Consider the presentation of your CV, as this is a representation of your character, it should not be outdated because it will make you look obsolete. The design of your CV should be easy on the eye; take into account the font size and style because an effective impression is your sole purpose. Use formatting techniques such as a bullet points and short paragraphs to enhance readability.
Disregarding the two-page rule
Two pages (A4 size) is sufficient, employers do not have the time to read more, your aim at this stage is to get to the interview table, that will be your opportunity to expand on your career history and future ambition, bear in mind in this instance that less is more. Sections should be concise and clear, only include relevant information in connection with the job. Focus on highlights, qualifications and applicable work experience.
Share any awards or promotion you have received in a matter-of-fact manner i.e. "Promoted to Sales Director after increasing sales by 25%." This is sufficient avoid excessive jargon such as “seeking further challenges and professional growth etc” stick to short and relevant facts.
Employers will consider the factual elements necessary to perform the job; a candidate must grab a reader’s attention by highlighting their credentials without the use of long sprawling sentences.
Avoid using clichés
An applicant must demonstrate in their application, without using clichés; that they understand the job requirements and they can actively meet those requirements in order to perform the job. Phrases such as “works well in a team, good team player, committed, determined, ambition etc”, these personal skills should be backed up by evidence, for example “used my personal skills to increase client base”.
Adapting CV to specific stipulations of job skills
As a recruitment agency we screen CVs everyday and it is our experience that one of the most commonly occurring errors is candidates submitting CVS which do not match the job for which they are applying; a candidate’s key assets should match many of the key job requirements.
For example, your CV should include the same crucial words that appear in the job advertisement, because if you do not match the right keywords, you will not ‘fit the job’ and the objective of your application is to mirror the requirements of a job. If necessary modify your CV for the job prerequisites of each job.
Avoid beginning each sentence in the first person, for example “I, Me and My”
Bear in mind that a CV is a communication document and it should be written in an up-to-date concise manner, for example, instead of writing “I developed a new system which allowed more efficiency in the company’s reporting system.” As an alternative write “Developed a new system etc” this makes the reading less boring and less arrogant.
No action verbs
Do not use phrases like "responsible for." In its place use action verbs: "Resolved user questions as part of an IT help desk serving 5,000 students." This will have more of an impact.
Lack of focus
Every CV should be focused on the particular job and industry you are targeting. If you are applying for two jobs in two different industries make sure you have separate CVs that cater specifically to the distinct skills required in each industry.
Make sure you send your CV to the right person at the company and accompany it with a short, concise cover letter that personalises it and summarises your skills, objectives and the value you will bring to the job. Your CV is more likely to be disregarded completely if you send it to the wrong person or to a nameless "To whom it may concern" research names in HR and head of departments.
Bear in mind, the purpose of the CV is to outline what you can do for your prospective employer not what your employer can do for you. Be positively objective in citing your skills and summarise accurately the reason why you are highly qualified for this role.