Exceptional People

The ides of March have come

 A Blog by Tom Glover - 08/03/2012

 

As the dark clouds of winter start to disappear and the first shoots of spring are upon us it is time to clear out the clutter with a good spring clean.  But it is not only your property that might need de-cluttering your CV can always do with a spruce up too.  So as part of my blog today I am going to give you some suggestions on things to remove from your CV to make it stand out from the crowd. 

 

 

Top 10 no no’s with CV writing

 

  1. Spelling errors, typos and poor grammar – It is the easiest and yet most common mistake made by candidates and probably one of the biggest turn offs to clients. Check everything you write, this is, after all, your advert to potential employers! Come on people it’s highlighted in red and green!
  2. Unexplained gaps in employment - Having mysterious gaps in your employment history is a massive mistake. It makes recruiters nervous and uncertain. If you're lucky, they'll briefly consider what you were up to during that period as your CV is folded into a paper aeroplane and whizzed towards the bin.
  3. Lying or misleading information – Everybody knows that liars and cheats always get found out in the end and honesty is always the best policy.  I am not saying don’t show yourself in a positive light but if you haven’t got a degree in Astrophysics from Cambridge or an IQ of 160 then don’t put it on your CV! The truth will come out in the end!
  4. A long, waffling CV – This is definitely a big turn off for all recruiters.  You need to keep your CV on point.  You don’t need to explain every tiny little detail of the position you did for 2 weeks, 5 years ago! Try to keep your CV short, sharp and to the point ensuring you match as much of your experience to the job description you are applying for.  Recruiters are looking through hundreds of CV’s so you need to make sure yours stands out. As a rule 2 pages is always good.
  5. Badly formatted CV – Most people these days will view your CV online, it is therefore important that you make sure it is formatted accordingly.Simple things like; making sure jobs don’t over run pages, using a good easy to read font (Arial is good) and no smaller than 10 or bigger than 12 in terms of font sizewill give your CV so much more appeal to read.  Also, I know it is tempting but try to leave your graphic design hat in the box!  You don’t need funky designs and pretty patterns all over your CV it just distracts the eye from the detail on the page.
  6. Don’t use negative language – Your CV is about selling yourself, so make sure you are doing so in the best possible light. Use positive words to start each sentence, such as; initiated, improved, introduced, developed, negotiated, established, created, pioneered, delivered, increased, reduced and saved. This will make your CV read better and create a positive vibe for the reader.
  7. Don’t Include a photo– Especially not one you have cropped from a holiday picture or night out on the town (really, yes you would be surprised!). Seriously no matter how great you make yourself look, unless you are going for modelling work, it just isn’t popular with the majority of UK employers.
  8. Talking in clichés -  Phrases such as “I am a highly motivated individual who has excellent communication skills and  works well within a team or on my own and has the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines” are boring and any recruiter will have heard them a thousand times before!  Make yourself stand out from the crowd by writing carefully worded phrasing that is factual and captures the employer’s attention.
  9. Applying for a job that you are not qualified or able to do – I know that jobs look good and you have always fancied being a Marine Biologist or part of the F1 pit crew but if you have only been a cashier at a well known supermarket, with no formal qualifications, then sadly you are not going to get it! So please, read the job description and think do I really have the skills for this? If you do then apply away but if not save the recruiter valuable time and yourself the heartache of rejection.

Right that is enough advice (lecture!) for today, so to end here are some funny CV mistakes and blunders from around the world!

  • “Career break in 1999 to renovate my horse”

 

  • Hobbies: “getting drunk every night down by the water, playing my guitar and smoking pot”

 

 

  • Candidate explained a gap in employment by saying it was because he was getting over the death of his cat for three months.

 

  • Candidate explained an arrest by stating, “We stole a pig, but it was a really small pig.”

 

  • Skills: “Icantypewithoutlookingatthekeyboard.”

 

  • Objective: “So one of the main things for me is, as the movie ‘Jerry McGuire’ puts it, ‘Show me the money!’”

 

  • Objective: “I need money because I have bills to pay and I would like to have a life, go out partying, please my young wife with gifts, and have a menu entrée consisting of more than soup.”

 

  • Personal: “My family is willing to relocate. However not to New England (too cold) and not to Southern California (earthquakes). Indianapolis or Chicago would be fine. My youngest prefers Orlando’s proximity to Disney World.”

 

  • Why Interested in Position: “to keep my parole officer from putting back me in jail”

 

  • Other Interests: “Playing with my two dogs (They actually belong to my wife but I love the dogs more than my wife)”.

Well I hope my advice can help you not make a dog’s dinner of your CV and will turn it into one of true pedigree.  Talking of all things canine I will be passing the blog baton onto our roving four legged reporter Max next week.  He will be giving you the lowdown on life as Maine-Tucker’s official mascot.  

08.03.2012 17:12

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