I read CVs every day and I have learnt a lot from the experience. What have I learned? Some very basic rules of ‘what not to do’. This does not mean that my CV is perfect, because I am sure it is not. But what’s that saying again? I think it’s ‘Do what I say, not what I do’.
If I could give some very basic advice of What Not To Do, it would include some of the following list.
1) Spelling mistakes
This just looks sloppy, and it is offensive to read. It screams I don’t care, even if that is not the case. I wrote a covering email to one of my favourite blogs fairly recently on my tiny 10.5 inch laptop and made a hideously obvious spelling mistake. Obvious that is IF you can read what you are writing and it’s not size 1. No reply from that application. Lesson well and truly learned.
2) Grammatical errors
I read a CV recently that started with ‘Well I am a…’. No. Don’t do it. It’s not right. The same applies to not capitalising your letters. ‘i’ is not acceptable in any circles as far as ‘i’ am aware.
3) Photographs of yourself/ your pets/ your OH
Oh my goodness, this does actually happen. And it’s scary. An employer should not be judging you on your appearance anyway. It makes your CV more interesting to look at, just because it is a picture, but it is not professional.
4) CC’ing one hundred and one other companies in the covering email
Do I need to say more?
5) Talking about your specific interest in something the company does not do
You have not done your research. You are not particularly interested in THIS company. We have a lot of CVs and as far as we are concerned we can not offer you the position you want. Fast track to the ‘no’ pile.
6) Ridiculous email addresses
This is not necessarily a deal breaker but when we all know anyone can set up a free email address there really is no need to use firstname.lastname@example.org.
7) Size 48 font size
It makes your CV look like it was written by someone who was about 12 and makes my eyes bleed.
8 ) Non relevant, non targeted previous experience
You want to write about makeup but you have previously worked in a zoo. Try to work that to your advantage. I have no idea how, but try and be creative. Do not just list that you cleaned out the animal cages. If you can’t make it relevant then either don’t include it, or be brief.
9) 50,000 pages long in size 2 font
Noone is going to be able to read all that. Especially if they have one hundred other CVs to look through. Bear that in mind.
10) Including an address that you do not live at/ contact numbers that don’t work/ an email that is no longer live
The company can’t hire you if they can not contact you. Make sure your CV is up to date and that you are either available on the numbers you have given, or very quick at responding to messages left. If you have given an email address make sure you check it regularly!
These are just some of the mistakes made. Feel free to add more below in the comments, and if you are looking, happy job hunting.