The daily work life in HR departments flutters between workforce development and management, therefore recruitment and selection included. The most appropriate employers for the most appropriate roles, that’s the point.
But when a company receives an average of 50 CV’s per day, it is clear that some Curriculum Vitae are miles away from where they should be. Indeed, the harsh truth is that there are still many people out there who have no clue how to prepare a CV or resume without neglecting or messing up important details.
The CV, often being our first impression of a candidate, can already tell us a lot about the person: their attention to detail, personal presentation, their self-image, or even their true interest in the job. And once you’ve sent it, there’s no way back.
5 ways to mess up your CV
Are you seriously using a picture from 8 years ago? With a glass of wine in your hand or the arm of your friend that is embracing you for a group picture? Apart from modelling and acting, how you look is not a crucial factor, but the rule here is to use a decent picture or no picture at all.
Do yourself a favor and get some nice pictures taken; you never know what they might be useful for… aside from being a picture for your CV, of course. And by nice we just mean a well-coordinated outfit, not necessarily suit and tie.
[email protected]… We’re all very nostalgic about that first email account that we opened so many years ago, but if you actually want us to contact you, maybe you need to accept that it’s time to open a new e-mail account for professional correspondence: [email protected]…, simple.
And no, personal details doesn’t mean a link to your profile on Facebook. If you want to add a link that tells us more about yourself, then provide your personal blog or your online portfolio, but…not to Facebook. Encourage recruiters to contact you, not the reverse.
Grammar & vocabulary
Needless to say, you’ll have to run a spell check not once, not twice, but 3 times. And even then, let someone else read it.
And please do reflect on the use of vocabulary. It’s not the 50’s anymore, so using vague clichés like ‘team player’ or ‘looking for a professional growth’ and certain levels of formality just don’t work anymore. That also goes for humor: it’s not a bad thing that your CV might be funny, but don’t make it hilarious because of exaggerated expressions or stupid mistakes.
Too simple, or too full, different fonts & sizes, recycled templates…reader’s distraction is around the corner! It all shows that you have little eye for detail and little or no experience with Microsoft Office, an essential tool in many companies.
Speaking of Office, saving and sending your file as a Word document is a big no no! Especially when it even highlights your writing errors that you left in the document. PDF 4-ever!
You do realize that no one is going to read your boss’ recommendation from 2007 located on the 5th page, right? On average, your CV will be in the hands of HR for about 20secs, if you haven’t made a great impact by then, well then you threw your chance out the window. Less is more, you already know.
5 Qualities Neomobile Loves in a CV
Alternative desired positions
When applying for a job, not only is it useful to add the job title or job ad number that you’re applying for, but also add other fields of interest. Maybe you might not be the right person for the open position but you could be taken into consideration for another one!
The reality is that you should adapt your CV and introduction letter to every single company that you contact. It might require an increased effort but you are definitely increasing your chances of creating retention of your profile. Plus, the more original it is, the better!
Personal interest in the business
What is the latest app that you have installed? If you want to work in a company like Neomobile, but you replied that you don’t even have a smartphone, then you just lost a point. Even if it is for a finance position, it simply shows that you might be less interested to work in that industry. And this goes for all the companies and industries out there: always indicate which interests you and the company have in common.
By the way, make sure you know as much as there is to know about the company. Corporate website, social networks… ignite the detective inside you and come 100% prepared at the job interview.
Did you work as a waitress in a small town in Texas or as a volunteer in Asia? While for many companies these experiences might not add any value, this is exactly what Neomobile is looking for. It doesn’t matter what you did, but the fact that you DID it shows that you have initiative, that you have an urge to learn new things and maybe even have a sense for adventure.
Always bring it with you!
Make sure that you carry several copies with you, preferably in English (you can never go wrong with an English version) especially if you should attend a job fair. Even if you should have an appointment, companies might not have had the time to print it.
This is a world full of surprises, so why not keep a digital version online, or even a website? That way you could simply hand a ‘cv’ business card with the link, because in the end, you never know where you might get to know your future employer, even next to you on the plane! (the plane story – how our CEO met one of our specialists – really happened by the way!)
About the Author
Carmen Brauns is the Training & HR Communication Sr Specialist at Neomobile, the global Mobile Commerce Group, leader in m-entertainment and m-payment that easily enables digital companies to monetize on mobile. With about 300 professionals, experts in mobile, Neomobile is headquartered in Rome, with offices in UK, France, Spain, Germany, Serbia, Turkey, US, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and India, and is always looking for people challenged to foster their professional and personal growth in a fast and dynamic way.
photo by: enc