Don’t write your c.v until you’ve read this!

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When’s the last time you updated your c.v? Unless you are job-seeking, probably not for a very long time. We all think we know what a c.v should include – but a lot of the ‘must-haves’ are actually quite outdated and could make your c.v stand out for all the wrong reasons. These are some of the most common c.v mishaps and how you can avoid them:

Mishap 1: Your C.V should be a running document of what you do

Nope – this is wrong. Instead of making your c.v about all the jobs you’ve had and what you did in them, your c.v is actually there to sell yourself to any future employers. Ok, so they will want to know what previous positions you’ve been in, but they won’t care about the tiny day-to-day details and responsibilities. Instead, include the things you achieved there – mention promotions, completed and excelled targets and anything else noteworthy.

Mishap 2: Your C.V needs to be 1 page long

In fact, most companies are going to go straight to LinkedIn or your online portfolio, so you need to make sure that they are completely up to scratch and are showing all the relevant information. As for your ‘paper’ c.v, don’t get too caught up in the one page long limit – as long as what you have to got say is relevant, interesting and is going to help get across your abilities then it’s fine to go over, but try to make it no longer than 2 pages long (3 if you are sharing visuals).

Mishap 3: You send the same c.v to everyone

It may take a little longer, but yes, you should be sending slightly tailored c.v’s for each job you are applying for. You need to do this because no two jobs will be exactly the same, therefore one c.v will not match all job specs. Make sure you highlight the skills they are looking for and make it obvious that you at least read the advertised job spec!

Mishap 4: You add your hobbies

This is a really outdated practice that really is not needed, especially if your hobbies are completely unrelated to the job you’re applying for. You can communicate what type of person you are though your c.v by updating your work accomplishments. Here you can write about anything that you have done within a work setting but beyond the realms of your job. For instance, have you done any community outreach or mentoring through your company? What about any sponsored events for charity?


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