Top ten CV mistakes to avoid at all costs – part two

We spend nearly half our waking lives at work and most of us aren’t that happy about it. We all know CVs or résumés are a crucial weapon in our bid to land the jobs we crave – that’s why it surprises us how bad some can be. So for want of anything better to do, the kindly folks at CV Specialists have put together our top ten CV mistakes to avoid at all costs. We ran through the first five last week (click here if you missed it), so it’s just getting towards the interesting stage. OK maybe interesting is pushing it but here’s our top five anyway. Dust down the edge of your seats chaps – I’ve got a feeling you’re gonna need them… 5 Focus on your achievements and avoid vague like the plague Time and time again we see CVs that are full of meaningless woolly rubbish like “I am a conscientious, hard-working team player who delivers results…” You want your CV to stand out so if you do genuinely deliver results, prove it. With facts. Don’t say “I was in charge of a large team and managed to improve profits” say “I was in charge of 20 people and increased profits by 50% – £5m”. Now we’re talking. Which brings us on nicely to… 4 Read the job advert carefully and push the right buttons It’s easier to just have one generic copy of your CV that you can send to various different employers. It’s also easy not to wash and to sit in front of the TV all day eating ice cream but...

Top ten CV mistakes to avoid at all costs – part one

Already doing your dream job? If so, don’t bother reading on – there’s nothing to see here. If you are still on the lookout, you are in the right place. A stunning CV is a damn good start – but we’ve seen some criminal résumé and CV mistakes in our time. I’m not talking about CVs that our clients have asked us to work on. I’m talking about ‘completed’ CVs that many of our team received in their past lives as recruiters and employers. So if you are thinking of writing your own we’ve put together ten top tips to help. So without further ado, drum roll please:- 10 Be careful what you call your CV – and what you call yourself Let’s start off with one that often slips through the net: As an employer if I saw a file named “Jane Smith Journalism CV” I’d be wondering if the next employer was getting “Jane Smith PR CV”, “Jane Smith Press Officer CV” or “Jane Smith Lion Tamer CV”. For example. I wanted to know the candidate was the perfect fit for the job I advertised – not just spamming CVs to every vacancy they could find. Likewise, be careful about your email address. “Beermonster@hotmail.com” might suggest you are great mate potential but employee potential? Not so much. The same goes for your social media profiles of course – assume employers will try and track you down so be careful! 9 Send your CV as a PDF to avoid formatting issues This one does what it says on the tin really – send your CV as a PDF...

Why a professional CV should improve your job chances by 2500%

A good CV is no guarantee of a job – but a bad CV is pretty close to a guarantee you won’t get one. UK employers are currently seeing an average of 85 applications per job – according to a survey published by the Association of Graduate Recruiters this summer. The numbers are higher in some industries – with firms like Unilever and Procter & Gamble reporting 160 applications for every graduate marketing and sales job advertised. Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency showed that more than 20,000 graduates – that’s 9% – were unemployed six months after leaving university. Many of the rest were taking jobs shelf stacking or cleaning the street to pay the bills. The sad truth is the employer holds the whip hand and, if they receive dozens of CVs for every position, they can afford to be picky. Standing out from the crowd: how the hiring process works I used to hire large numbers of people and it was the same old story: We used to see far more CVs than we had jobs available. We needed a way to sort the wheat from the chaff – and we didn’t have any time to waste. The first thing I did was file any CVs with typos, mistakes or inconsistent layout or style in the bin. I wanted people with an eye for detail and if they couldn’t pull it off on their own CV, how could I rely on them in the workplace? Maybe I was being picky eliminating someone because they had an apostrophe in the wrong place or a full-stop missing but when I had 100...