Your CV is your first contact with the recruiter. It should reflect who you are and your career path, and should make the recruiter want to find out more about you. It’s really important to produce a good CV. Yet this crucial step in the job search process is often one that candidates find the most difficult, and CVs often contain the same recurring and avoidable errors. We have put together some tips to help you to produce a top-class CV which will make your profile stand out on the jobs market, and we’ll tell you the five main pitfalls to avoid. Click here if you need help with the next step: Job interviews.
A curriculum vitae is a bit like a professional identity card. You need to include some personal information, including:
You may wish to provide other information like your age or marital status, to give recruiters a better idea of what you’re like. Although this kind of information is not mandatory, it can highlight the human aspects of your application.
You may be tempted to cram in as much information as possible, but make sure that you focus on professional aspects, as this is what all recruiters are interested in. Many candidates make the mistake of putting all of their professional information on their CV. Focus on quality, not quantity. If you are applying for a role as an accountant, there’s no need to mention that you once looked after your aunt’s cat. Only keep experience that is related to the role you’re applying for. If you don’t have any relevant qualifications or training, add any personal experiences that relate to the role.
Have you thought of adding a photo to your CV? If you do so, choose your photo wisely. Make sure it showcases your professionalism. Bad photos are one of the main CV pitfalls. Never use a social media photo or any photo taken from an app with filters. While you might find it funny, the recruiter definitely won't be laughing. Make sure your photo is clear with good lighting, and wear something plain and smart. Try to find a neutral background, and ask someone to take the photo for you rather than taking a selfie.
For more information about CV photos, read our article on how to write a good CV.
Remember that for most jobs, you'll be competing with other candidates. Recruiters will get their first impression of you from your CV and covering letter, so they should be perfect. The appearance and format of your CV are just as important as the content. However good you are at spelling, make sure that you ask someone to check your CV, and/or use a spell checker. In some roles, spelling errors might lead to your CV being rejected completely.
Don't overdo it. Of course, you need to set yourself apart from other candidates, but keep it simple. The font should be readable, and shouldn't be too big or small.
This is another mistake which many job seekers make. You can of course highlight and embellish your experience a little, but never lie. The recruiter is looking for a good candidate. If you start to lie on your CV, this can backfire very easily and you might find that people no longer contact you. Even if you get through the interview stage, you risk the company finding out later on. Remember that it’s a small world, and it’s important to maintain your reputation in the sector. Honesty is always the best policy.
The job search process can sometimes be long and difficult, but don’t give in to the temptation to lie about your level of education or skills. Some recruiters will happily phone your previous employer to check your references.
We all want the most beautiful or cutting-edge CV design so that we can find our dream job as quickly as possible. But if you don't have the relevant graphic design skills, you'll quickly get into difficulties. To avoid this pitfall, keep it simple and effective. Rather than designing the CV yourself, why not use an online template? There are plenty to choose from and many are free. Order previous jobs with the most recent first. Make sure that you clearly state your job titles with a concise summary of your duties for each role.
To really impress recruiters, avoid simply listing your professional experience. Instead, explain what you have achieved in each role. This will allow the recruiter to quickly identify your main professional strengths. Don’t forget that your covering letter should only be one page.
As Gojob is a fully online agency, you need never worry about your CV and covering letter again. Our super-simple system means that you don't need to stress about spelling mistakes, putting in the wrong dates or formatting issues. With us, your job search will be a breeze. On Gojob, all you need to do is complete your online profile. It will then be available to our team of recruiters. You'll receive job offers near to you which match your profile, and you can apply in just one click! Don't worry if you don't have any qualifications – it’s your motivation which counts.
Create a fabulous online CV to send to our partner companies by clicking below.