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7 mistakes you should avoid on your Curriculum

There are several common mistakes that can be made on your Curriculum and send it straight to the rejection pile. It’s not exactly fair. These mistakes are easy to overlook and damage your reputation with the employer. Never fear, we are here to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes (link a checklist Most common mistakes when writing a resume)

1. Your application is not a one pager.

It might take some magical formatting, but try to keep your resume trimmed as much as you can so it only takes one page. Even people with 20 years of experience should be selecting the most relevant experiences to the job they are applying for and if you’re starting your career, there’s no point in having more than one page on your Curriculum.

This one-pager might be challenging and strict but there’s a good reason for it to exist. It forces you to extract the most information in your Curriculum and transfer it to the paper, this way you’ll save time for the employers, and parallelly you’ll obligate them to focus on the decision bullet point they might want to focus on. In the HR departments, they need to review thousands of applications every day, so by making their job easier you’re making yourself easier to reach out too.

What should I fix?

Whatever you do, please don’t reduce the font size to the microscope scale. Every recruiter will find out that you’re trying to enter more text in a space where it doesn’t fit. Even worse, if your CV is hard to read it is very likely to be rejected.

Fear not, here you’ll find some easy formatting magic tricks:

So, what are some other formatting tricks to make your resume easy to read?.

  • Keep your margins at least one inch on all sides.
  • Keep font size no smaller than 11 points.
  • Be consistent with punctuation and how you write the dates of each job.
  • Be concise: List your achievements and responsibilities in bullet-point format.
  • Be specific: use concrete examples of how you achieved measurable success in each role, and not simply a laundry list of your day-to-day duties.

2.Proofread your resume and cover letter.

Sometimes we make mistakes and it’s completely human nature to do so, but, in a cover letter you’re showing that you don’t care about your presentation or you didn’t verify your cover letter enough to fix typos. Anyhow, this is not a good first impression to the hiring manager.

A good trick here is to ask people to read your resume and cover letter for your, this way you can avoid misspelled words and grammatical errors

You want to also check for consistency in your use of present and past tense. The only time you should use present tense is when describing the responsibilities of your current job.

3. Self-validated skills.

Do any of these tend to appear on your Curriculum vitae:

Does your resume contain any of the following? 

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Team player
  • Hard worker
  • Results-driven
  • Detail-oriented

It is best for you to delete those from your Curriculum, these words are very common and do not add any value in your CV since they are totally irrelevant and subjective. It could be right i.e. you could probably be a hard worker and a team player, but everyone else is. The best way to expose these skills is by providing tangible examples of what you have done.

So many people have wildly inaccurate assessments of themselves and the quality of their work, and for that reason employers have learned to completely ignore subjective claims and jargon on resumes. What they’re really looking for are facts, hard numbers, and evidence of the traits you claim to possess.

To figure out what to put on your resume instead, ask yourself, what have you achieved that demonstrates your leadership skills, work ethic, or whatever else it is you want to convey to employers.

4.  Using the same CV for several job opportunities. 

When you’re applying for multiple jobs, it may seem like a daunting task to tailor your resume for each job. But it’s really not that much work, and it will pay off in the end. Sending out a generic resume will make it look like you’re just applying blindly for every job you’re remotely qualified for, and that’s a sure-fire way to kill your chances of being hired!

Whenever you understand a bit better what the employer is looking for, you can start prioritizing the information shown on your curriculum. It could be a certificate or your college title. That should appear on the top. It isn’t written on stone that you should show your work experience in chronological order, nevertheless, you want to make sure that the hiring manager notices all the relevant experience first.

Next, take a look at the bullet points for each of your prior jobs. How can they be revamped to better align with the requirements of the job? For examples of ways to spin your bullets to emphasize certain soft skills, check out our post

5. Exaggerating your achievements.

Some people tend to show more than what they actually did in their previous jobs to look more qualified than they really are. It seems that you can bluff people with this strategy, but in the end, it is very likely that during the interview process they will clear out those bluffs, and also the employer will always ask your references about your performance and what you said in the interview.

Bottom line? Don’t pad your resume!

There’s a fine line between “spinning” something a certain way and completely fabricating achievements. If you get caught doing the latter, you might get blacklisted from the company – and tarnish your reputation to your references as well.  

Your CV is your potential employer’s first glance and you can either make them fall in love with it or be rejected instantly. This is the reason why it is vital to avoid these errors in your Curriculum Vitae! You cannot talk to the employer right away and control their mind, but what you can do is to control your first impression, your curriculum

6. Forgetting the summary.

Think of a resume objective/summary as a super condensed version of a cover letter. It’s a few sentences at the top of your resume explaining why you want a specific job, why you’re qualified for it, and how you’ll help the company.

Although it’s only a few sentences, it’s still another opportunity to display your confidence, communication ability and writing skills—all traits that hiring managers look for in candidates applying for virtually any position. The objective/summary is also another way to customize your resume for a specific job and employer; you can even think of it as a way to compliment your potential employer.

Here’s an example of a resume objective:

20 years of experience managing two offices highlighted by cutting supply costs, improving efficiencies, and reorganizing administrative processes. Looking to bring my communication, organizational, and people skills – and make a measurable difference for your office and my career – to an admired, progressive company like Marketing Agency ABC.

And here are more tips for writing your best resume objective.

7. Highlighting irrelevant information.

Maybe you collect stuffed animals, play classic video games, or restore old cars. Good for you; we all need passions other than work. That’s a major part of work-life balance. But do your hobbies say anything about how you can excel in a specific job? Is there any obvious connection? If not, don’t list them; it’s just resume clutter that will serve to annoy and/or confuse.

Of course, there are a few exceptions, but those exceptions have to be obviously linked to the job you’re applying for, for example:  if you’re a level designer that likes gaming, it makes sense to add this kind of hobby to your CV. To this, you should add why it is important to highlight it “I have run more than 1000 dungeons from AAA games”. This is a tangible example of how this hobby makes you excel and stand out. It has numbers and it is not subjective.

Now that you know the most common mistakes in building CVs let us help you find the right job, apply to our careers here! (link)

Also, if you want to understand how companies works in their hiring process do not miss this article Top hiring trends in 2022 (link)

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