If you're hitting the job hunting trail, chances are you’ll have to submit a good, old fashioned curriculum vitae (CV).
You might be uploading it to a website, instead of putting a hard copy in the post but some things do still apply. There are some golden rules about CVs, no matter what job you’re applying for. Here are five big things you need to avoid.
Spelling or grammar mistakes
It’s obvious, but so easily done – and you do NOT want typos or spelling mistakes on your CV. Your own spelling may be rubbish (thanks, predictive text) but we guarantee a recruiter will spot errors and won’t be impressed. Use spellcheck and get someone else to proof read your CV and any cover letters you're sending too. Twice.
Or any sort of physical description. Unless you’re an aspiring actor, it shouldn’t be necessary to include anything like this. Generally it avoids any issue around possible discrimination but it can also look unprofessional. If you do decide to attach a pic though, or are asked to provide one, make sure it’s a high quality, suitable photo – not a selfie from Instagram.
Irrelevant job experience
It can be tempting to fill a CV with all the things you’ve done - especially if you’re only starting out and don’t have a huge amount of experience. It's not helpful. Ditch the non-essentials or, if you have to pad out your CV, focus on the skills you got from the roles and show how they’re relevant to what you’re applying for now.
Colourful or fancy fonts
Okay, so if you’re working in a creative industry you might get away with being a bit swooshy with your CV but in general, basic is better. Recruiters are busy people and often have to sift through loads of applications for a role. They do not want to have their eyes assaulted by five different fonts, in bright colours, or deal with weird spacing. Keep it neat and professional.
Why you want the job
This shouldn't be on on your CV - save it for the cover letter. Your CV should show your experience but the letter you attach will be your chance to explain why you’d be great for the role (and will hopefully get you that interview!) People tend to spend ages getting their CV right but don’t give much thought to the cover letter, which is actually where you get to shine.
And if you are on the job hunt at the moment - good luck out there!