9 Mistakes you must avoid in your CV or Resume

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No denying that resume and CVs can make or break an opportunity for you. But inexperience can cost you an arm and a leg if you are not paying attention. For many its a cut/copy/paste thing but in reality it is one of the challenging job to do before you even get a job. Here is the list of 9 most common mistakes we find in resume, CVs and related documents and how you must avoid it.

1. Apply for job that you qualify

I can understand the desperation of being unemployed or receiving salary that hitting rock bottom. But don’t forget that whatever is happening to you has nothing to do with the employer with whom you are applying for job openings.

Think for a moment that you asked for a glass of water and you are given boiled eggs? Does it make sense? So never give boiled eggs if job description clearly asks for glass of water.

Check requirements for experience, education, location or any other condition and be very watchful for this. Many applicants blatantly ignores that employer might show mercy and hire them as an exception overruling everything.

Many applicants think “whats wrong with applying at most they will reject my application”. Well no! its more wrong than this. In case your CV is relevant then most of the time employers hold it for future consideration whereas if its not they usually bin or shred it.

So don’t waste your time and employers’ time by sending applications for jobs that are not meant for you. The only thing it might bring if not job is depression. Spend more time on job hunting. I see many job seekers complaining about slim opportunities and quality of employment and most of the time the reason of so many complains is their own lazy self.

2. Lying!

Ethics, religion, code, norms and so much more that you know and I still need to say not to do it? Unfortunately yes!

It is always a tough situation for me when I see very able youngsters worried and depressed in their search for better jobs. And just because they think they have already given enough and not hitting a jack pot they resort to falsehood, forged documents, lies and everything about it which is like writing a death note of your career before you even started.

Now a days I feel like patience was a virtue and everybody wants what they think is right for them and this pursuit lead them to do real silly mistakes and it is so common now to hear about getting laid off, deported, black listed.

Never resort with fake experience letters, forged certificates and fake academic record. You are not just bringing shame to yourself but to many after you that are your brothers and sisters from same country.

Nobody can deny the fact that everyone wants to go as high as it gets. But when it doesn’t then don’t push by wrong means. Compensate your weaknesses and lacking with hardwork.

Never underestimate your employers’ ability to do lie detection tests. Many of them have resources and connections that can provide them with correct information about you.

And don’t forget one thing, probably you will be asking one employer to do this for you to make write fake experience letters then you have already lost one employer as he knows you are a liar!

3. Outdated information

This might sound stupid and yes it really is and there is no small number of CVs that employers receive have outdated information that is not more relevant. And these blunders can go mount up to having an old contact number that applicant is not using anymore. Same is the case with email.

Next time if you are doing any copy/paste from your old resume or curriculum vitae on your new one then do pay attention to such blatant mistakes that can cost you an interview call.

If you have gained new experience or has acquired new skill, certification, qualification then include them already.

4. Overly creative

Remember one thing! If you are not fulfilling point 1 above (qualified for job) then don’t try to compensate it with your creativity in making your resume.

Employers are never interested in how good your resume looks but how good have you been reflected through resume. Employers are hardly carried away by the bling, bells and whistles.

I know many employers who loath colored CVs and don’t even like to see them let alone read them. When I asked why then response was simple “tell me why you are good for me”.

My recommendation is that if you want to be imaginative and creative then concentrate on making your resume, CV and cover letter relevant for employer and make it so convincing that employer is bound to say “I found what I was looking for”.

I have seen some applicants jumping the ropes in an attempt to be creative and do something novel and then there are some who define new limits… well for not so good reasons. Avoid including your social media links, profile information or how you interact with people on social media out of your resume. I still don’t understand why some applicants mentioned the number of facebook friends.

5. Grammatical and spelling mistakes

I am still a strong believer that English is a national problem of many nations especially those who are still confused what national language should be.

Can’t comment more on this. And it is probably the most common problem out there especially among fresh grads.

If you have even a slightest doubt that your grammar is weak then have it read by someone who is experienced or who can help you in this regard. Spelling mistakes are not really a concern these days as modern word processors take good care of it but still keep your eyes peeled and reread your application twice and thrice over.

Best way is to avoid unnecessary verbose and jargon. You are submitting documents for job application not for script writing.

There are many online services available these days that can help you write better CVs. If help is scarce for you in this regard try getting in touch with these services.

6. Hiding crucial information

That is probably the biggest concern for recruiters and employers when it comes to hiring. Nothing bothers them more than incomplete information or “something missing” feeling.

When I asked one recruiter what bother you people most when looking for the right match then his response was almost spontaneous, “hiding facts”. And my natural question was “why would someone want to hide facts?”

He explained that this is very common when it comes to applying for international jobs especially when applicants mostly from developing countries are seeking jobs in developed countries. They hide their nationality as they are under a wrong impression that not knowing about nationality there are more chances of getting an interview call and that is especially the case with countries that are highlighted the most when it comes to terrorism.

He added, that we receive resumes where applicants try to highlight foreign degree they hold by hiding their local qualifications and some even not mention local Masters degree as they want to highlight foreign Bachelors degree. Again all because of misconceptions.

If job requires a certain information and if you do not have it then it is better to disclose this fact instead of ignoring it and thinking employer will forget or justifying that you have provided other information in detail so now you have a liberty to exclude the other.

7. Poor formatting, structure and details

Thinking from employers’ perspective. They lack time and they have hundreds of documents to go through and if your’s put them to think they will put a lot of time reading it they will simply through it away. Here are some recommendations to consider:

  1. Make it as easy to read as possible with reasonable font size and formal colors. Divide the content in headings. Have dates on the left separated from the the content so that eyes go the dates first and then to the connected event or details.
  2. Give the relevant latest information at the top leaving the details at the end of each heading. Make it precise. Divide the content intelligently. Don’t make too few or too many paragraphs.
  3. Use bullets as they really aid the reader to skim through the information in a much more understandable and memorable manner.
  4. Show education and experience in descending order
  5. Experience should come before education

Coming to details aspect, many candidates understand well that they need to tell about the skills they know but big majority never mention how much they know. When it comes to skill of certain kind and you are including it in your resume, curriculum vitae then do not forget to include the competency level you have. This will help recruiters and employers a great deal to make the final pick out of the whole lot. Now how do you know how competent you are and what level you are on you have to scratch some industry norms and put a mark on yourself accordingly.

8. Local and international resume requirements

When you are filing your documents with local recruiter or employer you can easily skip details concerning university rank, level of education, depth of course and so on. However, while filing your application with international recruiter/employer you have to be detailed. Don’t be shy of extending your resume more than one page. Make it to the point but complete so that recruiter needs not to collect information on his own to decide.

International recruiters need to know if you have driving licence, what languages you can speak, under what environment you have worked, how big the team was in your last project, what was the qualification of your boss etc. These are few of the examples you might need to include so have it covered if it is necessary.

9. Template resumes and CVs

One pair of shoe hardly fits everyone in the family. Same way a resume written one job does not necessarily fit another job description. So make your resume and CV relevant to the job.

Many candidates use template or sample resumes available on internet. They are there to give you an idea how to do it not to actually use it. Put some brain in it before you push the send button while attaching your documents. The ones in the recruitment business can instantly know who has written it himself and who has simply downloaded it from Microsoft Word’s template library and pushed it forward.

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