This is not rocket science folks the fact is, it’s all pretty simple. Your CV is your passport to the future you want and as such it is so important to get it right. We’re giving you the 5 most common CV sins that we have come across so you know what NOT to do with yours!
They are in no particular order, as to be honest, they are all pretty bad…
Not proof reading or checking spelling, grammar etc.
This is one of my biggest bug bears. When it comes to spelling and grammar there really is no excuse. Ok so we are not all gifted at being the best spellers, myself included and I am often told I can’t spell for toffee, which is fair enough, but it’s not a problem that can’t be fixed it just means that I ask for help! Technology is a wonderful thing and it hands us tools like spell check on a plate, or try an online grammar checker like ginger software, it reads out loud what you’ve written so you can hear any mistakes; genius! Failing that, why not ask a friend to proof read it for you, four eyes are better than two! The point is there are ways to make sure your CV is perfect before submitting it, in applying for your dream job or any job for that matter. In the 21st century there is no reason that any CV should be covered in spelling mistakes, have skewed format or grammatical errors. Despite how a person speaks or whether they use a PC or a Mac there is an expected level of acceptance and if your CV falls short you know where your CV will be filed.
Inappropriate email address.
‘firstname.lastname@example.org‘, ‘email@example.com‘ or firstname.lastname@example.org. Do I need to say anything more? First impressions count and more than that, they can stick. When looking through CVs I am always so surprised to see so many inappropriate email addresses. I know what you’re thinking, “get a grip, it’s just an email address!” Right? Wrong! Yes, it might just be an email address, but your CV is a snapshot of you and a potentially offensive email address won’t do you any favours. Your CV is a precursor to you, the real person and what a poorly chosen email address says to the “professional” world is, I don’t care enough to make an effort. Which I imagine is not the impression that you want to make. After all, they are free and take 2 minutes to set up – now who needs to get a grip?!
There is nothing more frustrasting that Waffle and Repetition, not to mention its boring!!
It is all too common to see CVs that are complied of 40% useful information and 60% cut and paste from other areas of their CV. I appreciate that some roles can be very similar, but it’s not the employers job to have to sift through the sea of “articulate, team-player but can also work on own initiative. Meticulous, hardworking, excellent communication skills…” to find some real personality. Please don’t get me wrong these skills and values are important, but if your CV simply reels off a list, chances are an employer is not going to dig any deeper to find out who you really are. With regards to repetition and cutting and pasting areas of your CV, my advice, just don’t do it. Talk about transferable skills from role to role and better to keep it short and to the point rather than waffle on and on and on and on…
OTT (other peoples property)/Plagarism is 100% a no no. Please note this is different from using a template to help construct your CV, what I am talking about is lifting huge chunks of copy from someone else’s CV. There are a few problems with this one, but one I have come across is that someone actually applied for a job with her sister’s CV! I know I didn’t get it either. However, this is one of the pitfalls of having everything online. Just because it may appear to have the same job title doesn’t automatically mean that the tasks were the same, and this coupled with sin #1 is a recipe for disaster.
And that leads us nicely to our final CV sin. Telling porky pies, aka Lies.
A word to the wise. We have discussed that your CV is your passport and should be a paper version of you; bursting with personality, but leaving a good impression with the reader. Fabricating the truth in your CV is not going to help you achieve that. Now I’ll be real with you and I’ll close by telling you a story of how much hot water lying on your CV can get you into. A friend of a friend of a friend used to know a guy who’s CV was a complete work of fiction, however, this man was great with people and very charismatic. He wasn’t a complete fool, he would do his research into the role and company that he wanted to join, but would apply for roles that he was completely unqualified for. Head of departments and senior management in large, very well known firms were the types of jobs he would go for and you know what, he got the jobs. His thought process was that he would take the six figure salary for a few months, then leave before he was found out. What a great idea you’re thinking? Not so much when one of the firms does some proper checks and that same firm has a team of very expensive and experienced lawyers backing them and wanting to sue you for fraud. The moral of the story, the truth has a way of coming out and even if it’s not as extreme as this example, I should think that the humiliation of being found out and exposed as a liar should be enough to deter you from telling a porkie or two. Don’t risk it!
Something else to be mindful of is that potential employers will look you up everywhere. They have your CV in their hand and now it’s time to see if you are who you say and they do that by going online. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are just some of the places your name will throw up in a google search, so make sure you are looking good everywhere.
If you’re struggling to put together the perfect CV, don’t panic head over to the career development section of our web HERE and see where we can help. Or let us do it for you by downloading your CV pack today! And to make sure you’re covered, we’ve included our guide to LinkedIn Do’s and Don’ts, it’s Free to download so what are you waiting for…