When it comes to writing your CV, you only have a restricted amount of space (approximately 2 sides of A4 paper) to make an impression to the hiring manager of the company you’re applying for and secure your chances of gaining an interview. With this in mind, you need to ensure that all of the information that is included counts (skills, experience and suitability for the role).
If you’re on the job hunt and need some help on writing a good CV, here are some of the most common mistakes to be aware which waste vital space and could curb your chances of getting hired: 1. Including your marital status
One of the most common mistakes that many job seekers include within their CV is their marital or relationship status and the number of children they have. This is a personal piece of information that doesn’t belong on a CV. Remember, you’re applying for a job - not a dating site, so keep your CV concise and professional. 2. Including a photo
Many job seekers include a photo of themselves on their CV, but unless you’re applying to a modelling agency, it isn’t necessary and could potentially even quash your chances of getting hired. Why? Merely because there may be employers who are shallow enough to hire based on visual appearance rather than skillset and experience. If they don’t like what they see, your CV could be discarded immediately. 3. Including jobs from before the year 2000
One of the most common mistakes is that job seekers list every single past job role within their CV in depth. While you may believe that this proves you have a vast amount of experience and boosts your chances of getting hired, the reality is that employers are only interested in the last 3 jobs you have obtained and simply will not explore your roles from 20 years ago as technology, software and processes have changed dramatically since then and therefore they just aren’t relevant anymore.
4. Including irrelevant hobbies
Enjoy listening to music? Partying with friends? Going to the gym each evening? So does everyone else – and these certainly don’t belong on a CV if you’re hoping to make a real impression. Including cliché, hobbies is a waste of space as it doesn’t necessarily make you a more interesting individual in comparison to other candidates, so you need to think carefully about the types of hobbies you enjoy but are a talking point and ultimately allow you to come across as a more interesting individual. Really, we avoid listing hobbies unless it will make a significant difference to the role, such as a snowboarding tutor enjoying snowboarding in their spare time and taking part in irregular competitions. 5. Including reference details You don’t necessarily have to include your reference details on your CV, as this information takes up valuable space which could be put to better use. Instead, you can simply write ‘References available upon request’, which also prevents potential employers from contacting your referees without you knowing about it – especially if one of them is your current boss. Ouch! – Just as a note, they should not contact your references without your request and certainly not before offering you the role and you accepting it, as well as handing in your notice.
Remember that an employer will spend an average of 5 - 7 seconds to scan your CV in the first instance for candidate selection, and with a vast increase in redundancies since the pandemic, it is even more important to stand out in the right way on your CV.
If you would like any further information on writing your CV, please get in touch with us today – we’d be happy to help.