidate based on the way that they look, among other finer details on the CV. Those judgments may or may not be correct, but they could hinder your chances of being hired.
Many HR professionals and recruiters now have the standardised training to combat this issue, but it's still relatively common. So, while you may think that including a photograph of yourself sets you apart from the crowd, it could be for all the wrong reasons.
2. Confusing sector-specific acronyms
You may have been 'a PM with awesome QoQ numbers', but cut the jargon for a moment. It's far better to be clear and say that you were 'a project manager with decent quarter-on-quarter numbers' than to bamboozle the reader with acronyms. Don't make the mistake of assuming that everyone understands these terms ‒ they might not.
Let's say that a recruiter is reviewing your CV before handing it over to the hiring manager. There's nothing to say that they will understand the acronyms that you've used. If they don't know what you mean by a particular acronym, they certainly won't call you up and ask you. Instead, your CV will end up in the 'rejected' pile. Spell things out and keep them simple.
3. Irrelevant skills
You could likely gush for hours about your many skills and the responsibilities that you've had, but you shouldn't. Each time you decide to apply for a new role, make sure that the skills listed on your CV are 100 per cent relevant to that role. For instance, if you've worked in a variety of different fields – from the charity sector to the NHS – you should consider which skills work for each type of role.
Leaving out some of your skills that have nothing to do with a particular role could be the way to go, especially if you've been working for a matter of decades and have collected an abundance of skills. The key is to create a tailored CV that only contains information that is likely to land you the job. Disregard anything that won't do that.
4. Walls of non-stop text
Are you guilty of writing walls of text? Should you have a problem keeping things short and concise, you're going to need to learn how to be ruthless when editing. No one – neither a recruiter nor a business owner – has the time to sit and read a thousand-word CV.
Rather than writing massive paragraphs, it may be more effective to break down the information into bullet points. While you want to get the relevant information across, it needs to be short and snappy. Let's face it, the last thing you want is to write a document that few people have the time or, indeed, patience to read.
5. Typos or spelling mistakes
Proofreading is an uninspiring task, but it's one that you're going to have to do. Spelling mistakes and grammatical mishaps stand out like sore thumbs. It's the first thing that a recruiter will notice on your CV and, yes, it's a major turn-off.
Much of the time, when hundreds of people apply for the same position, recruiters have to find a way to whittle them down. Don't give recruiters any excuse to reject you. You may be the most qualified person in the world, but if you leave a typo in your CV, it could mean that you miss out. If you're not confident in your proofreading, you can always use a free service like Grammarly or Hemingway to help you out.
In truth, when it comes to writing a show-stopping CV, the minor details make a huge difference. Recruiters see hundreds of these documents every single day, so the key is ensuring that yours stands out for the right reasons. Making these tiny changes and getting rid of anything obvious that could be holding you back is a great place to start. It takes minimal effort and could be just the thing that gets you to the interview stage.
Does your CV have any of these mistakes? Submit for a free CV review to find out!