Having to write your CV time and time again is definitely a very frustrating thing to do. Not only must you spend many hours being careful about what you did in an office role many years ago, you have to somehow relate that experience to a specific role that you are applying for. That’s much easier said than actually done. However, over the years, many candidates make mistakes where they neglect to include things or forget to mention something that might increase their chances of landing a job. Recent research indicates that a typical recruiter is only going to glance over a CV for 7 seconds before they know if a candidate might be suitable or not. Keep reading to learn a few tips that make sure you make it past the first hurdle.
Maintain the chronological order of your CV:
This might sound patronizing, but it’s easy to get carried away in trying to make a CV relevant to the specific job that you’re applying for. Plenty of folks wind up putting down experiences and roles that they think a recruiter will find attractive near the top of the CV instead of their current position. Don’t get this wrong, as it’s crucial to include such roles to establish relevant work experience. However, recruiters find it very annoying to dig around a CV and have to figure out the timeline of what you did when before moving on to something else. Keep in mind that many applications are getting filled out for just a single role. Recruiters simply don’t have the time to piece together your career timeline. Stick to a chronological order, and follow a good guide to writing a professional resume.
Don’t use words that you don’t personally understand:
One frequent error many make is trying to sound smart by using ‘big’ words in an attempt to impress someone you’re applying to. Have you seen the episode of Friends where Joey starts using a thesaurus for a recommendation letter for Monica and Chandler? If so, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. For instance, Joey winds up signing the letter as “Yours Sincerely Baby Kangaroo”. This really is as silly as it looks, and sounding like that to a recruiter isn’t getting you anywhere. Computers make it so easy to click on some synonyms and then you think it sounds pretty good so you roll with it. In truth, you’re just getting your CV binned faster.
Include your address and location:
You’d be shocked to find out how many applicants don’t include the place that they live. How will a recruiter know that you’re right for a role if they can’t even figure out where you live. This can be rather controversial since some applicants don’t want this information out there since they might be denied a job simply based on their location. Also, in an age of shrinking privacy, many don’t want anyone even knowing where they live. Still, you can at least put a general location. If you’re applying for a job somewhere else, you can add ‘Looking To Relocate’ under your address to highlight how serious you are regarding this position. If you’re not sure about how to handle this, refer to our earlier blog post about whether or not your CV should have your address.
Do not put a photo in:
Why on Earth would anyone do this? Some candidates do, and I find it baffling. Unless you’re applying for modeling jobs or the like, then a photo isn’t really necessary. Your experience and skills are the basis for your application, not your hair color. In fact, quite a few employers are trying to eliminate unconscious bias by using tools to anonymize the CVs that they get. If you put a photo in, you’re contradicting this.
Always have someone double-check your CV:
I might mention this last on the list but it’s the biggest rule there is. Do not click submit on a CV that you just spent all day writing. It might seem tempting to get it off and going, but if you are really serious about a job which you are applying for, then you need a fresh set of eyes before pressing a send button. Easy spelling mistakes can doom your chances of an interview. So many recruiters throw away CVs for just one spelling mistake. So don’t risk things. Be sure someone reads yours over before you send it off.
These simple steps are all you need to do to seriously boost the odds of a recruiter not binning your well-written CV, which means you’re a step closer to landing the job that you want or need.
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