The 3 CV mistakes that you should definitely avoid…
You’re now back at work (and the gym) after the Christmas holidays and the job search is in full swing. You may have already signed up to LinkedIn. You may have also updated your CV and sent it out to recruiters. However, your enthusiasm is starting to wear thin because you have not received any interest, or worse still, any interview invitations. What gives? We have compiled a list of some minor, but hugely impactful CV mistakes that can be avoided when putting together and updating your document.
Blooper 1. Lying and exaggeration
Whilst it is good practice to sell yourself as best you possibly can and highlight your skills and experience, we advise against lying or overdoing it with the exaggeration. There is a fine line between lying and embellishment. As a Retail Assistant, you might support several departments but to say you manage the stores’ finances and lead the entire team, well that would look suspicious to a recruiter and may harm your chances of securing an interview.
You might also have some familiarity with WordPress but please, for the love of god, do not oversell this and refer to yourself as an expert. This might give you the edge over other candidates but imagine for a moment that you are tested on this. Imagine you are asked to develop a webpage at interview. Oops. Wikipedia will not be at your disposal and we doubt you will have your copy of WordPress For Dummies at hand.
Then there is the obvious illegal activity such as creating a fictional job or changing your grade from a 2:2 to a 2:1. What happens when you are asked to present your certificates and they don’t match your CV? Well, not only do you look stupid but you may also face imprisonment. Yes, imprisonment. What may seem like a little white lie is actually Fraud. According to an article by the Telegraph, it is punishable with a maximum 10-year sentence under the Fraud Act 2006.
So yes, just don’t do it, it’s not worth it. Instead, highlight your actual selling points and eagerness to learn. This will have a better outcome than any white lie or fraudulent activity. Besides, you are not likely to get any job if you are in prison!
Blooper 2. Meaningless Acronyms
Okay so you are an Accountant and you work within the AR/AP department. Maybe you are a Project Manager that has just finished the PMP certification. Perhaps you are in marketing with an impressive track record in ROI. This might mean something to you and your industry but do not assume that everyone will understand these industry-specific terms.
In most cases, your CV will be reviewed by a recruiter or HR Professional before it is passed onto the hiring manager. Chances are, it is not likely to mean a great deal to recruiters so cut the jargon.
If busy recruiters do not know what these acronyms mean, they certainly do not have the time to research them. So, instead of picking up the phone to invite you to interview, they will simply put your CV in the rejected pile.
Then there are the Applicant Tracking Systems which filter your CV before it is even looked at by a human being. ATS systems are used to automatically rank a CV and compare keywords with the job description. So yes, you guessed it, the use of acronyms will not do you any favours here either.
Blooper 3: Grammatical Errors, Typos and Spelling Mistakes
Whilst spelling mistakes will not lead to imprisonment, they will still harm your chances of being shortlisted. Such errors are a major turn-off for recruiters and they will notice them. With so many applications to trawl through, this may be their excuse to reject you and whittle down the pile. Even if you are the best person for the job, you may be overlooked.
We appreciate that proofreading is rather mundane but there are many available resources to help you on your way. Asking a friend or relative to do a quick check is the obvious first step, as is running a quick spell check through Word. However, let’s say you wrote ‘manger’ instead of ‘manager’, this may go undetected since it is an actual word. In this case, there are several other free tools at your disposal, such as Grammarly, so you have no excuses for poor grammar and spelling.
So there you have it, the minor details which may have a major impact on your job search success. You want to make sure that your CV stands out for the right reasons. You also want to ensure that you have not overlooked anything that can be used to discriminate against you and land your CV in the reject pile. Eliminating these small mistakes might make the difference and land you that all-important interview.
If you want to know how your CV fairs up and if you are guilty of these key CV mistakes, then why not upload it for a free CV Review?