6 common CV mistakes that can screw you up

common CV mistakes
common CV mistakes

Common CV Mistakes

6 common CV mistakes is from Aussie contractor site www.Brainbox.com.au

An Aussie group released a survey of Australian employers of all sizes – local, national and international companies, Government departments, employment agencies and educational bodies.

Believing that a CV should be what an employer wants, not what a CV writer thinks it should be, we have contacted over 3000 employers, gaining an insight into what an employer truly wants to read.

Conducted annually, we are always amazed, therefore, at the different perceptions as opposed to a year ago.

It really is vital that an applicant has a CV geared to what an employer wants.

Below, therefore, is a brief sample of the common CV mistakes, as highlighted by employers, which could be costing you an interview.

Common CV Mistakes – Profile

Forget the section labelled “Career Objective” – this is no longer the “in thing”. Latest survey results were very surprising indeed, with 82% of employers rating a “Profile” as high, as opposed to 25% for a career objective.

The survey also revealed that your profile (or something similarly named) needs to contain the right mix of information, combining the profile with a career objective.

Common CV Mistakes – Page Length

American templates and information, and indeed some Australian companies, base their CVs on 1 page (2 at most for senior roles).

Over 82% of employers prefer (in fact demand) a CV of 3 to 4 pages in length (and expect up to 6 pages for senior roles).

However, when it comes to IT related resumes, it is not unusual for our clients to have 5 pages!

So, to quote one employer “usually any less than 3-4 pages does not give a clear picture of past experience and skills”.

Common CV Mistakes – Date of Birth

There is no legal requirement for you, therefore, to supply date of birth. In fact, most websites will advise against this.

Less than 2% of employers stated that they didn’t wish to see your date of birth.

To quote an employer:
“If applicants don’t supply their DOB most employers assume they are ‘hiding’ something negative” and

“So, sometimes it IS important to assess the age of the applicant in relation to their level of experience. Eg: have the applicants achievements occurred over a short or long period of time”.

Common CV Mistakes – Phone Referees

If your resume states “references available upon request” or similar, your prospective employer will immediately be wary.

Only 5%, however, stated “provide at interview”.

Note: employers should not be contacting your referees without prior permission – usually obtained at interview. However, you must also be aware that this isn’t a perfect world.

Most government positions, however, require a list of three phone referees, on application.

So, to quote an employer: “Not having referees listed – makes you ask why – and you don’t have time to waste.

“If you have to make a choice between someone who has given the list and another who has not – you are making the interviewer work – when you should be showing how you can work for them.”

Common CV Mistakes – Graphics and Borders

Unless you’re in a position which requires a great deal of creative flair such as: website designer; graphic artist; photographer; etc – stay away from graphics, photos and fancy borders, no matter how desperate you are in gaining the hiring manager’s attention!

This was one area specifically commented on, time and time again. This also applies to IT applicants who insert Microsoft logos. Refer to the employer comments below regarding this issue.

Enlightening Employer Comments

“Having just received over 500 applications for a part time IT support officer job, addressing the selection criteria in the covering letter was of paramount importance. If I had to wade through each CV to find the details, I was immediately put off.”

“In the recently advertised position, we received over 350 CVs. The CVs that were automatically excluded were the ones that had spelling mistakes, unprofessional email addresses, any that had an inappropriate photo attached, anywhere they had used Monster or Seek resume services.”

“Spelling is critical.

‘I often shortlist people who can spell liaison / liaise correctly. Everyone seems to use this word but so many spell it incorrectly.

To me it demonstrates an attention to detail. Also, if I receive a CV without a covering letter I don’t even respond to it.”

As reflected by our employer surveys, it is critical you have the correct information.

Don’t make those six common CV mistakes.

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