How many times have you applied for your ‘dream role’ but never had a response to your cover letter and application?

For most of us, it’s more than once.

We spend hours crafting our CV highlighting our experience and selling ourselves and also creating compelling cover letters that we hope will capture someone’s attention, but the fact remains that your CV only has about 30 seconds to make an impact. 30 seconds to persuade a recruiter to interview you for the role.

Of course we can’t get it right every time, but we should get it mostly right, most of the time.

Too often job seekers undersell themselves on their resumes, or fail to highlight the experience that is most relevant to this next role, or simply fall short on the specifics and ultimately fail to put their CV to the top of the pile.

If you are currently applying for roles, or about to update your resume – we recommend you read these common 4 CV errors that we, as an employer, see daily – and learn how you can avoid them to ensure that your CV makes the grade next time around!

Mistake 1 – A ‘one size fits all CV or cover letter’

Potential employers generally reject CVs that are too ‘catch-all’ / ‘Generic’ or ‘vague’. They are looking for the specifics; the reasons why you might be a fantastic fit for the role. They can only determine that from the experience you have highlighted and included. Make sure the roles you list are relevant, and that the experiences / skills / training you have received supports this. Remember at all times that you are selling your experience – make it count!

Mistake 2 – Poor grammar and grammatical errors

Grammatical errors are avoidable. Spell check is your friend! If your cover letter or CV is littered with mistakes it gives the impression that you are careless, that you have poor attention to detail, that you have rushed your CV / application or that you are not that bothered about impressing your potential future employer. Ask a friend to proofread your CV if you are nervous about errors and personally check it more than once.

Mistake 3 – Lack of specifics about experience and past roles

A potential employer wishes to make a decision as to whether your experience matches the role advertised. If your CV is lacking in the specifics or the detail, it is incredibly hard for them to do so. The last thing you want is a potential employer second-guessing your experience or worse, discarding your CV as not being relevant simply because you skimmed over the details. Your past job title is not enough – we advise you to consider the following as a guideline for the specifics:

– Job title and description of the role

– What the role entailed (your responsibilities and what you were accountable for)

– What you achieved in the role (as against targets if appropriate)

– The clear benefits that you delivered to your employer

Mistake 4 – Odd fonts, inappropriate photos, strange images and coloured paper

Potential employers understand that you want to ‘stand out’ and that you wish for your CV to be different or obvious. However – rather than trying to ‘stand out’ through the design and style of the CV it is far better to achieve this through the communication of your experience and skillset and through the specifics you highlight. Your command of language and clarity around your experience have the ability to make you ‘shine’ and for the right reasons. You want to be remembered, and not for the odd photo or the strange font.

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