Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - By Mike
What makes a bad CV?
Creating your CV can seem like a bit of a minefield and often applicants don’t know what to and what not include. The aim of this blog is to highlight some key tips to use when creating your CV. There will be a more detailed breakdown of structuring a CV coming soon to our blogs so stay tuned.
- Spell check and grammar
Firstly, this may seem like such an obvious thing to say – but still there are applicants who submit their CV to potential recruiters and they haven’t spent the time checking it. What will a recruiter think? Well they will probably think – ‘if you can’t be bothered checking it, then I can’t be bothered to read it!’ So you will find your CV going straight into the no pile (aka the bin).
- No more than two pages
Again this may seem like an obvious thing to say, but I still see examples where people have a CV which covers 3 pages and in some cases it has gone on to 4! The most important piece of advice here is to keep it focused to the job you are applying for. Focus on the skills, abilities and experience they are looking for and don’t include things that aren’t relevant. To do this look at the personal specification and focus your skills and experience around what they are looking for.
- A poor personal statement
This is one of the first things a recruiter will read on your CV, so getting it right is crucial. The main advice is to keep it within 3-4 lines and to outline who you are, what you have to offer and what are your aims. Also avoid using clichés without some substance to support it –e.g. I’m an effective communicator. I’m not saying you aren’t but lots of other will use these clichés; so once again build your personal statement around what they are looking for.
- The functional CV
A functional CV or skills based CV is often suggested to individuals who are considering a career change or spent time out of a career and are looking to return back. The style of this type of CV is for an applicant to focus on key enhanced skills which are then followed by their employment history. However, I’m not a huge fan of this type of CV and I believe it is best to stick to the traditional CV as this is what recruiters are used to and kind find the information they need easily. The key is employers being able to find the information they need easily. If they have too search for it and they have a high number of applicants, then chances are they probably won’t spend the time looking for it.
- A poor cover letter
There is no point in spending time creating a CV if you then don’t spend anytime on your covering letter. Like a CV, a covering letter needs to be tailored to the job you are applying for. A generic CV and covering letter are so easy to spot and it won’t make you stand out from the competition, and once again you probably won’t see your application going to far. The key for job application is spending time of the quality of your application NOT the quantity of applications.
I hope you found this blog interesting - keep an eye out for more blogs on CV’s coming soon.