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How to improve my CV and 7 common mistakes to avoid

  • Sarah Storey
  • 13th December 2018

Ensuring that your CV or job profile stands out to employers is crucial, especially when you’re in charge of your own shifts and working hours. Even if you think that your CV is the bee’s knees, you’d be surprised at how often people make small spelling and grammar mistakes or have the wrong contact information on their CV. Remember that employers will most likely look through a whole bunch of job profiles and its these small mistakes that will simply leave you at the bottom of the pile in an already competitive job space. Don’t panic though, because we’ve put together a list of 7 common mistakes so you know what to avoid in your own CV to guarantee that you get that dream job.

Is your spelling a diamond in the rough?

Spelling and grammar errors are the most common mistake of all and at some point or another we’ve all fallen victim to it. You should always proofread your CV for spelling mistakes and then check again for any grammar mistakes. We also recommend getting someone else, like a friend or family member, to read through your CV before you hit send as two pairs of eyes are always better than one. Chances are, they will pick up on something you missed too.

Your dream job is calling

Over the years you’ve probably had a couple of different CV’s and no doubt your contact information will have changed as well. While you may choose to update one of the CV’s you already have, be sure to check that the phone number is up to date and that your email address is not only spelt correctly but is also professional. If prospective employers can’t get in touch with you, or you still have the same silly email address you created at school, then you could miss out on more than a few job opportunities.

All that glitters is not gold

It’s ok to shout about the amazing skills and experience you have, but be sure you don’t fall for the age old trap of exaggerating the truth or even worse lie on your CV. While those little lies may make you stand out to employers and get you the job, they will surely be your downfall when you get busted for not being able to do something that is on your CV. A bad review can even spoil your chances of bagging future jobs, so the risk of lying is surely not worth it. Instead, focus on what you can do and that you’re eager to learn new skills.

Cut to the chase

It’s tempting to pile in every piece of work experience and job you’ve ever had but this is just going to make your CV really long. As we previously discussed, employers look at lots of job profiles when choosing the perfect candidate and a lengthy CV could distract them from the amazing work experience and skills you have or put them off reading it altogether. Make sure that everything in your CV is relevant to the roles you are applying for and that you get to the point by using short and snappy sentences.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Whether you’re using the Syft app or just need to include a photo for a job application, it’s essential that you look professional and the image is of good quality. By professional, we mean that your clothes are smart, you look presentable and that you look friendly and approachable. By quality, we mean that the image is clear and not pixelated, the image is in a headshot style and that the background is clear and tidy. So no pouting selfies in your messy bedroom or cropped in group shots from a night out.

Lost and found

If there are gaps in your employment history and you haven’t explained in your job profile what you were doing in that time then it could be a red flag for employers. There is nothing wrong with there being a gap in your employment but no explanation can lead employers to believe that you have been doing nothing. If you have been travelling, studying or took time for a personal project then you should include it in your CV, as it demonstrates to employers that you are a go getter and have personal interests.

Pause before you post online

With social media becoming an ever growing presence, it’s no surprise that employers are checking out prospective employees social media accounts to learn more about them and make sure there is no offensive or inappropriate content on their channels. There has been several celebrities in recent times that have lost out on job opportunities or had to step down from roles because of what they have posted online in previous years. So as well as pausing before you post online, you should also go back through your history and remove anything that could cast a bad light.

To find out more about Syft and the great benefits that we offer for job seekers, click here.

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