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10 Critical Mistakes You SHOULDN'T Make on Your CV

If you are like everyone else, at some stage of your life you have looked for another job, it can be a very stressful time and very mentally tiring. I know from my years of recruitment experience that candidates will get desperate and apply for every job advertised. This is one of the worst mistakes you will make, the most effective way to find your next job is to apply for jobs that your skills match and tailor your CV for every position.

I know this is time consuming but trust me, a recruiter will only have about 5/10 seconds looking at each application. So if you don’t tailor your CV & Cover letter giving examples matching the job description quickly & easily you will be rejected.

Here I will try to give you a list of mistakes to avoid when writing your CV.

1.       Firstly, Contact Details

This must be one of the biggest mistakes I have seen on thousands of CV’s in my time and I can’t believe this still happens to this day. No contact details, if the recruiter can’t see your contact details with the first 5/10 seconds of looking at your CV, it will be unlikely that they will continue looking through as how will they get hold of you.

Give yourself a fighting chance and make sure they are up to date!

2.       Don’t waste time on the wrong job

Do I need to say more!! What is the point of wasting your time on applying for a role you have no experience in, this is a complete waste of your time! And the amount of emails you will receive saying “unfortunately you have not been selected on this occasion” will make you dis-heartened in your job search.

This might sound obvious but if you are a warehouse operative with 5 years’ experience, you will never get a chance of landing an Office Manager role for a leading Estate Agency.

On the other hand, don’t apply for a role that is way below what you are currently doing. There are occasions of cause, when you do hear about high level professionals going back to the floor but applying for a role that you are too overqualified for could or will make you look a little bit incompetent, damage your reputation and undermine everything you have worked for.

Look, if you’re an Office Manager applying for an Administration Assistants role paying £12,000, the recruiter will think two things: Firstly, why are you applying for such a low-level role and secondly why are you looking at taking such a pay cut. It won’t really matter the reasons but you might get a call anyway to answer the questions, but it will depend on the recruiter. My suggestion would be to leave these jobs for the people that need it!

3.       Tailor you CV for every position

A lot of people in the recruitment world could argue this but there really is a right way to write your CV.

Your CV is the first thing people see, this is your chance to sell yourself, get that interview where your personality can shine through and land you that job.

Make sure your CV shows in your most recent employment the skills and qualities that are listed on the job description.

4.       Don’t Include un-relevant information

Look at your CV from the eyes of the recruiter, will they really care if you campaigned for free car parking spaces or more gluten free food at your local shop. NO! If it’s not relevant, don’t included it! 

5.       Hobby’s

Now on a personal note, as a recruiter. In honesty, I never looked at the hobbies and interests section of a candidates CV. I was more focused on the skills and qualities my clients were looking for.

If you are going to include a hobby’s section on your CV, just keep is socially acceptable and concise. Don’t put any weird hobbies or passions like…. dressing up as your favourite cartoon/marvel character (have seen that before!).

6.       GAPS in your CV?

In all my years within this industry and working with some of the biggest companies in the UK, the one thing they all want to see on a CV…. consistency. If you do have gaps in your employment history or short-term employment (temporary work, maternity cover etc.) – Explain this! We all know candidates have diverse backgrounds and could have done various temporary work etc. but the client needs to feel assured that if they give you an opportunity, you will commit to their business.

Give an honest explanation of the reason why and if it because of an incredibly sensitive personal situation (which hopefully you would be able to explain in person), just put “personal circumstances”.

7.       Personal Statements & Photo’s

Firstly, it might be widely acceptable in other parts of the world but a photo of you on your CV is not really needed or accepted in the UK still. Does it really matter what you look like to be able to do the job you have applied for? No, it doesn’t, you might get the job because the hiring manager just likes the look of you and finds you attractive lol….

Secondly, Personal statements – I have come across two different types of personal statements in my time and in truth, I had no interest in reading them for two reasons. The first reason, if it was written in the 3rd party (Peter is a skilled communicator and is hard working etc. etc. etc.), it’s not a testimonial or reference from your last employer, you have written it yourself! So why are you writing it in the 3rd party in the first place, it’s your CV!

And the second reason, nearly 95% of all personal statements are basically the same statement cut and pasted from the net. If you search for personal statements now, you will find examples to use and a lot of websites will tell you to use one and it is up to you, but I have never found that reading a candidate’s personal statement has made me interview them, it’s been the skills / experience they have.

8.       Personal/Private Information

Do you think it is really that important for your prospective employer to know your private & personal information about sexuality, religious beliefs, gender, age or even the number of children?

9.       Bad Grammar & Spelling

One thing that will turn off your potential employer and get you rejected within seconds is Bad spelling, use UK spell checkers and even get someone to check over your CV too. We all have bad days making typos and grammatical errors. Double check and even triple check your CV.

10.   Pointless Pervious Job Roles

Really do I need to say more! Would you as a recruiter really care about the paper round you did when you were 12…

I hope I have given you some food for thought on your CV and once you are ready to start searching for some jobs, you’re in the right place with Logistics Job Shop.