3 Mistakes You MUST Avoid When Writing Your CV
It can be a struggle to convey your career on your CV. If you feel your CV doesn’t market your skills and experience to its full potential, you’re probably right and employers are going to pick up on this. Your working hours may be packed with communication, administration and hands-on work but on paper it’s hard to represent this. As well as highlighting your skills, you need to think about showcasing your personal brand.
Here are some of the mistakes you must avoid when writing your CV:
Mistake #1: Your focus isn’t on relevant content
Your CV may be bursting with content, but is it relevant to the job you’re applying for? Many employers have technology in place to scan CVs for relevant works, so a CV with useless content is likely to be discarded.
Avoid by: Starting with the end in mind
You know what you want, you know what’s involved in the job and you know what you possess to assist your application. With a signature theme in mind, answer the following:
1. What skills and experience do the employers list for their “ideal candidate”?
2. How many of these boxes do you tick?
3. What impact have these skills had on previous companies? E.g. did you increase revenue?
4. What reputation do you have for these skills? Were your achievements recognised by others?
Elaborate on your answers to create worthwhile content that works as hard as you do. Your CV will develop a theme for you to continue throughout your application process, thus developing your personal brand.
Mistake #2: You struggle to show the impact of your previous employment
Typically, jobseekers list their employment history starting with their most recent job. That means the skills you picked up from your first jobs is pushed to the second page or even discarded, even if the skills involved are relevant to you job you’re applying for.
Avoid by: Focussing the jobs with relevant skills
Separate you’re CV’s employment history into two sections, one titled “Employment History” and the other titled “Additional Employment.” Under “Employment history” and starting from your most recent position, list all your previous jobs in which you applied skills relevant to the job you’re applying for, using the solution for point 1 to elaborate. Under “Additional Employment” and in date order, list your other jobs. To save on valuable CV space, simply include your job title, the company name and the time period you were there for.
Mistake #3: Your CV is too lengthy
Elaborating your useful content can mean your CV is pushed over the recommended 1-2 page length, especially when teamed with your “Education and Qualification” and “Additional Information (Interests/About Me)” sections.
Avoid by: Using additional media
Who says a CV is confined to paper? In addition to making your CV shorter, additional media can make you that stand-out-from-the-crowd candidate. One brilliant form of additional media you can use is a professional website.
Don’t be frightened by the idea, there are many free website hosting sites available which are incredibly user friendly. Be sure to include a bio and professional photo in keeping with the theme set by your CV, but take the bulk out of your paper CV by creating an online version. Include the web address on your paper CV and direct employers to view your additional content in your email cover letters.
At EmptyLemon, we aim to provide the best possible career advice. You can find more information on CV writing, interviews, networking and more on our blog.