I once spent the best part of a week meticulously perfecting my C.V during every spare moment I had for a dream job I saw online. A few days past the deadline, I re-read my sent items and double clicked on my C.V attached.
I was mortified. It wouldn’t open. Apparently, the device I was using 'couldn’t support the format of the document attached.’ It’s tempting to write your C.V using flashy templates on a wizard application; but double check the receiving device can open your C.V. No hiring manager is that bothered to open a C.V of someone they haven’t been introduced to yet!
Send your C.V to 3 friends and get them to open it on their device. If anyone has issues opening it in the right format (or at all) establish the problem and rectify it before submitting your application. Always draft your C.V in a plain text version you can use to populate a more impressive C.V template with.
2. Google yourself and check your social media
Like most hiring managers in the modern world, as soon as someone captivates my attention on paper I check them out online. I’ll look at their LinkedIn profile, Facebook, Twitter or whatever else comes up in a quick search.
Google yourself and see what comes up. If you don’t like it, get rid of that online footprint. ‘De-tag’ yourself from risqué pictures or to change a few settings on your social accounts. Each social media platform gives you an option to view your account from its public profile view. Have a look and administer any damage control required.
No one expects your FB, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles to look the same. Your LinkedIn should be a professional picture and your FB should be casual; people want to see what kind of person they will be working with every day. Lock down any ‘passed out in Ibiza’ ones. You want your pictures to make a hiring manager warm to the real you, but not make them panic that you’ll be too hungover to work half the time or completely change the dynamic of the existing team.
3. Grammar and spelling errors on your CV
This is so obvious. Everything is digital nowadays, yet the human eye generally tends to spot errors better in print. Print your final draft and proofread it with a pen first, and always get another person to give it the once over as you become blind with the familiarity of your own work.
Download Grammarly. It’s an enhanced proofreading tool that checks text for grammar, punctuation and works as a contextual spelling checker.
The enhanced version even features a plagiarism detector. It will highlight spelling and grammatical errors across your email platforms and social media posts too so it’s a win, win all round.
4. You Are Listing Your Responsibilities and Not Your Accomplishments
The hiring manager will expect that your experience already covers the responsibilities required for the role. Otherwise, why are you applying? To make yourself stand out; list your responsibilities in outcomes. Use numbers and examples.
For example, if you are going for a job in social media don’t say “Managed the company’s large twitter account” say something like “Grew the company’s twitter account by 60% in 12 months and saw a 40% increase in direct client engagement.”
5. Don’t put your education or other formalities at the top of your CV.
This will be a formal requirement the hiring manager will happily scan for at the end of your CV but only after you’ve pulled them in with those relevant accomplishments and a captivating character profile at the beginning.
Have you got any CV blunders to share? I'd love to hear about them in the comment feed below!
Nicola Lawler, Head of Marketing at Projectus Consulting
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