You’ve found a job sent from the employment gods. You’re perfect, the company is perfect and the interview would be only a formality.
Before you apply and change your life forever, there is one vital thing to remember.
Have you fallen foul of the classic CV mistakes hundreds and thousands of job seekers make when applying for jobs? Well with our guidance, you’re guaranteed to avoid the dreaded ‘no pile’ and get that interview.
As obvious as it sounds, you wouldn’t believe the amount of CV’s that have grammatical errors and typos in them when sent to prospective employers. If you’re CV has spelling errors, it WILL be binned, no question.
In the eyes of the employer, if your attention to detail is poor enough to allow typos, what does that say about you as a person and a worker?
Read, re-read and re-read again before applying for any job. Or even better, get a second pair of eyes to take a look.
Personalise your CV
Not every employer is the same, which is why it is essential to make slight amendments that suit each job you apply for.
One employer looking for someone with great IT skills? Shout loud and proud about the IT qualifications you have and how knowledgeable you are.
Another looking for someone with creative writing experience? Let them know about your time spent as a content writing intern and the blog you own and write for.
Your skills in the CV are what will get you the interview, so promote, promote, promote and make them aware of why you are the best candidate.
Provide a cover letter
A covering letter is an essential part of the modern CV. It’s a way of taking that initial personal interaction between you and the employer to the next level.
The covering letter shows that you have really looked at the job spec, that you care about the vacancy, that you want to be seen and heard, that you WANT TO BE EMPLOYED!
Think you are perfect for the job but worried that you may not have the desired qualifications? The covering letter gives you the perfect opportunity to let the employer know about the skills you DO have and why you deserve the chance to shine.
No CV should be without one!
Avoid the classics
“I am a great communicator”.
“I work brilliantly in a team and independently”.
“I am a hard working individual”.
You may well be all of these and more, but without proof, how can you be expected to be chosen ahead of all the other candidates?
These cliches are overheard and overused. If you work brilliantly in a team, explain why and how. Providing examples of your many talents is the only way to be taken seriously.
Professional looking email
The CV may be perfect and have the potential to wow any employer from Steve Jobs to Steve’s Oddjobs.
It takes ten minutes to create a reputable looking email address (firstname.lastname@example.org would be fine), and immediately makes you look more professional.
Straight to the point
Employers are busy people. They appreciate a clear, concise CV that immediately says who you are, what you can do and why you should employed to do it.
What they don’t appreciate is a long winded CV that waffles on for 3-4 pages. These are the kinds of CV’s that unfortunately usually make their way into the recycling bin.
Keep it to the point, say what you need, not necessarily what you want and keep it to about 1 page.
You may be up against fifty other candidates, so the old saying ‘less is more’ has never been truer.
Keep it clean
Unless it has been specified or you are applying for a design job, your CV should be of one font, black writing on a white background and clearly broken down into each category.
Resist the temptation to use fancy writing, colours and clip art!
So that is our 6-step guide to the perfect CV. Follow our tried and tested steps and the only thing you will have to worry about is getting to your interview on time!