A resume or CV is a marketing document, designed to showcase your skills and experience in the best possible light, all with a view to getting an interview. When you are a looking for a new job, you need to see it like this. Your CV is a sales document, primarily designed to get you an interview. I have seen literally thousands of CV’s many of which didn’t ‘sell’ the persons suitability for the job they were applying for. I have even rewritten a CV for a candidate and resubmitted it for a job he was previously rejected for, enabling him to get an interview! Your CV is what separates you from your dream job- so pay it the attention it deserves and don’t make these following mistakes.
Writing everything you have done in a role without tailoring it to the job you are applying for. – Don’t send the exact same CV for different job applications. Make sure you add more detail on the areas important for the specific job you are applying for based on what the job needs, and less detail for areas less important. Move things around and add and subtract information.
No achievements. – employers wants to hire successful people, so tell your potential new employer how successful you have been in your CV. Under each role list achievements, make sure they are quantified. For example, increased sales 20% year on year, saved 10% in costs, saved a days work by automating the process, trained up two people who got promoted etc. CV’s without achievements look bland and unexciting.
Put date of birth and marital status. Not only is it illegal to discriminate on the grounds of age or martial status, employers don’t want to see that on your CV, because it shows you are out of touch with current employment legislation and that’s not a great start to an application.
PDF your resume. Today all agency recruiters and most medium to large organisations have applicant management systems which take your CV straight from large job sites like SEEK or Indeed and port your details into their database. This means it’s easier for the recruiter to search for suitable candidates from their database. If you have a fancy CV that’s a PDF, it makes it harder for the recruiter to read your CV and can actually work against your application progress rather than helping it.
Put a photo on your CV. Whilst it’s important to have a good quality photo on your LinkedIn profile, photos on your CV is a no no. If you are attractive, the recruiter will think you are big headed and egotistical. If you are unattractive, they will question why you put the photo on. You can’t win so don’t even try. The funniest photos on CV’s I’ve seen are where someone is dressed up for a wedding or formal function, their arm is obviously around someone and that person has been cut out of the shot! Hilarious, I wonder if the person ever knew, they almost made it onto a job application?
Make sure you keep your CV relevant, clear and easy to read. Use a 10, 11 or 12 font – no smaller.
The myth about 2 or 3 pages is just a myth. If the information on your CV is relevant and important for the application, 4 or 5 pages is still absolutely fine.
My last piece of advice is spend your time tailoring the CV, not the cover letter as few hiring managers read cover letters these days. When everyone is so strapped for time, this is often overlooked, so don’t invest your valuable time here – when we know the CV is always read.
If you want someone to review your CV and provide advice on how you can improve it, or tailor your CV for a specific role, give us a call and one of our consultants will be able to help you.