We know writing your CV isn’t easy, and that generally, you don’t receive feedback from potential employers. What mistakes could you be making in your CV that are keeping you from making the cut?
To help you out, we picked the brain of one of our HR experts here at Planet Expat to find out which CV mistakes they see the most – and best of all, how to avoid them!
Not demonstrating achievements
Most of the time, the best part of your CV – and the most interesting to recruiters, is your experience. However, a lot of the time we limit ourselves to jotting down the title of our role with a sprinkle of a few of our main responsibilities.
Recruiters read a lot of CVs, if your work experience descriptions are too general it’s hard to grab the attention you need to land the interview. In order to really stand out, you should add your achievements. In other words, what exactly did you accomplish in this role? What value did you bring to the company?
Using numbers and percentages is a great way to show off your achievements, for example: “increased total sales by 40%”. Numerical specifications are important for jobs that work with metrics, such as sales.
For other roles, it can be hard to detail your accomplishments in exact numbers. You can simply express the way in which you generated revenue, brand visibility, contributed to the company, etc. through the tasks that you performed. For example, “raised brand awareness online by posting weekly blogs.”
Your summary is textbook
“Marketing professional looking for a job in a major company. Good communication skills and management abilities. Proficient with Social Media.”
Sound familiar? These words and abilities are often overused when it comes to CV writing, they almost become invisible to the recruiter.
The key? Make it personal.
We recommend that you think about your personal value proposition. What is something that you can provide that’s unique to you, or what will be attractive to your future employer? In other words, why should they hire you?
Your years of experience, specific industry knowledge, or professional achievements, are all something personal to you. If we had to rewrite the previous statement it would be something like this:
“Passionate licensed marketer with 5+ years of experience in digital roles in the fashion industry. Contributed to an 18% increase in revenue growth for my current organization. Seeking new challenges and to achieve leadership excellence in a larger organization.”
Your key skills are too general
If you don’t have a key skills section, add it! If you do, here are some tips.
Basic computer skills such as Word, Powerpoint and Good Communication skills are all great but are often the basic requirements for your job or overused in millions of CVs. Stand out from the rest and be more specific with your skill set.
For example, if you are applying for a job in Marketing, don’t make one of your skills “Marketing” or “Communication”. Elaborate which areas you are best at: SEO, Content Creation, Budgeting, Campaign Execution, etc. Any skills that aren’t a generalization of everything you can do.
We also recommend you tailor these skills to the job or internship you are applying for. Are they relevant to the recruiter? If the answer is yes, then they are more likely to attract the attention of your employer.
Yes, you read that right, spelling mistakes. It seems obvious, but after writing and re-writing your CV, it’s only human that a few mistakes could potentially sneak in.
Mistakes are human, but not revising or proofreading a document as important as your CV is a big no. It sticks out to recruiters who may come to the conclusion that you don’t pay attention to detail, or aren’t really that interested in putting in the effort to get the job.
You can use plenty of online tools to check the spelling of your CV, such as Reverso or Grammar Check. It’s also a good idea to get a friend or someone you trust to read through your CV for errors, typos, and fluency.
If you need a helping hand with perfecting your CV you can check out our Career Coaching services that include CV feedback and rewriting!