Put yourself in the shoes of HR managers. Imagine the strain of having to flip through hundreds of CVs just to settle on one. It’s not easy, and if your resume is not well written, it’s likely going to end up in the trash can. That is why you must fine-tune your resume to increase your chances of gaining an edge over other candidates.
Here are 5 errors that job applicants make when writing their CVs. Take a few minutes to go through them. See where you might go wrong the next time you are writing your resume.
#1. A showy, over-the-limit outlook
Unless you are a designer, employers don’t want your CV to look like branding collateral. Stick to a simple flawless single or two-color design. It is okay to look for a design that works for your type of industry, but just don’t overdo it.
A busy-looking resume is most likely going to make you minimize your chances. You are looking to increase your chances of getting hired and not the other way round. Most professional CV writers advise that you stick to a single font type throughout your resume.
I know that you want to outshine the other applicants. The best way to do it is in your content. The design only constitutes 20% of the overall score.
#2. A lack of balance in hard and soft skills
A bias in your skills listings could harm your chances of securing an interview with your preferred employer.
While it is praiseworthy that you have acquired the right skills through education, it is also important that you talk about your special skills. Market yourself to the potential employer.
Lucas, a leading CV writer at resumego, says, “Your resume is not just a summary of your skills and work history. It’s a marketing piece targeted at your future boss.” Your CV is a pitch of what you have learned in school as well as the knowledge you have gained on your own.
Companies are looking for all-rounded employees. Projecting yourself as a one-handed worker brings you out as “lame.”
Conversely, only talking about your special talents while leaving out your professional qualifications raises questions. You end up looking like a broker.
#3. Grammatical blunders and unbelievable formatting
Take a look at some of the most common formatting and grammatical pitfalls to avoid:
- Watch your tenses. It sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? Still, many job applicants find it confusing when referring to present, continuous, and past work involvements.
- Be concise and neat in your explanations. Every time you talk about your previous roles and projects initiated, minimize the use of pronouns like ‘me’, and ‘I’. Summarize your responsibilities in short, precise highlights. For example, you could say, “Participated in many leadership training workshops” without saying “I participated in…” First-person pronouns brings you out as selfish and lacking in the team spirit.
- Writing numbers in words. Please give your headhunter an easy job. Don’t make them strain to read through your resume. Put down your quantitative achievements in figures. It makes you look organized and brief in your explanations.
- You are beginning your highlights with weak action verbs. Use strong “doing” words to emphasize your accomplishments. Here are some terms you could use: initiated, oversaw, planned, reviewed, and overhauled.
- The wrong length. Nobody has all the time in the world to read pages and pages of resumes.
List only the personal information, qualifications, and past work experience that you have to mention.
HR managers are busy, and they will easily give up on reading an unnecessarily long CV.
On the flip side, an extremely short resume gives the impression that you are lazy and careless. Professional CV writers recommend a length of between 2-3 pages.
A single-page resume only works in specific cases where your credentials are in the public domain, and you don’t have to repeat yourself.
#4. Lack of a social media profile, especially on LinkedIn
You should always make sure to list your LinkedIn account at the top of your CV. Make it an integral part of your Bio. There is nothing to be ashamed of in displaying your credentials in public.
A good social media profile will sell you to hiring companies without a doubt. If you are in a position to, please always provide your web address. It adds to your professional credibility. You also get to enlarge your professional circle.
You meet professionals working in different organizations. And compare notes on various career topics and experiences.
Do not forget to keep updating your LinkedIn credentials every time you are sharing them with future bosses. An outdated profile only serves to get you the tag of mediocrity with your would-be employers.
#5. Irrelevant content and CV titles
Initially, you might have prepared a general CV for obvious reasons. An all-around resume is for the public profile, not for a specific job application.
The hiring person going through your CV is looking for the most ideal applicant for the advertised position. Zoom in on an appropriate title for the role at the top of your resume.
For instance, you are applying for the position of Vehicle Fleet Manager. If your resume says you are qualified, don’t project yourself as a Driver in your title.