CV Pitfalls to Avoid

 Getting your CV right maybe the difference between getting the interview and being shredded

I posted an advert for a Prestige Car Sales Executive recently, I arrived to 27 applications the next morning. 

If I had spent just 5 minutes studying each one and reading it through, that would be over 2 hours. Therefore, the CV’s that are easy to read and contain the relevant information, will be the ones that are less likely to go on the No pile.

The tips that follow will help your CV stand out and get you to an interview.

  • Tailor Your CV

Research the company and use the job advert to work out EXACTLY what skills you should point out to them. They will appreciate the obvious effort. 

  • Keep it real!

Usually a CV should be no more than two pages – and that’s two pages or three pages of relevant skills and experience for the position you applied for.

Keep it punchy, to the point and use bullet points.

Remember, most employers spendless than 10 seconds looking at any one CV, before discarding it.

  • Tell the truth

Tell the truth always. Lies on your CV can land you in all sorts of trouble when it comes to employers checking your background and references. The last thing you want is to start work and then lose your new job for lying on your CV. 

I interviewed a candidate recently , and one of my team came over and said Hello to them. When the candidate left I asked where she knew him from.

It transpired she had worked with the candidate for over a year in a role which hadn’t been mentioned on the CV and previous job was expanded for a year to fill the gap.

  • Include a personal statement

Don’t just assume an employer will see how your experience relates to their job. Instead, use a short personal statement to explain why you are the best person for the job. This should be reflected in your cover letter as well

  • Don’t leave gaps

We are a cynical bunch and leaving obvious gaps on your CV immediately makes employers suspicious – and they won’t give you the benefit of the doubt. If you’ve been out of work it can be a worry but just put a positive spin on it. Did you do a course, volunteer work or develop soft skills such as communication, teamwork or project management?

  • Keep it current

You should keep your CV up-to-date whether you’re looking for a job or not. Every time something significant occurs in your career, record it so you don’t later forget something that could be important.

  • Check for errors, then check again

Employers will notice mistakes on your CVs and covering letters. If they find them, it makes you look really bad. 

Most employers experience massive volumes of applicants right now, don’t give them the excuse to throw your CV in the shredder.

If you’re unsure then use a spellchecker and ask someone else to double-check what you’ve written. 

  • It’s a numbers game

This may sound dull but by backing up your achievements with numbers it makes selling yourself much easier. When writing your CV don’t just say that you exceeded your target; tell them you increased sales over target by 70% over a six month period. 

Only ever quote numbers that you can prove.