CV Errors

Hello everyone! When applying for a job, your CVs must be spotless! These are points to help you avoid certain errors that might slow down the process to get your desired job.

Happy reading!

  • Typos and grammatical errors.
  • Your CV needs to be grammatically perfect. It must be proof read thoroughly. If it isn't, employers will read between the lines and conclude that "This person can't write," or "This person evidently cares less."

    • Lack of specifics.

    Employers need to understand what you've done and accomplished. Go straight to the point and not bore the interviewer with unnecessary information. Your CV should contain specific information like:

    • Worked with employees in a restaurant setting.
    • Recruited, hired, trained and supervised more than 20 employees in a restaurant with N2 million in annual sales.

    Both of these phrases could describe the same person, but the details and specifics in example B will more likely grab an employer's attention.

    • Emphasize on accomplishments rather than duties.
    • It's easy to slip into a mode where you simply start listing job duties on your resume. For example:
    • Attended group meetings and recorded minutes;
    • Updated departmental files.
    • Employers, however, don't care so much about what you've done as what you've accomplished in your various activities. They're looking for statements more like these:
    • Used laptop computer to record weekly meeting minutes and compiled them in a Microsoft Word-based file for future organizational reference.
    • Reorganized 10 years' worth of bulky files, making them easily accessible to department members.
    • Going on too long or cutting things too short.

    Despite what you may read or hear, there are no real rules to the length of your CV. Why? Because interviewers, who have different preferences and expectations where CVs are concerned, will be reading it.

    That doesn't mean you should start sending out five-page CVs, of course. Generally speaking, you should try and limit it to two pages. But don't feel you have to use two pages if one will do. Conversely, don't cut the essential parts out of your CV simply to make it follow to a subjective one-page standard.

    • A bad objective.

    Employers do read your CV objective, but too often they run through statements that don't make an objective meaning like, "Seeking a challenging position that offers professional growth." Give employers something more specific and, more importantly, something that focuses on their needs as well as your own. Example: "A challenging entry-level marketing position that allows me to contribute my skills and experience in fund-raising for nonprofits."

    • No action verbs.

    Avoid using phrases like "responsible for." Instead, use action verbs: "Resolved issues concerning customers not being able to view the website online."

    • Leaving off important information.

    One may be tempted, for example, to eliminate mentions of jobs you've taken to earn extra money on the side. However, the soft skills you've gained from these experiences (e.g., work ethic, time management) are more important to employers than you might think.

    • Visually too busy.

    If your CV is a text full five different fonts, it will most likely give the employer a headache. So show your resume to several other people before sending it out. Do they find it visually attractive? If what you have is hard on the eyes, revise the CV and make it a better visual to read.

    • Incorrect contact information.

    This point is probably the best on this list. You might have gone for a few interviews that you are sure that you would get the job and yet you are not getting any calls. When this happens, you must Double-check even the minutest, taken-for-granted details sooner rather than later.

    • Including references.

    You only have enough space on your CV to ensure you are able to portray yourself as the full package, so don't waste any with lengthy references. Most recruiters don't expect them, and a simple note saying 'References available on request' is enough. If a job advert specifically requests references, you can include them on a separate sheet.

    • Mysterious gaps in employment

    You must be careful about the information you put on your CV. Once you put false information you will only engage in a chain of lies and the interviewer will be left with no option but to frown throughout. Your CV must be honest.

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