There are many reasons why people generally find it difficult to get job offers or invitations for interviews. One of such reasons is the fact that they make unforgivable common mistakes when writing their curriculum vitae (cv).
CV are extremely important documents that should be properly written with the utmost detail and attention to avoid mistakes.
Here below are common mistakes to avoid when writing a cv or resume.
CV being too lengthy
Recruiters spend their day receiving and reading CVs. They do not have 30 minutes to spend on each one. If your resume is too long, it will discourage them and chances are that they won’t read it until the end. This is a real stylistic exercise as you need to communicate all the important information but very concisely.
Bullet points are definitely the best way to achieve this result. Write short sentences and go straight to the point. Explain concisely what you did and the results you got. Do not go into details and do not write more than 3 pages.
Some people will find it frustrating but the company needs to know if you fit the profile before spending time getting to know you. A CV is a quick snapshot of you. If they like what they read, they will call you for an interview where you will have more time to develop your experience and talk about yourself.
Too many skills in the expertise section
If you put too many skills and knowledge in this section, the recruiter won’t remember any of them and the ones that matter will be lost in a mass. Tailor your resume to each job offer by selecting the most relevant skills for the role. Do not hesitate to organise them by groups if it can be done. It will look more organised and will be easier to read.
Resume not targeted to the role
Your CV needs to be adjusted to the position you apply for. You have to show to the recruiter that you are the perfect candidate and to do so, s/he has to find relevant information in your resume. You might not need to go through all of your previous experiences. Just pick the ones that are pertinent to the job offer. For instance, for a marketing role in a pharmaceutical company you’ll emphasize on your internship in a pharmaceutical company while for a role for a baby brand, you’ll describe your first professional experience as a marketing assistant in a company selling products for kids.
No analysis of the work done
A professional resume is a resume where the results obtained for each experience are explained. The recruiter doesn’t only want to know the tasks you carried on but also what you achieved. This will show how competent you are and if the goals you reached are similar to the ones the company has.
For each previous experience, list the responsibilities you had to handle and the outcomes of your missions. You have to demonstrate what you brought to each of your previous employers and why the recruiter should call you in for an interview.
Grammatical and spelling mistakes
This doesn’t make good impression. Ask friends to read your CV to make sure there aren’t any mistakes and ask at least 2 people to do so. This is something that can be easily avoided. If your CV is not written in your native language, ask a native speaker to correct it before sending it to any recruiter.
Cutting the Meat Out of Your CV
The fact that you CV shouldn’t be too wordy, doesn’t mean it should be lacking relevant information. Be wise about the way you write your CV, and avoid cutting things short unnecessarily because you are trying to conform by all means to the one page standard. Just try as much as possible to give concise summaries of important information, but please don’t leave out important information because you are ‘trying to avoid being too wordy’.
A CV has to be clear and easy to read. Spend some time making sure everything is aligned and paragraphs have the same font and size. A messy resume will give the impression that you are not organised and do not pay attention to details.