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At The Staffing Experts, we’ve reviewed thousands of CVs from candidates across the width and breadth of the UK. So we’d like to think we know a thing or two about what employers are looking for and, unfortunately, there are some common mistakes that we know can cost you your dream job.
Remember that the CV is your first opportunity to impress, so don’t let it slip by in a blur of words and pictures. Here go the top 5 common mistakes that set candidates up for failure:
Leave out the dodgy picture! Especially the ones that were taken a few years ago on a Polaroid and have a few creases on them, they don’t scan well or do you any favours. If you choose to include a picture, make sure it is of professional quality – get a nice headshot done by a professional photographer.
The hiring manager wants to know what you can bring to the table and how you can benefit their organisation, so it’s always best to get into the nitty gritty early on – please don’t waste page after page with acronyms. It’s likely somebody in Human Resources (rather than somebody with specialist knowledge) will look at the CV first, so they may not be a subject matter expert.
You have an immediate opportunity to let the reader know how highly qualified you are, so tell them! Put your qualification letters after your name, for example, Elizabeth Windsor CEng MSc BEng. So there we are, the Queen is a Chartered Engineer with a Master’s (you heard it here first). Ensure you include all qualifications that are relevant to the role you are applying for and make sure to emphasise your technical skills in order to stand out.
Ok, so your home is important to you and you probably paid a lot of money for it, but guess what? The hiring manager really doesn’t care where you live until they think they want to see you so put this information at the end of the CV. It’s also the first piece of information a recruiter will remove, so don’t make it prominent.
Privacy is increasingly important for many of us, so it is completely acceptable to simply state the area you live in rather than the exact street address and house number.
Remember the main buying motives aka the reasons why anyone buys anything ever! You must relate what you do and what you have achieved to…
So, make sure you clearly demonstrate how your past experience and skills have saved the organisation money or grown profits – this is the key to getting through to the next stage of selection.
There you have it, don’t make these common mistakes and your world will get infinitely better. Well, at least your CV will. Don’t forget to explore our Candidate Corner where you can find more tips for landing your dream job.