Your resumé / CV is your golden ticket to a new career... or potentially the quickest way to kill your prospects of a dream job. Why? Because all too often recruiters / employers are looking at ways to rule you out so they can get to the best candidates, so here I have highlighted some common mistakes that people make which you can easily eradicate:
- Writing about yourself in the 3rd person - "Bob is an excellent communicator and highly effective presenter". If that were written by a third party it would sound impressive. But when it is written by Bob himself (and you know it is because its Bobs resumé) it simply comes across as weird. And also pretty conceited. Always write about yourself in the 1st person.
- Spelling mistakes - their is nothing much more worse then dotting your resume with a stream of spellink mistooks or grammer errors. There is also no excuse these days with the likes of Spellchicker or Grammerly readily availabel
- Funky formats - maybe in the 90's when we were messing about with Photoshop or fantastical fonts would it be acceptable to present your resumé in Comic Sans in lurid orange. Not any more. Stick to simple and neat.
- War & Peace - remember your resumé will most likely only get a few minutes of someone's time when they may have hundreds of CV's to sift through. If your resumé comes perfect bound like an encyclopaedia it doesn't say to the reader "boy, this candidate has done a lot in their career" it screams "there's no way I am reading through all that". Keep it succinct, two or three pages at most. If they want to know more, they will ask for it.
- Clichés - there are so many overused phrases in CV's that they now mean very little to a potential employer. Hard-working? Excellent communicator? Team player? Forward thinker? Laser like focus? Yawn. Heard them all a million times before. And again, going back to point 1 in this list, describing yourself as these things makes you sound narcissistic and that your are probably bullsh*tting.
- Leveraging LinkedIn - all too often people focus on their resume when they should be paying as much (if not more) attention to their LinkedIn profile. If I am reviewing someone's background to see if I want to interview them then LinkedIn is my first port of call after I have read someones CV. It offers a much richer experience as it shows in more detail what the candidate is interested in by showcasing the pieces they have written, items they have shared or commented upon (so be very careful about trolling as it will work against you)
So what do you think? Have you got any more examples to add to the list?
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