Wondering why your resume isn’t getting you the adulation it should? Give it a closer look to see whether all the elements in it are up to mark and effective enough to get you one step closer to an interview for that dream job. You will notice that there are certain areas you can improve upon and rectifiable mistakes that you can undo. Here is a list of CV blunders that many job seekers make.
A word of advice: Make sure you edit your resume format based on these guidelines else there are strong chances that these blunders may become the reason for your unemployment.
Keeping Your CV Too Long
Recruiters only spend about six to ten seconds looking at your CV. The longer the document is, the more difficult it becomes for your potential employer to scan it. Make sure that your resume does not exceed more than two pages.
Using an Unsuitable Email Address
In today’s age where most of the work is done using the digital platform, your email address is your identity. There is no excuse for not having an appropriate email ID that looks official. Do not go around using casual IDs in your resume. An email address like cuteboy24@… will certainly be the cause of death for your candidature.
Including Your Picture
If you are applying for a position in media, modeling or acting, this would be a good idea. If not, including you headshot in your CV may increase your chances of getting discriminated against. There is also a strong chance that the hiring manager will spend a lot of time looking at your picture rather than weighing your skills. According to an eye-tracking heat map, employers looking at your professional online profile tend to spend about 19% of the time on your picture. This means your picture eats into the time the recruiter could have devoted to the work experience, skills and specialties. Now imagine what would happen if so much time was wasted while reviewing your CV. Don’t make the recruiters scan irrelevant information that doesn’t help your candidature.
Not Including a Link to Your Online Profile
Include a URL to your professional profiles on the web instead of including a headshot on the resume. This allows recruiters to see what you look like, but only after they have examined your capabilities and achievements. Most recruiters will as it is look you up on Google and social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter so why not make it convenient by presenting links to your profiles on these sites.
Embedding Images, Tables and Charts
Avoid embedding tables and pictures in your CV as this may confuse the ATS (Applicant-Tracking Software) and jumble up the CV in the system.
Not Attuning Your CV with Information Available Online
Whatever you are going to state, just make sure that your resume matches what your online profiles say, especially with LinkedIn. They should always tell the same story. This will help you establish credibility.
Excluding Relevant Keywords
Most good companies use the ATS or screening process to pick the right applications, which means you ought to have the right words on your resume. These words or phrases act like keywords that the ATS identifies to promote your candidature to the next level i.e. to the hiring manager. You can choose the keywords from the given job descriptions and incorporate them into your CV. This will help you get past the initial phase and on to the human recruiter.
Mentioning Your Objectives Rather Than the Executive Summary
Objectives can be distracting and often unhelpful, especially if you are an experienced professional. And since space is a constraint, stating your objectives is a waste. You should replace this section with an executive summary that gives a sneak-peak into who you are and what you have done so far. This would be a 30-second pitch wrapped up in three to five lines. It will help the recruiting managers understand how you will add value to the organization.
Not Going By the Reverse Chronological Order
Make sure you present the most recent experience or activity first. This is extremely crucial as it helps recruiters see what you have been doing in the recent years.
Not Targeting Potential Concerns
It is very important to address the potential concerns of the employers. Would you require a work visa sponsorship or would you be willing to relocate for the job? If you are willing to go that extra mile, then it is better to pen down such excerpts in a short blurb at the end of the section where you stated your executive summary. Keep it short as these points can be covered in the cover letter. In case you are seeking to relocate to another country or city, you should remove the current city and state from the CV.
Making Use of Headers and Footers
Yes, headers and footers may help your CV look neat and concise when you give your contact information there. But if you want to use them for embedded charts and table it can look utterly confusing and will even mess with the applicant tracking system. And this can get you eliminated immediately even if you were qualified enough for the job.
Inconsistent Formatting With Silly Fonts and Colors
The CV format is one of the most important elements that can make or break your candidature. The key is to structure the information in a fashion that makes it convenient to quickly scan and recognize your relevant qualifications and job goals. Always stick to a single font and style of presentation by following specific formatting rules all throughout the document. For instance, if you decide to write the date as 1st April 2010 then make sure you use the same format throughout the resume. You should remain consistent with indentations at all times.
Also, it is wiser to stick to simplistic colors. Black and white are the ideal choice of colors for a resume. As for the font types, stick to the basics, like Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri or Tahoma.
Author bio: A writer by profession, Devika Arora is currently focusing her writing on the extensive domain of job search. She has written various articles and blogs for the benefit of job seekers. The above article is a compilation of facts and discusses about common CV errors made by job hunters.