Looking for a new job in a competitive market is never an easy task and making the right first impression is vital. You may not realize that an interview is actually your second chance to impress; the first is your CV.
Below we have put together some simple ‘dos’ and don’ts’ covering typical mistakes we often see on CVs. Check whether you have committed any of these ‘CV sins’ before sending to an agency or prospective employer!
- DO write your CV with a specific position in mind and make it relevant to the job you are applying for.
- DO format your CV according to the standards of the region you are looking to work in. In some countries, a 10 page CV is not unusual, in the Middle East 2-3 pages is more than enough. Keep the details clear and concise.
- DON’T use fussy fonts, or different font/header types. Use business-orientated language and keep it clean and clear from a visual point of view.
- DO list your work history in chronological order, starting with the most recent first.
- DO include the dates you have held for each position, even if was only a short assignment. If you leave dates out, people think you have something to hide.
- DO categorize your role and responsibilities separately from your achievements.
- DO highlight commonalities between the job you are currently doing and the position you are applying for. This is especially important if you want to move into a different area or specialty.
- DO ensure that every piece of information you include helps demonstrate that you are the most qualified person for this position. If it doesn’t add weight to this specific role, leave it out.
- DON’T exaggerate your qualifications, experience or salary level. If you are found out, this could destroy your chances completely.
- DO highlight your accomplishments. This helps the prospective employer see you have a proven track record.
- DON’T use ‘I’, ‘me’ ‘my’ or ‘mine’ where possible. Try to keep the CV in the third person.
And most importantly, DO make sure you run a spelling and grammar check. Poor spelling and grammar in a CV indicates sloppiness and a lack of attention to detail.