CV Mistakes

8
CV Mistakes

“I received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.” Don’t make the same mistakes others do.

Normally, after you have been called for an interview, you will have an indication why you weren’t successful. You will be able to reflect on your performance and ability during the interview.

Unfortunately, with so many employers choosing the distasteful method of refusing to respond to your application if you’re not successful in gaining an interview, you won’t have the opportunity to find out where you went wrong with your CV. Here are some ways you can improve your CV and adopt best methods for presentation.

Using a standard presentation

Many applicants believe they have to stand out from the majority. Of course, this is true with the content of your CV, but the presentation of your application shouldn’t stand out so much that it heads for the recycle bin before being read.

• Your CV must be kept as simple as possible, yet provide sufficient information for the employer to call you for an interview. Don’t use fancy fonts, clever borders or images to make your CV more prominent
• Avoid the use of rainbow coloured paper because your first impression may be your last
• Some people try to use an elaborate size 10 font so they can include more information. Don’t. Use a clear font, preferably font size 12 and keep to standard English without resorting to synonyms and a thesaurus to complicate your message.

Use a clear structure

A potential employer wants to select people for interviews, so you need to provide all the necessary information, so they can make that decision, within a clear structure.

• Include all of your personal contact details so that you make it easy for an employer to contact you
• Within a personal profile, offer a brief summary of your skills and experience that match the salient points from the job advertisement
• Detail your work history, start with your most recent employment and work backwards. If there are employment dates that would reveal gaps in your listing, it is better to be truthful now, rather than waste everyone’s time later
• List all of your relevant training and educational qualifications and where they are not pertinent, list something, rather than nothing
• Mention your outside interests, using bullet points, but don’t overdo this section as they provide more information about you and good opportunities for discussion during the interview.

Use 2 single sheets of paper – printing on one side only

Include everything within two pages. If you don’t know how to edit your CV, seek friendly advice to ensure your document stays within two pages.

You don’t need to tell an employer everything about you within a CV. That is the purpose of the interview. You need to find the right balance between giving enough information on the CV and holding back sufficient discussion points for your interrogation.

In conclusion, give the CV proper attention and ensure you carefully review your layout and wording. You are not likely to get your foot in the door without a great CV as the question any potential employer will be asking is “why should I interview this person over the other 100 candidates?”

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The writer is the founder and CEO of Axcel Finance Ltd., the leading regional microfinance institution. Share your thoughts and email your questions to [email protected]

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Very helpful and informative hints. Well written, but unfortunately when you do get the interview is when it really counts!

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  2. Do you truly expect an employer to contact every applicant and provide them feedback on why their CV didn't pass the smell test? No, that's impossible. The applicant needs to read the job description very carefully and hope their experience which is listedon their CV matches what the job description ask for.

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  3. Indeed. Nothing - absolutely nothing is done in St Lucia by merits, ESPECIALLY hiring. You could be a complete "fit", qualified with experience for the position, if they don't know your family tree or you do not have a recognizable brand name, for get it!! Thus, ALL the square pegs in rounds hole prancing around!

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  4. Seriously!!! Nowadays job is all about the links..cause I know of many people with 1's and they r still in the house searching for a job..

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    • 1's? are you serious? so many people floating around with degrees these days.....man even a bachelor's is worth as much as a piece of a piece, of a piece and a quarter of that piece of toilet paper.

      however, the links take priority #1 for true.

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  5. You can write blah blah blah blah blah on your CV once the employer knows you or your family you will get the JOB!! look at the majority of persons working in the ministries!!

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