Eight (8) CV Mistakes Job Applicants Make and How To Fix Them

In this article I’m going to show you eight common cv mistakes that you might be making that are causing your cv to get overlooked by recruiters meaning that you’re missing out on jobs that you really should be getting and also going to show you how you can fix these mistakes so that you can improve your CV, start to get more responses from your job applications which will mean more job interviews and better job offers.

So as you may well know your CV is a really really important document when it comes to job searching. It is the first impression that you will be making on recruiters and employers.

It’s often what will stand in the way of you getting an interview or not so if there’s mistakes in your CV that I’m making you look unprofessional or unsuitable for the roles you’re applying for then you know that’s going to greatly reduce your chances of getting callbacks interviews and obviously job offers.

So it’s really important to stamp those mistakes out so what I want to do in this article is one through eight of the most common cv mistakes that I see candidates making and just show you how you can fix them it’ll just improve your CV and start getting a better response in the job market.

If you new to this website and you’re currently searching for a job this is a must read article for you in preparing you to secure your next career.

1.Failing to do your research

So the first CV mistake on this list is probably the most damaging one is failing to do your research. What I mean by failings do your research is that you do not research your target jobs before you start writing your CV. If you write your CV without doing that then you have no way of knowing what your target employers are looking for in a candidate.

So you’ve got no basis for what to put into the CV so what I would suggest is before you even type one word on the CV you head out to the big job sites and you run a search for the types of jobs that you’re looking for you scroll through them and you build up a good picture they’re looking for for those jobs.

So if you take the time to do that research and find out what skill was what knowledge what experienced what qualifications your target employers are looking for in the jobs; that you’re going for then you’re going to have a much better understanding of what you need to put in your own CV and when you’re writing the CV you just try and reflect those skills and experiences as much as you can to closely match the job adverts and that way you’ll find you’ll get a lot more responses.

This will make your CV will look a lot more suitable than if you just written the CV without bothering to do that research number two on the list is poor readability and what I mean by that is that the CV is difficult for recruiters and hiring managers to read so you have to remember that when you’re applying for jobs you’re one of many possibly hundreds of people that are applying for the same role and that recruiter or that hiring manager their inbox is going to be full with other candidates applications so they don’t often have the time to read the CVs.

Generally what they’ll tend to do is have a quick skim for each one and then build a shortlist which they’ll then go back to later so to make sure that you get past that initial skim read you need to make sure that the CV is very easy to read.

So a lot of mistakes that I see people make are not structuring the page properly not having the correct sections not breaking the text start using big chunky paragraphs and all of those things just make it very hard for anybody to scan through the CV and pick out the information they’re looking for.

So if you’re looking at your CV right now and you’re thinking it might be a little bit difficult for people to read there are a few things you can do to fix it so firstly I would say to divide the page up into very clear sections and use bold headings and borders even to break the page up so that recruiters and hiring managers can navigate it easily and find the sections they want.

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2. Break up text in your CV

You need to break up the text within that as well so you need to use short sharp sentences very short paragraphs and make good use of bullet points bullet points make it very very easy for recruiters to skim through and pick out the things they need.

If you do one of those things you’ll find the recruiters and hiring managers will find it much easier to read your CV so they’ll be able to spot your suitability a lot easier you’ll make it into more short lists and you’ll get more calls for interviews.

3. The Kind of Email Address You Use

If you have an email address that might have been cool when you were back in school that you’re still using now on your CV something silly like “bad boys forever at gmail.com” and that may have been very cool when you were younger but your CV is a professional document that is gonna be seen by company directors recruiters hiring managers.

Therefore, it’s really important that you look as professional as possible and if you’ve got a synonym or a dressing at the very top of the CV one of the first things that people see it may cause people to start doubting your credibility and just make you look be unprofessional.

If you do have an email address that looks a bit unprofessional what I would suggest is simply setting up a new account solely for your job search and just using something like your first name and surname or close variation of that, that’s really all you need to do and also be a nice way to split up your normal emails from your job search emails.

4. Number four of the list is not proving your impact now.

What I mean by that is when people normally write their CV they have a tendency just to list out the things that they’ve done in their role so for example if you’re a sales person you might write attending meetings cold calling making presentations to clients and other things like that but what’s missing from that is what was the impact on the business.

So when you’re writing your responsibilities for your roles you always want to make sure that you try and time in with what the impacts were on the business so for example in that particular sales role that person may have made cold calls that may have gone on meetings but made presentations that’s all very well and good but they should have added the results to say that they were generating leads or they were generating sales or revenue for the business.

It’s not just sales jobs that have achievements you know there could be a number of different things that you could achieve for your business it could be saving money saving time it could be bringing on new clients there are lots of different things so try and think about when you’re writing your roles don’t just write what you’re doing try and tie those into what the impacts you made on the business were and another good tip is to try and use numbers where possible to quantify the impact you’ve made.

So for example if you’re in a customer service role and one of the things you did was you resolve complaints to keep customers coming back then instead of just writing that you resolved a lot of complaints and you kept a lot of customers on board.

