Crafting the perfect CV for a job application is an arduous, time consuming process that not many people actually enjoy. Doing so involves hours of work including company research, keyword identification, layout design, selecting appropriate skills and experience, spelling & grammar checks, and plenty of re-reading amongst other things. To save you some time, here are 3 of the most common CV mistakes candidates make, according to recruiters.

A lazy approach

Being lazy is something, as a modern candidate in our competitive job market, which is unacceptable, and will end up costing you many a role that was yours for the taking.

Laziness in this instance refers to a lack of overall care when constructing your CV. This includes failing to conduct a thorough spell & grammar check, which most modern word processing software affords you at the click of a button, and as such is completely unfathomable. Another example of laziness is failing to include more details on appropriate skills and experience, whilst simultaneously focusing on unrelated content that recruiters aren’t at all interested in. If you plan to conduct a job search, don’t be lazy, otherwise you may find yourself looking for a long time.

Failing to tailor your CV

3 most common cv mistakes - not tailoring your cv

Each and every new position you apply to is deserving of, and should receive its own tailored CV that highlights your past experience, and the skills you have, that directly relate to the role in question.

Gone are the days when one general CV would be applicable for every job opportunity, and failing to realise this will be detrimental to your job search. No matter how many career advice articles, seminars, and speeches stress the fact that CVs should be tailored to each role you apply for, recruiters continue to receive ones that are generalised, and the only one being hurt by this failure to change is you, the candidate.

Poor layout and formatting

Playing around with the layout and format of your CV is understandable, and advisable, when trying to make yours stand out from the pile of others recruiters receive for each role, but don’t go too far.

Recruiters give your CV roughly 6 seconds to grab their attention, and if your layout and formatting is poor to the extent they struggle to read it, trust me they won’t. Make sure the font you use isn’t too unorthodox, for legibility purposes, and so that it can be read in as many word processors as possible, and be consistent in the formatting of titles, sub titles, bullet points, etc. Keep it professional at all times, that means no photo by the way, and remember, there are ways to give your CV some flair without going over the top.

Producing a perfect CV for each role you apply to is a difficult task. By taking note of the common mistakes made above, as well as the small things, you should be able to get a head start on crafting yours. Still need a little more help? You can check out our tips for levelling-up your CV, for that extra bit of knowledge.

Posted by Alexander Goodenough

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