- This topic has 3 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 9 years, 4 months ago by Anonymous.
October 18, 2013 at 9:12 am #33524Learnist CareersParticipant
Getting a job now is undeniably difficult for everyone. For every job advertised, there are in the region of 100 applicants, or even more depending on the area and the skillset the job requires. In order to stand out from the rabble, you need a CV that the recruiter actually wants to read, rather than cast aside and leave on their ‘slush pile’.
However, it doesn’t matter how excellent and dazzling your CV is if you include certain things. There are a few CV taboos that can enormously let you down. We don’t want to send your prospective employer running for the hills; we want them to love you and to genuinely believe that their team needs you at all costs.
Here are a few things you shouldn’t include in your CV:
1- Irrelevant or unimportant job experience
So you worked in a takeout aged 17 as soon as you got your driving license. Well done for having an excellent work ethic. Fond memories I’m sure, but unless you are applying for a role in afood establishment or as a delivery driver, nobody is interested. It also makes it appear that you might even be unqualified for the job. Focus on the recent stuff, and think about what you have worked as or what you have learned from your existing and current job that will be important as a candidate for the new job.
2- Meaningless Achievements
You passed the Curry Challenge (finished a plate of extremely hot curry without passing out or requiring an ambulance). You can hold your breath underwater for a minute. You were the dinnertime caretaker’s assistant in primary school. I’m sure these things mean a lot to you, but this will not help you as a purchase ledger assistant. Many of our achievements may make us proud, but not all of them are for a CV. If you have to think about it at all, it probably shouldn’t be there.
3- Keep Hobbies Fairly Mainstream
We all have things we like to do in our spare time, such as reading, blogging, collecting or refurbishing classic vehicles. But some unusual hobbies are probably better kept to yourself. Mentioning you play COD for four hours a night might make you look antisocial, and some hobbies are just so obscure they should be saved for conversation after you have accepted the job. There is no harm however in mentioning something a little bit special to help you stand out. Keep the list short, sweet and interesting without being bizarre.
4- Don’t Describe Your Physical Attributes
Physical attributes on a CV should be saved only for models and actors, where your shape, size and face are important to the job. Any other applicants should keep it about who they are, not what they look like. Also, if you describe your looks to the point where you are trying to make yourself attractive to the interviewer, it could be viewed as harassment or bribery before you even get to the interview. Steer clear!
5- Poor Language
Have someone proofread your CV before you submit it to an employer, and get them to check spelling, grammar, punctuation and even formatting to make sure it reads well and is reasonably aesthetically pleasing. If you can’t trust anyone to do this well, hire a freelancer. It won’t cost much, whereas a poorly composed CV can cost you a job.
6- Private Information
Your religion, sexual orientation, living arrangements or family life (including relationship status) is nobody’s business. If you mention them, and then don’t get the job, you may find yourself blaming the employer and accusing them of discrimination, where it is probably just that they didn’t think you were suitable. By keeping this information to yourself, you keep it neutral so the employer can judge you only for who you are on paper.
7- Inappropriate Email Addresses
Asking them to contact [email protected] will not make you look like a responsible genuine candidate. Nor will [email protected]. Make an email address for free online comprising your name or part of it to keep the tone sensible. An appropriate example would be [email protected]. CVs can often be cast aside because of inappropriate contact information.
8- Your NI Number is Yours
…and you must NOT share it unless you are giving it to your employer for payroll purposes AFTER accepting an interview. Keep it off your CV, it’s just not the right place.
9- Keep it Simple, Don’t Get The Crayons Out
Using brightly coloured fonts or images on your CV probably looks amazing on screen, but on paper, it probably won’t look that great and may make it difficult to read. The only CV’s that should incorporate colour in any way are those that have been professionally designed, or those that belong to people applying for graphic design careers. Don’t use weird curly-wurly hard-to-read fonts either. Keep it easy to read.
If you are genuinely looking for a job, take heed of these taboos and refine your CV. It is your passport to a better future!January 16, 2014 at 5:33 pm #36071AnonymousGuest
The thing to be remembered is that the people who you are applying to work for have to sit and read these, so you need to make it as easy as you possibly can for them. If there is a lot in there that they don’t need to know, you might find that they just give up and move on to the next application.April 17, 2014 at 10:45 am #36072AnonymousGuest
I have just completed the recruitment and selection for a high street jeweller and would echo the comments above.
I would also add that when you have this number of candidates you do not read every word of the CV especially if someone has written war and peace.
I would avoid using the same CV if you are looking for positions in different occupations.
To stand out put yourself in the Recruiting Companies shoes, think then about the role and the attributes that you think are important in the role then highlight this in your experience. They will have a list of attributes they are looking for high light these and make it obvious that you have the skills, experience, attitude, personality etc.
So for a retail sales position, highlight experience in Customers Service or Sales, understand that the role will also include merchandising and presentation.
Good luckMay 8, 2014 at 6:15 pm #36073AnonymousGuest
Thank you Donald, great contribution to the great article.
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