Planning & Research
Poor planning will get you nowhere. If you haven’ kept your CV updated for several years, you will need to research and plan before you begin to structure the CV. How do you research? Go online and search for similar vacancies, compile a list of the most in-demand skills, review duties and responsibilities. This will help you consolidate your skills, knowledge and ability.
Poorly-structured job descriptions
This section needs to be quick and easy to read, start with a short introduction about the overall role objective, then bullet point your duties and keep to one line. Close by citing targets met or achievements.
There’s no point highlighting skills and ability if you can’t back up with tangible evidence, so back up statements with facts, for example ‘good at controlling costs’ continue ‘the Rise Lark Development finished £13,500 under budget’
Some buzzwords are over used, so avoid phrases such as “Hard-working team player.” “Innovative forward thinker.” “Go-getting people person.” These types of cliched terms may sound impressive, but they are damaging to your CV. It’s much better to provide examples rather than insert phrases.
Limit your CV to two pages in length. Be selective with the information you include, a sense check to this is asking yourself ‘will this get me to the interview’. If you are sending a 5 page CV no one will read it, as time is precious.
As explained within our other CV guides, it’s now acceptable to have a gap on your CV as long as you explain it honestly. Yet, it is still in the top 10 for errors on a CV, for more advice on this see our guide Explaining Gaps on Your CV guide.
The sole purpose of your CV is to get to the interview, once you’ve submitted to either a recruitment agency or company it will be scrutinized. This means checking information, living in a digital world means access to information is easy, so if your CV doesn’t add up and they spot inaccuracies, you won’t hear from them. Be honest, don’t lie and don’t exaggerate.