Top 10 tips on what to avoid in CV writing
The average time employers spend looking over your CV is just 10 seconds, so how do you make the right impression? Here are our top ten tips (well, eleven actually!) on what to avoid when writing your CV:
- A photograph (unless requested).
- Coloured or fancy paper, folders or fonts. It will make an impression, but not a professional one!
- Long paragraphs: Stick to bullet points of no more than two lines each.
- More than 2-3 pages: A CV is supposed to entice the reader to interview you to find out more, not tell them your life story!
- Sentences starting “I”. To avoid this, use “responsible for”, “production of”, “co-ordinated”, “managed”.
- Just a list of job tasks. Use your CV to demonstrate how your personal skills, experience, qualifications and achievements can translate into real benefits for the company you wish to join.
- A detailed list of lots different short term temporary jobs or contracts – particularly if you are looking for a permanent position. Consider including these under just one section and give a brief overview of your main achievements during this period, rather than listing every employer, role and responsibility.
- Including “socialising” or “going down the pub” as one of your interests. If you have nothing that will really add to your CV in this section, don’t include it at all!
- Religious or political beliefs; this is fine when applying for a job requiring someone of a particular religious denomination or political bias, but is better left off unless you are certain that the recipient of the CV will be broadminded or have the same beliefs as you.
- Leaving gaps in your CV: If you have had a year travelling or similar, it is better to include this than leave the reader of your CV guessing as to what you did with your time.
- Your age. Legislation now says that employers cannot discriminate on age, so if you think it might not work in your favour (and that goes for being too young for a job, too old, or even if you are of ‘child bearing age’ for ladies), leave it off.
If after reading this you don’t want to spend hours deliberating over what to include on your CV, how to lay it out and present your skills and experience in the most convincing manner, then let Julie, a professional CV writer, do it all for you. Julie has years of recruitment experience, combined with and excellent writing skills.