5 unusual CV mistakes that could cost you the job
Andrew Fennell, author of How to write a CV – The Ultimate Guide, gives his top tips.
When you’re looking to land a new role, an impressive CV packed with plenty of relevant skills and knowledge is vital. But sometimes the things you omit from your CV, can be just important as the things you include.
It only takes one mistake for an employer to start doubting your credibility, so make sure that your CV doesn’t include any of these lesser known mistakes that might ruin your chances of making it to interview stage.
1: Not doing your research
One of the most damaging CV mistakes that candidates make happens well before they start writing their CV, and that is failing to research their target roles. If you start writing your CV without knowing exactly what your desired employers are looking for in a candidate, then you are setting yourself up to fail.
To avoid this pitfall, take some time to browse through relevant job adverts and make a list of the most important candidate requirements. You can then refer to this list throughout the writing of your CV to make sure you are including all the most relevant attributes.
2: An unprofessional email address
Your CV is a professional document and the very first chance you have to make an impression on potential employers, so it’s a big mistake to brand the top of it with a nickname email address like email@example.com.
It looks unprofessional and whilst it may not be a deal breaker, it will certainly make recruiters wonder how seriously you are taking the application. If you have a slightly embarrassing email address from years ago, simply set up a new one for your job hunting efforts that is based on your full name.
3: Poor file naming
When your CV arrives in a hiring managers’ inbox, the filename will be visible to them. Saving your CV as something unsightly like myCVdraft32 looks a bit sloppy and won’t give you the appearance of a polished candidate.
Saving your CV in the format Forename Surname CV will not only maintain a professional approach, but will also make it easier for recipients to find your CV once it’s saved on their computer.
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4: Including salary details
The purpose of your CV is to win job interviews by demonstrating you have suitable skills and experience for your target jobs. Including your salary requirements on your CV can not only seem a little forward but it can also damage your negotiation powers when it comes to offer stage.
For example if a company is willing to pay £40k for a role and you have already told them that you will accept £35k in your CV, you will find it very difficult to secure an offer nearer to £40k.
5: Keyword stuffing
Some candidates pack their CVs with repeated key terms and phrases in attempt to ensure their CV passes the CV scanning software that many companies use. However this can often look hugely unnatural and doesn’t make for great reading when a human lays eyes upon it.
CV scanning software doesn’t play as big a part in candidate selection as most people think and your CV will always be reviewed by a real person in good organisations. So write your CV for people first and then make a few tweaks to include keywords if you need to, but don’t overdo it.
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