Live Career Blog

CV Blunders to Watch Out For

- July 29, 2013
avoid_resume_blunders

Are you making any of these common mistakes in your CV? If so, you may want to give your application one more close look before you send it off. Simple, common mistakes like these can have a powerful impact on your odds of staying in the running for the job of your dreams.

  1. Going too far off message. Just because you’ve held a job or won an award in the past doesn’t mean you need to describe the award in exhaustive detail or provide a long list of the basic responsibilities that were part of that job. As far as possible, keep your details relevant to the needs of this position and this company.
  2. Neglecting to make use of numbers. If you raised revenues for your previous company, introduced a new product, sponsored a new initiative, or led a team to victory, try to attach numbers to your claim. How much did you raise and over what period of time? How large was your team? What measurable impact did your new product have on sales numbers? Quantifying a claim makes it easier for employers to understand and remember.
  3. Clumsy language. There’s a difference between grammatical mistakes (which are always a problem) and language that’s just a bit choppy and awkward. The smoother your phrases and sentences become, the more intelligent you’ll sound. It’s not always a fair or accurate assumption, but those who write with elegance are assumed to be more competent than those who don’t.
  4. Obvious attempts at spin. Marketing yourself is important…but smoke throwing or attempts at manipulation can cause far more harm than good. If you have something to hide, like a long gap in your work history or a short tenure at your last position, fight the impulse to do so. Keep your dates of employment clear and prominent, and go easy on buzzwords and hollow businessy-sounding jargon.

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