Whether you are dealing with a recruitment consultant or an in-house recruiting manager when trying to land a new job, there are some do's and don'ts you should take into consideration when creating your CV. Did you know that we receive an average of 3,500 CVs and applications each month? Having a never-ending CV that is difficult to read quickly can therefore ruin your chances of getting shortlisted.
In addition to wordy CVs, we have listed 9 other blunders below that we recommend you avoid for a successful job search.
1. Photo of yourself
A photo definitely makes your CV stand out, but for the right or wrong reasons? It is claimed that including a photo will help you build your brand and that hiring managers are drawn to images. On the flip side, it may come across unprofessional and you might risk discrimination - not to mention it takes up precious space.
2. Irrelevant job experience
Including a part-time job at Waitrose back when you were 16 when applying for a design role at a renowned fashion brand, won't do you any favours. Try and avoid vocational or part-time jobs that are irrelevant, and only include experience and qualifications that in some way relates to the role you are applying for.
3. Empty gaps in your career history
Been travelling in Asia for a year? Mention it on your CV! Leaving gaps makes people wonder if you were watching Jeremy Kyle on your mum's sofa for 12 months.
4. Poor spelling and grammar
Bad grammar and spelling mistakes not only makes you look unprofessional, but like you lack attention to detail. Proofread your CV as if your life depends on it and remember, the F7 spell-check in Word is only a button away.
5. Inappropriate contact details
At the top of your CV you should clearly state your name, email address and mobile number; this is the absolute first section on your CV someone will read. If your email is firstname.lastname@example.org, you might want to think about setting up another one.
6. Personal details
By including personal details like marital status, date of birth and religious preference, you are opening yourself up to potential discrimination. These details don't have anything to do with how you'll perform your job. For security reasons you should also avoid including sensitive data such as your National Insurance number and full address.
7. Lengthy CV
Keywords to remember here are concise, to the point, quick to read. We would highly recommend sticking to max 2 pages, as less is always more in this instance.
8. Colourful text or over creative fonts
Poor formatting is painful to look at. Make sure your text is simple, slick and easy to read. Remember that 'How not to use PowerPoint' video your lecturer showed you at university? We think it sums this video up pretty nicely.
9. Writing your experience as if it’s a story
Your CV is not an autobiography; we always advocate resumes to be written in 3rd person as they come across as more professional and polished. This, and using bullet points, enables the reader to focus on the value you can add, rather than what you’re like as a person.
10. Lying or exaggerating
Last but definitely not least; be honest. Why risk getting a job you are not qualified to do? Spare yourself the embarrassment - the truth always comes out in the end anyway.
For more of our CV and cover letter tips, click here.