7 CV Mistakes That Make You Look Unprofessional
The stress of putting together a compelling CV often stems from the fact that people are usually uncomfortable “selling themselves”. But, a well written and concise CV can catch attention, highlight your strengths and get you that job. Here are seven common job-seeking blunders to avoid as you piece together a CV to wow your new employer.
You add too much unnecessary detail
Unless it’s relevant to the job in some way, you don’t need to mention your religion, how many children you have, your hobbies or your health status. Your CV should make your employer think you’re exactly what they want – and extra bits and pieces can slow down reading and make them lose interest.
You know that to find a job you need to stand out. The way to do that, however, is not with coloured borders, fancy fonts or non-standard paper colours and sizes. Impress your employer with what’s written on the CV, and skip things like crazy looking bullet points or photographs.
A 60 year old Nobel prize winner may need a 3 page long CV. Everyone else can do with one or two pages. Your employer will be scanning very quickly over the page to find the most important details. Make him wade through walls of text and you risk losing his attention.
The CV is riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes
This should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many little mistakes can slip through. Don’t rely solely on your spell check. Get a friend to proofread, and, if you’re applying for overseas positions, make sure your spelling and idioms are appropriate.
There’s no cover letter
For some, the only thing worse than writing a CV is writing a cover letter. But do it anyway. Your employer is busy and will appreciate that you’re giving them a brief summary of your application right off the bat.
You mention money
There is no need to mention what your salary at past positions was, and definitely no need to announce the salary you’re looking for now. Save the financial negotiations for the interview stage.
Employers can instinctively tell when an applicant is not sure of themselves – and it’s very off putting. Avoid saying things like, “I just thought I’d try and see if maybe you could possibly give me the opportunity to…” or “thank you so much for considering my application” or “even though I’m just starting out, I’m a hard worker” etc. An employer likely only needs to see whether you’re a good fit for the position or not, and begging makes you look unconfident and unprofessional.
Putting together a knock-out CV is no easy feat. You need to summarize your entire working history, explain why you’re incredibly hire-able and do it all in just a few short, sharp pages. But rest assured that if you keep your CV succinct and make sure to avoid the above mistakes, you have a much better chance of letting your skills really shine through.