Whenever you are applying for a job, a CV is required. It is the first thing that the hiring managers will see at your application process. So, you must take this only chance to introduce yourself to your future company and show them why you are an excellent candidate for this position. To get the best out of it and to shine at first glance, the most important things to avoid in your CV are listed following:
1. Irrelevant personal information
In your CV it is important to only include the information that is necessary for the job you are applying for. Meaning that personal details such as your marital status or gender are none of their business and it might even encourage the hiring manager to discriminate – no matter if consciously or unconsciously. To avoid that just do not place unnecessary personal information in it.
2. Unnecessary qualifications – not tailoring it
As you are writing your CV or updating it you may not have a specific role in mind yet. But as soon as you finally apply to a position, your CV should be tailored to this specific job. This means you must carefully read the requirements and desired skills for this role and show in your CV that you are the right candidate. A tailored CV is a big advantage in the assessment process of the recruiter.
3. False information and exaggerating the truth
Of course you should be proud of your achievements but nevertheless you have to stay down to earth. Misleading your future employer and praising skills that you do not have will just lead you to a job that you are unable to handle. Nobody will profit from this.
4. Unprofessional social media links and email address
Nobody wants their future bosses to see embarrassing pictures from 10 years ago on the Facebook or Instagram page. To steer clear of this, avoid putting those links on your CV and rather include your LinkedIn site. Be aware of an appropriate email address. You should never apply with an email address that consists of a random word. Preferably just put your name in there.
5. Not using the right keywords
Nowadays it is not unusual that especially in large sized companies Applicant Tracking Systems take over the first screening of the CVs. They just analyse keywords and phrases and then rank the matches to the job description. To avoid getting sorted out by this system, start using the keywords that are named in the job description.
6. Spelling mistakes and poor formatting
A great format and spelling are essential because it represents you as a person. It is said that around 50% of the CVs contain of spelling errors. This can be avoided almost effortlessly since there exist so many online spell-checking tools. On top of that you can let somebody else proof-read your CV as you get easily immune to noticing your own mistakes.
7. Not including hobbies and achievements
To put in some of your hobbies and personal interests may be beneficial to show your values and transferrable skills. But you should only place helpful ones and not exaggerate. Furthermore, you should not only write down the duties and responsibilities for your roles but rather focus on your achievements. Present specific examples of situations where you made a noticeable difference and created impact to the recruiter.
8. Too much text
Usually, the recruiters do not even spend a minute of their time for a CV. So, keep your CV on a maximum of two pages and carefully think about what to put in and what to leave out.
9. Setting a salary requirement
Unless it is requested you should never include a salary requirement in your CV. If the requirement you set is above their standards, they will dismiss you immediately. Nevertheless, most hiring managers prefer to discuss the salary face-to-face.
Similar to the salary requirements, references should rather be not mentioned in a CV – unless it is asked for. The references only get important later on in the hiring process on request. Please do not use friends or family as references at all, just professional ones are required, and they should be aware of you using them as references in advance. Ideally you communicate with them so that they will provide your future employee with relevant information that corresponds with your CV.