Thinking of landing that dream job? Here is the right way to start and attract the right companies.
The working world is always changing and your CV needs to reflect that. Here are some things you definitely DON’T want on your CV in 2016 and beyond.
1. Irrelevant lists of previous jobs
“Some industries do typically have longer CVs – for example, medical doctors should list all their job roles from their training upwards. IT CVs also tend to be quite long if the person has been involved in a number of different projects, but these are exceptions to the rule.
Whether or not you should list your previous roles really depends on whether they are relevant to your future career. If the skills you’ve acquired will prove useful in the future, then you should probably include them, even if it was a long time ago. Usually, you won’t need to go into as much detail about these earlier job roles than you do your recent experience, but it can be valuable to show how your skills have evolved.
I don’t think that we will be seeing a return to exhaustive lists of previous work on CVs. Recruiters have so little time to review each one that the key is to make an impression on them as quickly as possible, which isn’t achieved by sending them a novel!”
2. Spelling and grammar mistakes
“Typos are easily made but not always easy to spot. As I wrote in The CV Book, a spellcheck won’t pick up on mistakes such as ‘working in a busty office’, but you can guarantee that recruiters will find them. If you are claiming that you have an excellent eye for detail but your CV contains even one typo, it could make all the difference. Always proofread your CV carefully.”
3. A photo
“Judging by appearances is human nature – we know we shouldn’t but we can’t help it. So including a photo is going to create an immediate first impression on the recruiter that they won’t be able to ignore. Your CV shouldn’t contain any personal information that others can judge you on – the way you look, your age and whether or not you are married have no bearing on your ability to do the job.
It is important to note that some countries in Continental Europe, including France and Germany, expect a photo to be included as standard, so if you are applying for jobs internationally it’s worth doing your homework.”
4. Unprofessional formatting
“A CV is your most important marketing tool, and you can and will be judged on every aspect of it, so keep it professional. If your email address is quirky or inappropriate, change it to one that simply uses your first name and surname. Print on good quality paper – there’s no point in writing a strong CV and then printing it out on cheap paper. And think carefully about the font you use – Comic Sans will not get you taken seriously.
Formatting and layout are fundamentally important; your CV must be clearly and neatly presented. Crucial information can be overlooked if it is poorly presented. The layout is also the first impression that a recruiter will have of you. A disorganised, poorly presented CV could suggest a disorganised, poorly presented person.”
5. Keep it real, not false
“An interview is the recruiter’s opportunity to get more detail from you about the information in your CV. So if any of this information is embellished, exaggerated or quite simply untrue, you can come really unstuck because you will be unable to back it up. You could even end up spinning more lies in the interview to cover yourself.
Also, if a recruiter asks for references from your previous employers they could quite easily refute the information in your CV. So while it is important to sell yourself, it is equally important to keep it real.”
6. Ditch the thesaurus and jargon
“The vocabulary that you use should always be as professional as possible – after all, you want to come across as someone who knows what they are talking about. But be careful not to over-use big words or jargon that you do not fully understand as it could have the opposite effect.
Using words or phrases in the wrong context in an attempt to appear more knowledgeable can actually make your lack of experience more obvious.”
So remember, these things should NOT be on your C.V.
- Avoid irrelevant lists of previous jobs
- Check spelling and grammar
- Don’t use a photo
- Use professional formatting
- Keep it real, not false
- Ditch the thesaurus and jargon