Are you having trouble deciding what to put on your CV? Your CV or curriculum vitae is a summary of your career, education and qualifications in written form. It is the most formal way of showcasing everything you have done that is professionally relevant and may help you in your next job.
It is easier to include things that are not required in a CV at all than to add things that are. A lot of people make the mistake of including unnecessary information that has no business on a CV. In this blog post, we will highlight mistakes in CV writing that a lot of people make and how you can avoid them to make yours stand out from the rest. Stick till the end to find out not only what to avoid but things that can help you distinguish yourself from the rest on paper!
Your CV is your chance to show potential employers what makes you qualified for the position you are applying for. It is important to make sure that your CV is well-written and free of any errors. After all, a poorly written CV can only do you harm in an interview. It may also lead to the rise of some interesting questions that you don't want to face.
So, without further ado, let's talk about everything you need to avoid on a CV.
5 Things to avoid on a CV.
Here are 5 common mistakes in CV writing you should definitely avoid. Keep these things in check and you can come up with a great CV.
1. Do not use a generic CV template.
A lot of people use online CV templates and end up with generic looking ones. While it is easier to use a template, it is important to make sure that your CV looks unique. That can be achieved by adding personal touches to the template or even starting from scratch. If you can design the layout of a CV yourself and are confident in your skills, then go for it. However, if you think you can't do it, then going with a more traditional CV is a safer option than going with fancy pre-existing generic designs.
2. Do not include irrelevant information.
Your CV should only include information that is relevant to the position you are applying for. There is no need to include every single detail of your work experience or education. Only include the most relevant information and leave out anything that does not add value to your application. For example, if you are applying for a job in the accounting field, there is no need to include your experience working as a waitress. Interviewers are very busy and going through an extensive CV is not something they like; so, don’t include things that you did part-time or a gig you did while in college; a concise and relevant CV would be appreciated more.
3. Do not lie or exaggerate.
It is important to be honest with your CV. Do not lie about your qualifications or skills. If you are caught lying, it will only damage your chances of getting the job. It is also important to avoid exaggerating your accomplishments. There is no need to oversell yourself, just stick to the facts and let your work speak for itself. A lot of companies cross check their new hires by contacting their previous workplaces to find out how well they performed. If something comes up in this background you check that you are lying about on your CV, it is always a bad look for your professional career.
4. Do not use unprofessional language.
Your CV is a formal document and as such, it should be free of any slang or informal language. This includes abbreviations, text speak, emojis and anything else that can be seen as unprofessional. This also goes for your email address. If you still have an email address from when you were in high school, now is the time to change it. It would be best to create a new email address that uses your name for professional purposes. For example, if your name is John Smith, a good email address would be firstname.lastname@example.org without any bells and whistles. The simpler it is, the better.
5. Do not give too much of your personal information.
Providing too much of your personal information is not recommended especially if you’ll be placing your CV on a public job board. If you’re applying to a company, you may provide details such as your complete address and complete name. Although not a recent debate this is recommended given the cases of identity theft; where providing the bare minimum personal information for safety is your best bet. Generally, your first and last name, residential area and postcode, email address and linked in profile should suffice. If the company is keen on hiring you and they do hire you, you will eventually provide most of the information including your complete name and address.
Since we have mentioned the mistakes in CV writing you need to avoid, let us now mention the essential things that you should do and include in your CV
Do proofread your CV.
One of the most important things to do before sending off your CV is to proofread it. This includes checking for any spelling or grammatical errors. It is also important to make sure that all the information on it is accurate and up-to-date. Nothing looks worse than an outdated CV with old information. If you are unsure about how well you have proofread it, ask a friend or family member to take a look. Imagine applying for a job as a content writer and you have spelling mistakes on your CV and cover letter. Although it's not your fault as everyone makes mistakes such as typos in their documents, it won't look good in a professional interview.
Do include a personal statement.
A personal statement is a great way to let potential employers know what your personality is like and what you are looking to achieve. It is an opportunity to sell yourself to the employer and tell them why you are the best candidate for the job.
Do focus on your skills and experience.
As mentioned before, when writing your CV, be sure to focus on your skills and experience that are relevant to the job you are applying for. That is what will interest the employer and help you stand out from the other candidates.
Do use positive language.
Use positive language when describing yourself and your work experience. That will show that you are confident in your abilities and will make you more attractive to potential employers. For example, instead of saying “I'm not lazy on my job”, say “I work hard to get the job done.”
Do be concise.
Your CV should be no more than two pages long. This may seem like a lot, but you want to make sure that you include all the relevant information without going into too much detail. Remember, the goal is to sell yourself and your skills to the employer, not write a thesis. Also, if you remember we discussed, employers have to go through many CVs and will give preference to the CVs that are short and relevant to the job they advertised.
Do tailor your CV.
Tailor your CV to each job you apply for. This means specifying certain skills and experiences that are relevant to that particular job. For example, if you are applying for a job as an accountant, be sure to highlight your experience in bookkeeping if you have any.
As you can see, there are a few mistakes in CV writing that you should avoid, but there are also a few things you should include. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of getting the job you want. Now that you know how to avoid mistakes in CV writing, you can up your game and go nail that interview you have been waiting for!
For answers to some frequently asked questions please proceed below and check the FAQs section.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best font to use on a CV?
While there are a few different opinions on this matter, it is generally agreed that using a simple, easy-to-read font is the best option. Times New Roman is a great option.
What size font should I use on my CV?
Again, this is a matter of opinion, but using a 12 point font is usually a good idea. This ensures that your CV is easy to read without being too small.
What is the best length for a CV?
As a general rule, your CV should be no more than two pages long. This gives you enough space to include all the relevant information without going into too much detail.
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