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Back to Blog December 17, 2012

Is Your CV Holding You Back?

We all know the current situation for job hunters is less than desirable, (a recent survey showed that over one hundred million job applications were sent out over the past year) so standing out from the crowd of similar CVs is essential.

We’ve collated a list of the most common problems we see on CVs and how you can do your best to avoid it.

Gaps in employment

Having gaps between jobs on your CV is always a tricky area to deal with when looking for a new job, but it’s one that needs to be dealt with head on. As we well know things rarely run smoothly and situations can be unavoidable and whether you are unemployed through personal fault or no fault of your own, you will be questioned on these gaps during interviews. There is no reason why you can’t make a good thing out of a bad situation and talk about anything that you may have been doing in this time. Did you volunteer, develop skills through workshops or work on a personal project through this time? If so, tell them.

Lack of contact details

Employees deal with high levels of job applications regardless of whether they have advertised roles or not, so you can imagine the numbers they are inundated with when jobs have been posted. Employers are looking for reasons to whittle these numbers down and simple mistakes like not including contact details is (unfortunately) one of the easy reasons to discard an application. Ensure you have you name, number, address and email address clearly on your CV.

Obvious multiple send-out

We’re all guilty of attaching the same covering letter regardless of the job role but this is a big ‘don’t’ when it comes to job applications. Employers can smell a generic covering letter a mile off so spend the time tailoring it to their company and the specific job role. This may take a little longer but it will show a dedication to the company before you’ve even met them.

Multiple jobs in a short space of time

With the growth of online and social media there are now more ways than ever to find new jobs, and as a result people are moving from job to job much more often. While this is just the way things seem to be going it doesn’t look fantastic when a CV is full of roles all taken in the last six months. Despite the fact that some may not have worked out and gaining experience is always valuable, jumping between jobs can set alarm bells ringing in employers minds and suggests that perhaps you’re not the dedicated employee they’re looking for.

Appearance of CV

As we mentioned before, your CV is just another one on a high pile in an office somewhere. Be creative with the layout so it stands out to someone glancing quickly over it and ensure the most important aspects are highlighted clearly. Don’t waffle through endless tasks you undertook in each role, pinpoint the main ones to highlight your experience. If you are applying for more creative roles there is space to design a creative CV and show off your skills, but be careful as not all employers will like this. (Know your audience)

Format of CV

There is nothing that will cut your job application short than sending documents in the wrong format. If a future employer is unable to open your CV or covering letter without effort then they won’t. Sending attachments in word format is the safest way as all businesses have access to word in their offices and from home.

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