Your CV is your ticket to getting interviews, it needs to be perfect from start to finish. This is your chance to showcase your career history and promote your working life achievements. It only takes one mistake for a recruiter or prospective employer to start doubting your credibility so it is vital that your CV is free of errors. These are the most common mistakes we see here at Lloyd May:
Proof Reading – Typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors
It is quite surprising how many CVs we receive which contain spelling mistakes and other basic grammatical errors. These common errors can easily be dodged by taking more care. Submitting your CV with mistakes, can look careless and sloppy and could imply that you couldn’t be bothered to check your work - this is not the impression you want to give a perspective employer.
Proof reading your CV before sending it is vital and showcases your precision and attention to detail. Check everything, even your contact details. Spell check software can pick up some mistakes but it is not always 100% accurate. Asking a friend to proof read and for feedback could be helpful.
One size fits all
“I lose interest when someone’s CV is too generic” Sarah Mitchell, Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward Area Lettings Director - North and West London
The concept of one size fits all, just doesn’t work. If you're applying for a specific role tailoring your CV for that role is extremely beneficial, evaluating and highlighting which of your skills match the job specification most effectively will give you the best chance of success.
Don’t be afraid to remove irrelevant experience, even if you're applying for similar roles with different organisations - check their requirements and tweak accordingly.
Unusual fonts, photographs, coloured paper or font
“I think people forgot its not an Art competition, it’s a business proposal and your first impression” Tony Gambrill, Chestertons, Area Director North and East London
We have received an increasing number of CV’s being ‘jazzed up’ by including photographs or using uncommon fonts and unusual formatting.
Keep to a smart and clean looking font, use a simple format heading out each section. If you are struggling, we have a CV help guide which outlines sections to be filled out and we are more than happy to send it across to anyone looking to update their CV.
Too much information
If your CV is seven pages long and crammed with every detail of your career, it will not be appealing to read. Use bullet points and headings to add structure and clarity, limit yourself to 5-7 bullet points for each employment role.
Limit your CV to two pages in length and try to include information that is relevant to the job you are applying for. Check what you have written and see where cuts can be made so that your information is short and sweet.
Highlighting you’re Impact
Although it's important to not overload your CV with every career detail, it is vital to show the key work you have carried out. It is important to highlight any results achieved in your previous roles, if you neglect to do this you will miss a big opportunity to prove your value to an employer.
For example, we receive a number of Sales Negotiator CV’s that list skills which “have lead to growth in sales & profit for the company” - this is too general - you need to be specific and elaborate on this - say what you have banked for your office, that you are on target earnings, state what your office banks and include any other awards or achievements you have had. These are the specific questions we are asked when marketing a sales or lettings negotiator to our clients.
Lots of people have periods of unemployment, it's not necessarily a negative. However, it's important to include why you have gaps in your CV, it can be for a number of reasons - such as travelling or studying. Make sure these gaps are dated and explained.
“Not putting the year of employment in their CV, I have no idea if you have worked there a month or a year” Daniel Thomas, Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, Recruiter
A good CV flow will have current roles and previous roles in date order (start date to end date), Make sure to include the month and year otherwise Daniel will be chasing you!
Big thank you to Tony Gambrill, Sarah Mitchell and Daniel Thomas for sharing their CV do's & don'ts.
For more career advice, and information on CV’s please contact the Lloyd May team.
T: +44 (0)20 3709 5080 E: firstname.lastname@example.org