Hiring managers receive a large number of CVs for each position, so how can you make sure that yours is good enough for them to linger on the page for longer than a few seconds? To ensure you do not get thrown onto the ‘NO’ pile, we suggest not including:
Acronyms and jargon may fall on deaf ears, so be sure to exclude terms that are specific to only one organisation. Job jargon is not appropriate, especially if it is in a field that is in no way related to the job you’re applying for. There is also no reason to add unnecessarily big words to bulk up your CV, as the shorter the CV the more likely the hiring manager will read it all. Instead of sounding intelligent, you will simply come across as trying too hard.
Outdated employment history
If your CV includes the summer job you had aged 16 making milkshakes, or jobs before 2000, the CV is going to drag, and you will likely lose the interest of the reader. Only include relevant work experience, and the most recent, unless something way back is going to seriously impress your hiring manager for a specific role.
Unless you are going through a career change or are in interestingly unusual circumstances, the reasons why you want the job can be left alone or can go in your cover letter. Let’s face it you want the job – which is why you’re applying for it, and your work experience should do the talking. The interview is generally a more suitable platform for you to go into your objectives and gush about how much you want the job and why. There is also no need to write ‘Phone’ or ‘Email’ before your contact details, as it is obvious what they are and simply wastes time and space.
Personal, irrelevant information
Nowadays, employers cannot legally ask you personal questions that may lead to discrimination, therefore you do not have to reveal your age, religious preferences, or marital status. Also unless your hobbies directly relate to your career or are impressive, it is pointless telling your future employer that you enjoy generic activities such as reading and socialising, and if they want to know more about you, they will ask.
Sweet little lies
You know you would be perfect for the role, yet you only hold three out of five of the key specifications listed. This is never the time to get imaginative and big up your skills, and chances are you will be found out. It won’t look good if you do get the job and then have to explain why you don’t have a clue what you’re doing at something you claimed to have won a Noble Prize for. Apply for the job, and concentrate on the skills you can offer, relating separate achievements to those requested that will still be attractive.
David Lewis, managing director, integra people, warrington