You could say something like you resolved 90% of all complaints within a two-hour time period and you retained 8% of customers now that’s obviously just a hypothetical example anywhere where you can add numbers like that gives recruiters and hiring managers a real sense of the kind of impact that you could possibly bring to their organization mistake.

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5. Using too many cliches within your CV

When I say cliches what I mean is things like I’m a hard-working team player or I go the extra mile or I’m a strong communicator now those things are all very well and good but they’re generally applicable to most jobs.

Whereas in your CV what you need to be doing is selling yourself as an expert or professional within your particular field.

Really selling your hard skills so you’re interested specific skills your software knowledge languages you know anything that actually relates to the jobs you’re applying.

If you fill up the CV with too many generic cliches it takes away all the space that you need to actually put in the important hard skills and also those cliches and generic soft skills are overused time and time again in CV so they tend to not go down too well with recruiters or hiring managers.

So it’s best to leave them at the CV but what if you want to prove that you’re a hard-working team player well what you need to do is you need to imply that rather than the state it.

So rather than just writing I’m a hard-working team player which people might not believe if you just write it what you need to do is when you’re talking about your roles when you’re writing your role descriptions you need to give examples of where you have been a hard-working team player.

So for example you might write that you work within a team of five and mention some of the goals that you work towards and achieve within that team that shows people that you’re a hard-working team player but you haven’t had to write it and you’ve also had the chance to show some industry specific skills that you’ve used within that role the mistake.

6. Number six on the list is having a CV that is too long having too many pages

Now as I’ve mentioned previously recruiters and hiring managers tend to be very very busy people and when they are looking for candidates they will generally have hundreds of applications to deal with on top of working towards deadlines and lots of other stuff going on in their jobs.

So for that reason it means that when your CV is first of you by recruits or a hiring manager they don’t have much time to look at it now I know that’s a bit of frustrating but unfortunately that’s just the way it is.

So you need to adapt for that situation and generally speaking if you’ve got a CV that’s five pages long and you’ve got really important information tucked down on the bottom of page five the chances are when a recruiter does the first skim read of your CV they might miss the important information think you’re not suitable and skip past you so in order to rectify this you need to adapt your CV for the attention spans in the modern recruitment world.

So generally speaking a CV of around about two pages is just about the sweet spot this means that you’ll be able to put enough information in to actually persuade people that you’re suitable for the job and it’s in a format that can be quickly skim read so that when it recruiter first opens on your CV they can get an idea of your suitability within the first few seconds.

My advice on CV length would be to keep the CV around about two pages or less if you don’t have much experience then you can probably get away over one page CV but if an experienced candidate with to a free years experience and you probably need to max out those two pages but try not to spill onto the third page.

Once you start going onto page three to four you’re looking at pages that probably aren’t going to get read and information is going to be missed mistake.

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7. Over complicating the design of the CV

Now a CV really only needs to be a very simple document but a lot of times I see people putting crazy design features skills graphs photographs of themselves and lots of a weird and wacky things in now generally speaking these things just overcrowd the page and make it difficult to read.

They actually distract people from the content that you’re trying to get across all your CV really needs to do is show people that you can do the job that they’re advertising for so it just needs to be a plain document white background black text very simple font so it’s easy to read and that’s really what needs to be.

If you start trying to cram all of these have a weird and wonderful design features in and more often than not it’s just gonna have a negative effect on your applications because if people can’t see the content within the CV and you’re wasting lots of space of all these crazy features and people might actually be missing the important things in your CV your skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience which means you’re not going to get callbacks.

This ultimately means you’re not going to get interviews and you’re not going to get job offers and just a quick note on the photographs and skills graphs these things are definitely not needed in your CV because they won’t have any impacts on most job applications so firstly a photograph is not necessary unless you are a model or an actor or something like that where your face is it’s needed to be seen but generally speaking people don’t really care too much about how you look.

They just want to know if you can do the job and skills graphs are generally a huge waste of space because they don’t offer a real scale to people.

So for example, if you put in a skills graph in your CV where you say that you’re a four out of five and Microsoft Excel that really means nothing to the person reading it.

What you’re better off doing is just writing for example how good you are Excel so that you consider yourself to be an expert.

If you have let’s say three years experience, that way you give people a real picture of how good you are in Excel rather than just using a school’s graph that they won’t understand.

8. The final CV mistake on this list is failing to optimize the top of culture of your CV.

I mean by the top quarter of the CV.  It is the part of the CV that is first visible when a recruiter or manager first opens up the CV so as you can imagine, this to be really impactful because often if a recruiter or a hiring manager doesn’t see what they want and they first open up that CV, they might just shut it straight down and move on to the next one in their inbox.

So what you need to do is really pack this section full of the most relevant skills and knowledge qualifications and experience that you have the closely match the jobs that you’re applying for.

If you cram this section full of the skills and experience that recruiters are looking for, then it stands to reason that they’re going to take notice.

Also they’re probably going to read further and that’s going to mean that you’ve got more chance of getting into short lists and getting callbacks and interviews so that brings me to the end of this article.

I hope you found it helpful and you’re gonna go away with some ways that you can actually improve your own CV and start to get some better results in the job market.

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