When it comes to job hunting your CV is an extremely important document and it can mean the difference between landing the job of your dreams and landing the job of your worst nightmares.
A general rule should be that your CV is written in the third party, keep it simple to the point and professional. Do not overload it with acronyms and specific references that are unique to your previous employment. Below are some guidelines and examples of mistakes we see regularly. Too many errors on your CV will just land you on the scrap heap. You’ve been warned!!!
We all make mistakes from time to time, however, CV errors are simply not acceptable. The English grammar and spelling contained in your CV has to be absolutely perfect and one simple mistake can often mean that you miss your chance to give a great first impression. When creating your CV please set your spell checker to the country within which the job you are applying for is based. E.g. don’t use American English within the UK and Ireland.
Don’t litter your CV with acronyms and company specific terminology that nobody understands. Use simple English and keep your technical abbreviations and acronyms for your interview. If you do use acronyms please write them out in full the first time they are referenced in the document.
Recruiters have hundreds of CV’s to screen, so spotting a spelling or grammatical error will give them just the excuse they need to reduce the pile by one, and you’ll find yourself filed “in the bin”.
Don’t rely on Microsoft Word’s spelling and grammar checks. These tools are great as a first port of call, but they are no substitute for thorough proofreading. Below are some of the most common mistakes we see.
Fancy, complex templates, embossed headings, crazy fonts and colours etc. have no value on a CV.
While it is important to spend time creating your own, keep your design simple, consistent and professional. Most CV’s a loaded on internal database systems and these templates only create hassle.
A good guide would be that you really should avoid submitting a CV that is over two pages long. However, this is not always possible; you will have to use your own judgement on this. We certainly wouldn’t recommend you leaving vital information off your CV, just to fit the two pages.
Get key information about yourself across quickly and professionally. Get straight to the point and keep it as short and straightforward as you can.
Does your e-mail address for correspondence really matter? Yes, of course it does. In a time where social media and modern etiquette are continuously overlapping, this is something that I come across regularly. People have social e-mail addresses for years and use them without any real thought when job hunting.
Do yourself a favour, if you want to be taken seriously drop the cutesy e-mail address, e.g. bananamilkshake@ or theluvmachine@.
An email address in the order of firstname.lastname@example.org will do just fine. You maybe memorable, but memorable for all the wrong reasons.
It absolutely eludes me as to why anyone would leave their contact information off their CV. If you do not include up-to-date contact information on your resume, recruiters cannot speak to you to offer you that all-important interview.
Joe Robbins is co-founder of CareerWise Recruitment. A graduate of the University of Limerick (Degree in Business Studies, 1985), Joe worked in the UK for five years where he specialised in materials management, production management and plant management for a number of companies.
He returned to Ireland in 1992 to become Operations Manager for a Cork-based start-up, FMC Automotive Division which was subsequently taken over by Snap-on Equipment. Joe managed the business re-location of this company to Shannon in 1997 before setting up CareerWise Recruitment in 1999.
He is a committee member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Mid-West region, and a former Director and Vice President of the Shannon Chamber of Commerce. Joe is former Chairperson of the Sixmilebridge Camogie Club and current Chairperson of the Clare County Camogie Board.
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