CV TIPS - Five Damaging CV Issues And How To Fix Them
Trying to make a great first impression can be tricky in a competitive job market, which is why you need your CV to stand out from the crowd.
What are the most common CV problems you might come up against, and how can you turn these issues into positives?
You look like a job hopper
If you’ve had a large number of roles in a short period of time, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be off-putting for employers if not explained correctly. This is because recruiters might assume that you’re unable to keep a job or that you’re not very committed.
To get past this, you should carefully explain the reasons behind the nature of short roles; for example, it may have been an internship, contract or seasonal role. You should then outline what you achieved during your time in these roles, to prove that you still made an impact during your time there.
You have gaps in your employment history
Plenty of people go through periods of unemployment. This could be due to illness, redundancy, caring for others, travel or any number of other reasons. But while it’s perfectly understandable that you may have gaps in your employment history, these shouldn’t go unexplained on your CV.
Instead, you should tackle the issue proactively. Be sure to explain why you were out of work and use the experience to demonstrate desirable personal attributes.
For example, if you’ve been travelling, you’ll still have used important transferable skills such as organisation, communication, time-keeping, etc. You might have also learnt new skills such as a new language, or cultural awareness. Write about these experiences in detail and prove how your time out of work has improved you as a person and a candidate.
Alternatively, if you’ve been out of work due to illness, there is nothing to be ashamed of. In this case, use your profile as a chance to address your time out and show that you’re keen to get back to work.
You don’t have any experience
If you’re new to the working world, you might not have a lot of experience to speak of – but don’t let that panic you when it comes to writing your CV. In this situation you need to highlight transferable skills from other aspects of your life and demonstrate how they are applicable to the jobs you are applying for. These could be your hobbies, education, volunteer work or any personal projects you’ve worked on. Be sure to draw on skills that the employer has specifically outlined in the job description, as this will increase your chances of being invited in to interview.
Your CV is too long
Is your CV three pages long and bursting with information about your employment history, hobbies, interests and every course you’ve ever taken? If so, you need to cut it down right away.
So, focus on targeted information only and do your best to keep your CV to one or two pages. Remove any roles that are more than 10 years old and any other information that is outdated or does not have any connection to the jobs you are applying for.
You’re changing careers
When you’re changing industries, you might not have much relevant work experience behind you. This can make it harder to craft a great CV that showcases your suitability.
One way to do this is to address your career change in your personal profile and show how you’re committing to your new industry.
You should also highlight your transferable skills that can be applied to your new chosen role. These could be skills like communication, problem-solving and critical thinking.
Matter what challenge you come up against when crafting your CV, just be sure that you think creatively and put a positive spin on them. This will help you to sell yourself effectively and increase your chances of landing a job that you really want.
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