When looking for a job, you need to avoid making your CV look old. Let’s face it; it doesn’t help you or employers. Make sure to avoid these mistakes.
Employers who care about their companies want to hire the best of the best, and they won’t settle for just anyone. When reviewing CVs they give priority to the most skilled job candidates that demonstrate an understanding of the role and position themselves as the perfect fit for the company. This means that they probably throw the full-of-spelling-error and out-dated CVs right out of the window.
As a jobseeker, the best thing you can do is create a CV that doesn’t look old, because an old CV gives them no reason to shortlist you. It was fine to make these mistakes in the past, in fact, many of them were not mistakes at all, but it is a new day, and you have to get with the times if you want to succeed.
1. You Include Too Much of the Past
When writing your work history section, there is no need to include every single position you ever held. You only need to include the jobs that are relevant to the position you are applying for. Employers are interested in your most recent work experience, and research proves that this is one of the first things they look for on CVs. It’s best to include the most recent work experience first and list positions you had in the last 10 to 15 years in a reverse chronological order.
2. Your CV is Flooded With Text
The CV format is as important as the content that goes into it. This is what’s going to help your CV stand out from the rest of the crowd. Working on the appearance of your CV is a big deal because it helps to create the very first impression. If you manage to create a well-structured and visually balanced CV, then employers are likely to spend more time on your CV. Try not to include too many long phrases and paragraphs because this can make it difficult to read. Finding the right balance between bullet points and the amount of text is vital to success.
3. Your CV is Too Long
While there are no specific guidelines on how long a CV should be, you should aim to create a professional summary that doesn’t exceed two pages. For recent graduates or people just starting out who don’t have much relevant work experience, it’s better to write a one-paged CV because it can cover the basics employers would expect to see on a CV in less than six seconds. This includes your skills and most relevant work experience – paid or voluntary and your accomplishments.
For well-established professionals, CVs can be longer than one page, though it should be easy and quick to read. Modern CVs are pretty straightforward and direct, and this means you need to pay attention to the simplicity they can offer. To get it right, you need to be wary of the length andtailor your CV to the job before sending it out.
4. You Include Your Address
The only address an employer needs to see on a modern CV is your email address. Long gone are the days when your CV was posted to the employer by snail mail, and it’s time to break that tradition. Your personal address isn’t necessary to be included although most career experts would tell you that you should write it down. A recent article on TIME shows that a modern CV should look more like this. This example includes no personal address but still looks impressive because it manages to get the most important points across and gives tangible information to employers.
Instead of a personal address, this CV includes links the LinkedIn profile, telephone number of the job candidate and a hyperlinked email address that makes the recruiter’s job a lot easier. Assuming that an interested employer would either use the email or the telephone number to contact you, there is really no need to give out your personal address at this point and waste valuable space on your CV.
5. You Give Your Home Telephone Number
What is this, the 90s? You shouldn’t expect employers to call home. Just like your personal address, you should leave this out of your CV. Since we are living in the mobile age, it’s better to include your mobile phone number in case they contact you when you aren’t at home. This helps make sure that you are accessible at 24/7 and that you won’t miss an important call from employers. It also makes it easier for employers because it shows them that you are just a phone call away.
6. You Don’t Include Links to Social Media
If you want your CV to get you a job, it should include links to your social media profiles. Apart from LinkedIn, you should also consider using Twitter and Facebook or any other professional-looking blog or portfolio. However, you should only do this if your online profiles are ready for the job hunt. This tip might have the opposite affect if used incorrectly, and instead of presenting you like the modern, flexible and tech-savvy professional that you are, it shows how lazy and unprofessional you are.
Before you decide to put social media links on your CV make sure that your profile(s) meet the job hunting standards. This means no selfies, no inappropriate language or drunken photos. Employers want to see recent content that talks about an area of work that you are interested in or a subject that employers are likely to care about.
7. You Don’t Skip the Career Objective
Well, here’s another thing you don’t need on your CV: a career objective. Career objectives limit your choices and instead of making you look like the ideal job candidate, they give out insufficient information about who you are and what you can do for employers. But, a successful CV needs to speak for itself. It needs to communicate in a way that answers the employer’s needs – not your needs.
Instead of using a career objective, write a professional summary. Prepare two or three sentences that talk your key areas of expertise, refer to years of experience and explain how you can provide value to employers. If you have a specific career goal in mind, you can write it in this small paragraph, but you need to make sure it is related to the position and the company you are applying for.
8. You Are Still Putting ‘References Upon Request’
A couple of years ago, using this phrase seemed to be more or less mandatory, but the truth is that you don’t really need it on your CV. ‘References available upon request’ is usually a phrase jobseekers use at the end to tell employers you can provide references. The reason why it is not needed on your CV is that employers know you will provide references if they ask for one. So what’s the point of putting this phrase on your CV?
Staying up-to-date with current CV writing trends can be a lifesaver. Employers want to hire people who look like they know what they are doing and can answer their needs. If you want to get hired for the next job you are applying for, avoid these obvious mistakes that make your CV look old and obsolete.