When was the last time you updated your CV? Last week, six months ago, or even a year ago? Even if you updated it recently, your CV might still be stuck in a time warp – and it’s time to bring it forward to 2014!
In the current job market, you can’t afford to be sending out an out-of-date and cliché-ridden CV and expecting results – it’s important to make yourself stand out.
Worried your CV is holding you back in your job search? Watch out for these top signs your CV is in need of a total makeover!
1) You list all of your CSEs including grades
This is a really common mistake, and one which is easily avoided. While you might be really proud of your school achievements, an employer isn’t going to be blown away by your B in Woodwork. Sorry.
The only time it’s okay to include all of your GCSEs is if you’re straight out of college or university because obviously there’s not an awful lot of experience you can list on your CV. But if you’ve been working for a period of time and are still listing every single GCSE result you got, then it’s time to hit that delete key rapidly.
You can save valuable space on your CV by summarising your qualifications with a simple sentence: e.g. “10 CSE A-C grades”. If a job required Maths and English CSEs then tag on “including Maths and English”. Chances are you’ve got more industry-relevant, advanced qualifications, so let’s focus on them, okay?
2) No Social Media links
When you apply for a job, employers or recruiters will almost definitely suss you out online. Obviously you need to make sure there is nothing incriminating about you online, but it’s also important to save the hiring manager valuable time and present this information on your CV.
If you list your social media accounts (most importantly, LinkedIn), then it shows you are transparent and have nothing to hide. It also states your understanding of the recruitment process and how you may be researched before being offered an interview.
It’s not fun searching through a thousand “Lauren Riley”s on Twitter, so save the employer the hassle, and offer up your social media accounts on your CV.
3) You include every single job you’ve ever had
Another important sign that your CV needs updating is that you include jobs that have no relevance to the position you’re applying for.
If you’re applying for a digital marketing role, putting on your CV that you used to pull pints at the uni student union isn’t really going to give you the edge over other candidates.
Don’t have much paid work experience? That’s fine. An employer will be more interested in relevant extra curricular activity, work experience and internships than part time jobs that don’t affect your ability to perform in the role you’re applying for.
4) You say “Curriculum Vitae” or “CV” on the top of the document
This might sound petty, but isn’t it obvious that you’re attaching your CV? The employer isn’t stupid. It’s completely unnecessary to include this at the top of the CV.
Also, it wastes valuable space. A bit like this next point…
5) You include a photo
Now, unless you’re applying for a TV or modelling role, chances are you don’t need to include a photo on your CV.
A photo takes up lots of space on a CV, is completely unnecessary and, to be honest, is a bit weird.
You aren’t going to be judged on what you look like for a role, so use the space to boast about your accomplishments and work experience rather than sticking your face on it.
6) You use too many clichés
You wouldn’t believe the amount of CVs we see here at Bubble Jobs with the same old clichés filling up the page like there’s no tomorrow.
So you’re “hard working”, “can work alone or as part of a team” and “work well under pressure”? That’s great. Unfortunately, that tells the employer nothing about your actual skills or experience.
Most of all, these phrases don’t actually mean anything! Get rid of these phrases from your CV right away, and don’t let them ever creep their way back in!
7) You use an old e-mail address
Remember when you were 15 and you thought that email@example.com was the best e-mail address ever? Well here’s some news: you’re not 15 anymore, you need a job and no one is going to hire you with a ridiculous e-mail address like that.
It takes two minutes to set up a professional e-mail address. This should go without saying, but creating a normal e-mail address just using your name will place you in a much greater position.
Also, having a dedicated job seeking e-mail will allow you to keep on top of applications in one dedicated inbox.
8) You Don’t Include Accomplishments
Did you increase your company’s social media following by 50%? Or boost their SEO generating lots more traffic? Then shout about it!
It’s no use listing your duties and responsibilities without stating what you actually accomplished in your previous position.
Hiring manager and recruiters love numbers, so give them lots to digest (as long as they’re good!)
9) You list boring interests
Interests isn’t a vital section of a CV, but it might just sell you to an employer. Are you a Liverpool FC season ticket holder? Imagine if the interviewer was too! It gives you something to bond over and may, when it comes down to it, seal the deal!
Does your interests section say something like “fitness, reading and watching TV”? SNORE! If you take part in an evening class, are part of a sports team or have an interesting hobby – include it! It might just set you apart.
10) No response to applications
If you still don’t believe me that your CV need updating, then just look at your previous job applications.
Have you been sending your CV out for months and not one person has got back to you? Then maybe it’s not your cover letter, or your experience, maybe it’s your CV?