Knowing how to properly format your CV will go a long way to reduce your CV Mistakes and increase your call to interviews and get you hired faster. In Ghana and most parts of Africa however, graduates are not taking through the process of formatting their CVs to make it standout. Even experienced job seekers with decades of work experience still face this challenge of presenting their extensive experience well.
This Sobiaonline series on CV and Cover Letters intends to unveil some 5 common CV mistakes you can avoid when you are writing your next CV.
CV mistakes #1: You Have Failed to Identify the Problem to be Addressed
Did you remember the problem statement struggles during your academic research in the University? The good news is that you can apply the same trick to your CV Upgrade. Every job description comes with a hidden problem the employer wishes you to solve as an employee. Without that problem your services should not be needed by the employer. For you to be able to present a winning CV, the first step is to identify the core issues are and then optimise your CV to address that.
CV mistakes #2: Avoid Very Personalized Information
Job seekers mostly assume that the more personal information they put in their CVs, the more recruiters will get to know more about them. This is true.
However, when it co mes to job search, your prospective employer need not to know everything about you. You must not include any subjective information such as age, sex, marital status, religion, ethnic background and related demographic variables.
These are very subjective variables which can affect your chances either positively or negatively. By going neutral you are helping to prevent biases and inconsistencies that might affect your chances.
CV mistakes #3: Poor Introduction
One of the most important sections of your CV is the introductory section. There are various names for the introductory section such as career summary, professional summary, background, career objective and related terms.
At Sobiaonline, we simply call it introduction as its primary purpose is to introduce the employer or recruiter to the main CV. We noticed from countless resumes how this section has been abused by job seekers.
This situation might be attributed to poor understanding of job seekers on the rational of this section, the nature of content that should be presented here and as well, the formatting style to use.
The objective of this section to lure the reader to go down to the other sections of your CV and not throwing your CV in the dustbin within 6 seconds! This underscore the need for this section to be brief and straight to the point such that readers will not be bored. The introductory section of your CV is aimed at revealing the following to the employer and should be formatted as such:
- A brief summary of your professional life
- Your personal qualities
- Your hard skills and core competencies
- Your value proposition
You could have the best photo in the world but if HR doesn’t like it you’re not getting a call. In fact, many HR departments will automatically trash resumes with photos in an effort to avoid any chance of discrimination. Additionally, images can actually “choke” the resume scanning software the companies use to receive and organize resumes. In other words, if you send in a resume with a picture they may not ever receive it because the system could not scan it.