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Career Advice

22 Jul 15

What NOT to do on your CV

Before you apply for your next job, refresh your CV by checking you haven’t made any of these common mistakes;

LIE
It is tempting to pad the truth on any job application to increase your chances of a call back: but don’t do it! You will get caught out, either at interview (which is embarrassing & a waste of time) or more likely, the recruiter will spot the lie straight away and move on to the next candidate. This includes exaggerations and lies of omission. Keep it truthful for the best chance of success.

BE NEGATIVE
Negativity is a real turn off for any recruiter or hiring manager. Taking on new staff should be an aspirational occasion & dwelling on the negative aspects of your career (e.g. saying you left a position because you ‘fell out with your manager’) will only ever reflect badly on you. You want to sell your skills to the person reading your CV: highlighting negative experiences means you will be associated with negativity.

USE CLICHÉ BUZZWORDS & PHRASES
Examples of things to avoid include; ‘I am a hard worker’ and referring to your skills as ‘dynamic’. Using these will make your CV blend into the sea of other dynamic & hard working applicants. Instead of singing your good qualities your CV screams ‘unimaginative’, ‘disinterested’ & ‘ordinary’. Not the desired effect.

OVERLOAD IT WITH INFORMATION
Always remember that your CV should be no longer than 2 pages, no matter how senior you are. Streamline the information you want to get across, make it easily digestible & relevant to the job you are applying for you. Recruiters do not need two paragraphs on each of your job placements, the basics (duties & achievements) will suffice. This is even more important to keep in mind when writing your personal statement. Please don’t include details about; your pets, your childhood or your favourite holiday destination. At best they won’t get read & if they do, they will undermine you in a professional context.

INCLUDE UNPROFESSIONAL CONTENT
It takes less than 5 minutes to create a new email address, & it is infinitely worthwhile. Especially if you are still using that address you thought was hilarious when you were 15. Applications that come through with novelty emails will get a giggle & quickly be passed over. If you want to be thought of as a serious candidate, get a serious email address.

The same goes for photos included in CVs. It is not expected of you to include a picture on your CV & choosing to forgo one will not go against you. If you do wish to include a picture, please, make sure it is a professional one. Now, I don’t mean taken by a professional: I mean a picture suitable for a professional environment. No holiday snaps that you have artfully cropped a cocktail out of, no inappropriate clothing & definitely no pouting!

Follow these simple tips to brush up your CV & you’ll be in top shape.