Eight unforgivable CV mistakes
You'd be amazed how often people make these mistakes - learn these lessons now and you'll be doing your dream job before you know it.
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Getting a job at the moment is hard enough without you putting prospective clients off before they've even met you.
Writing the perfect CV is an almost impossible task, but that doesn't mean there aren't steps you can take to ensure that yours is as good as it can be.
Carefully sidestepping our eight unforgivable CV mistake will set you on the road to your dream job... at which point you should probably give us a chunk of your salary. It's only fair.
1.) DON’T... write it in chronological order
People are lazy. Particularly if they have hundreds of CVs to go through. There’s a good chance they may only scan the first few lines of your CV before making a decision that can affect the rest of your life.
Therefore it’s probably best to start by talking about your degree or some amazingly relevant work experience, as opposed to at what age you passed your cycling proficiency or said your first word.
2.) DON’T... shoot yourself in the foot
We’re definitely not saying this has ever happened to us. No chance. But if you’re asked to provide a Twitter page, and all yours contains is one post from two years ago that reads ‘What the f**k is the point of Twitter?! LOL’, then it might be a better idea not to include it.
Make sure any information you offer up to your prospective employer paints you only in a good light - more often than not photos of your ‘ladz’ trip to Malia in 2007 will only harm your chances of finding work.
3.) DON’T... write them a novel
Cutting your CV down can be one of the hardest parts of the job application process, but it really is necessary. Read this carefully, and know that we are right... your CV should be no longer than ONE PAGE.
You may well have 75 pages of info that you feel is relevant - but picking out the best bits and concentrating them onto one sheet of A4 guarantees that it’s all gold. All killer, no filler - if you will.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. People are lazy. You can write three pages if you like, but take it from us - they’ll only read the first one.
4.) DON’T... send the same CV to every job
You need to show your potential employer that you want to work for their company - not anyone else’s. Everyone likes to have their ego stroked, personalising a CV to a certain company can give you just the edge you need to get to the interview stage.
5.) DON’T... talk about irrelevant experience
We’re sure the paper round you worked on when you were 12 made you the person that you are today, but that’s not going to get you a job. Two weeks of relevant work experience can be infinitely more valuable to a prospective employer than two years stacking shelves - unless you’re after a job in Tesco, obvs.
6.) DON’T... leave references
If an employer wants to ask you for references, he/she will ask you for them - you certainly don’t need to waste valuable room (see point 3) listing the full name, address and contact info of an old employer or lecturer.
Many people get around this with the old ‘references are available upon request’. This is just about acceptable, but it still isn’t necessary. It is implied on every CV that this is the case, so saying as much is just stating the obvious.
7.) DON’T... be boring
If you’re applying for a popular job that’ll probably garner interest from hundreds of your contemporaries then you MUST ensure that you stand out from the crowd. Simply listing your qualities in a matter-of-fact manner might work, but come at them with something new and you’re instantly a name they’ll remember.
‘I didn’t attach a CV, if you want me - come and get me!’ didn’t quite work for us, but if you can walk the line somewhere between that and boring the sh*t out of them then you’ve got a good chance.
8.) DON’T... make typos
Obvious, yes. But probably more important than tips 1-7 combined. To an employer there is nothing worse than an applicant who goes on for line after line talking about how their attention to detail is second to none, but who in the next sentence manages to misspell experience.
Check it. Double check it. Get your friends/family/cats to check it. Getting the job of your dreams is too important to let a small lapse of concentration put pay to your chances.
Disclaimer: If you find any typos in this article, who cares - I’ve already got a job...
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