Curriculum vitae is a job seeker's first point of contact with a recruiter. Whether or not you will get a job interview depends on how good and informative your CV is. A good CV can fast track your chances of getting hired while a bad CV might never get you hired no matter how good you are. In other words, a job seeker who isn't an expert for a role but with a good CV might get the job ahead of an expert for the role with a poor CV. In summary, a CV increases your chances for job interviews and jobs significantly. These are five common CV mistakes that we think are harmless but cost us the job always.
1. Age on CV: Writing your age on your CV might seem very harmless. However, this will likely hamper your chances of getting an interview. All recruiters have an inherent bias when it comes to age. Some recruiters will not select you for an interview not because your CV is not the best but because of your age. For example, a supervisor recruiting a subordinate for his role might not want to choose a candidate older than him. On the other hand, old recruiters will likely be biased towards young candidates. One recruiter once told me a young accountant will likely embezzle Company funds.
Putting your age on a CV can be such a harmless thing but can get complicated depending on many factors. Therefore do not put an age on your CV. Once you get an interview, the bias reduces as more focus will be on your performance, not age. Even if the recruiters have a bias against your age, excellent performance at the interview will still likely earn you the job.
2. Marital status on CV: Most people put marital status on the CV. This is harmless right. Some even go further to add the number of children. This might hurt your chances of getting an interview. Again, some recruiters have some bias towards your marital status. One part of recruiters believes married candidates are likely to be more loyal because they have families. They believe that young unmarried candidates can easily change jobs due to their 'little' responsibilities.
Other recruiters believe young candidates are more energetic and will contribute more than the married candidate who might be distracted by family commitments. To avoid this altogether, do not put marital status on the CV. As stated earlier, once you get an interview more focus will be on your performance. Less emphasis will be placed on your marital status.
Over-summarised CV: A CV is supposed to be a summary of your professional and educational accomplishments. What is wrong is summarising them then? I have come across CVs that I term 'over summarised'. Some just there the company name and job title with no description of what they did. Some also put in the CV the name of their schools without adding courses they did.
It's good to summarise your CV but do not eliminate essential details. A healthy blend of summary and detail is always preferred.
4. Reference is available upon request: We have all been guilty of this. Sometimes, recruiters will want to place a quick call to your references before inviting you for an interview. They want to take the precaution and verify that indeed you are being honest with everything you have written. However, this information is unavailable on your CV. Most recruiters will not make the effort to reach out to you for that information. Besides, they have many other CVs to go through. It isn't too hard to put the reference on the CV. Is it? This might seem harmless but this is one of the reasons why you are not getting an interview.
5. CV is too long: You are an expert in your field. You have lots of academic qualifications and experience. You try to push everything on your CV. In the end, your CV averaging about 6-8 pages. This is too long. Recruiters scan a lot of CVs. I once put out a job advert. I was surprised to get more than 600 applications in a week. Some recruiters get even more. They have to go through them all. Most recruiters use on average 30-45 seconds to check one CV. They clearly can't do that in a long CV. It is therefore recommended your CV does not exceed 3 pages. This greatly improves your chances of getting recruiters to see all the relevant information. Long CVs are harmless but can be very expensive in getting you an interview.
6. Your picture is on your CV: Putting your picture on your CV might give the CV a great look. This might be harmless but it can cause you more harm than good. A recruiter might reject your CV just because of your picture. As mentioned earlier, don't insist on making things complicated when you can make them simple.
A colleague recruiter once picked someone's CV and just by looking at the picture on it said she looks bossy. This was very discriminately and the picture angle might be the only thing to blame for that face. However, the candidate was not there to explain herself. Just don't put your picture on your CV no matter how beautiful you think it is. Different people might view it differently.
Do you agree or disagree with something? Let me hear from you in the comments section
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