Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a CV

Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a CV

Job applicants can easily make mistakes when they write their resumes which are otherwise known as CVs here in the UK (which stands for curriculum vitae). The problem here is you cannot just undo your mistakes and delete inaccurate and misleading information once you’ve submitted your resume. This often leads to difficulties on the employer’s part and may ultimately result in rejection. The truth is there are no hard and fast rules for constructing your CV although there are indeed common mistakes that you must identify, or you can create a professional CV online in just minutes. But if you plan to make it yourself here are the top ten mistakes…

1. Typographical and Grammatical Errors

Your resume should be free from all errors, or at least the ones that you can identify if you take the time to read through it. If you can, ask someone to proofread it for you. It often takes an outsider to pinpoint the mistakes that escaped your eyes.

What are the effects of errors on your resume? For one thing, the employer may think that you’re incapable of writing and that you have a poor command of language. You would be hard-pressed to find a job today that does not value good communicational skills. In addition, the employer may also feel that you are not really interested in the job due to your lack of care while writing the resume.

2. Lack of Specificity

Resumes often lack a sense of specificity, especially when detailing your responsibilities and accomplishments. You need to provide a clear-cut description of what you’re capable of and communicate it in a concise but compelling manner.

For instance, a statement that says you’ve worked with employees in your company is very vague. You can improve this by mentioning that you’ve hired, trained, and supervised them, including the number of people you’ve handled and the sales you’ve produced.

3. Generic Resumes

Making a one-size-fits-all resume seems to be the way to go if you have to send a copy to different employers within a limited time. However, if you want to yield positive results and more responses, you should learn how to customize each copy for a particular job posting.

Authoring a resume for each vacant position will help you focus your objectives and elaborations based on the company’s requirements. You may refer to job descriptions so you can choose the most relevant skills, accomplishments and qualifications to include on your resume.

4. Duties over Accomplishments

It is crucial to bear in mind that accomplishments have a greater weight than mere duties. It conveys the message that you were able to bring positive changes and growth to your company during your stay. In the course of writing your resume, it is easy to slip into listing down duties like updating clerical files and attending group meetings.

Instead of mere enumeration, present the things that you were able to complete, like organizing ten years worth of files into different departments and recording meeting minutes while using MS Word and Excel. Remember, though, that you should not be wordy when stating your accomplishments.

5. Lengthy Resumes

There is an unwritten rule that resumes should not exceed two pages. Why? For one thing, employers will find it too much of a drag to read three pages of information about someone they haven’t even met. You’ll also have the tendency to stretch your descriptions and lists if you don’t have a limit.

You should also avoid cutting your resume so much that your personal information becomes vague. The rule is, to compress to a single page if you can, but feel free to use another if necessary.

Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a CV

6. Bad Career Objective

You do not fill out the objective section of a resume for the sake of having it. Believe it or not, employers do read this part of the resume. Remember that in most CV templates, the objective is the first thing employers will read about you aside from your contact details.

Take some time to come up with a good objective. Try to compress the whole experience you expect to have as you join the company into a single sentence. Don’t use a real vague and generic statement like “To seek a challenging post that allows professional growth.” Instead, you may use something like “To man a marketing position that would enable me to use my skills and expertise to raise funds for non-profit organizations.”

7. Absence of Action Words

“In charge of” and “responsible for” are two overused phrases for listing duties and accomplishments. These clauses contain no verbs and you want to infuse your resume with action-driven phrases as much as possible.

You may then start using words that are more specific to your field, but are equally capable of suggesting action. For instance, if you belong to the field of advertising, words like “promote,” “campaign,” and “marketed” are useful and appropriate.

8. Elimination of Significant Information

In an attempt to meet the two-page requirement, you may be tempted to remove the training and qualifications that you deem secondary to your more prestigious recognitions. The way to choose among the credentials to include in your resume is not by prestige, but by relevance to the position you’re eying.

For instance, you may have received an award for excellence in Mathematics from a very popular institute and a Photoshop training seminar from a school-based organization. If you only have room for one more entry on your graphic design resume, you would naturally choose the less prestigious but more relevant credential.

9. Cluttered and Inconsistent Formatting

There is a high tendency for resumes to become too clattered if you try to make it fit on a single page. You are likely to understand your resume well because you wrote it, but try soliciting the review of another person. If that person thinks that your resume lacks the necessary visual appeal, then you need to revise it.

Visual appeal does not only refer to design and fancy fonts and formats. In fact, a single traditional font face and size should be used consistently in the entire document. Visual appeal for a resume is more about organization and neatness rather than elaborate formatting.

10. Inaccurate Contact Information

This is a mistake that commonly happens when you type your address or phone number in the same way that you sometimes misspell your own name. If you think you’ve been submitting well-written resumes but get no responses, try checking your contact details. Familiarity sometimes causes us to overlook minute mistakes.

Here is a quick summation of the whole point of the list: check, verify, and confirm. If these three words seem synonymous, they represent the fewest number of times you have to examine all the details of your resume to see if they’re correct. These three different words stand for the various techniques you need to try to identify possible resume mistakes. For instance, after plain proofreading, ask someone to go through your resume again, and so on.

Author: Gus Barge

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