Writing a C V takes time and, let’s face it, a bit onerous, even for those who can put together a few good words from time to time. It’s never easy to talk about yourself or tell all the work of your life (literally) in a page or two. So once you’ve written and emailed your CV to a hiring manager, take a moment to review it very, very carefully, for some common C V mistakes. It may mean that you have saved your application from ending up in the trash, instead of the “to interview” stack.
Here are 5 C V mistakes that keep you from getting hired.
Don’t be tense
The general rule is to use the past for your previous job and the present to describe your duties in your current job. Alison Green, aka Ask a Manager, agrees, but notes that you should pay attention to the tasks you used to do in your current job, but do no more. You can describe those in the past tense as well.
Be a regular date
Make sure you use the same conventions throughout your resume when it comes to current formats. If you use MM / DD / YYYY in one place and Month DD, YYYY in another, you will look messy. If you say you are focused in detail but lack details like this, this will not make you meet potential employers well.
Beware of possession
Being a fairly well-educated English headmaster, I’m sad to see an apostrophe out of place in the world every day. Let’s be clear: when something belongs to something, use the apostrophe – like “noisy duck quack” – but when you describe a great deal of something, you don’t need that apostrophe – as in “a flock of ducks.” (The exception: our old friend.)
Don’t rely on spell checking
Confession: I am a poor speller. I was always buzzing from school spelling bees at the word initial. But I also know that word processing software and its small wavy lines can only do so much. A great way to catch them is to ask a friend to proofread your resume for you. They will not automatically correct the wrong word as your brain might when you look at the resume. Watch out for these common spelling mistakes that you may have mistakenly typed. That scribble will not necessarily betray them:
- o – shape
- them – there
- personal – personal
- role – role
- competent – quality
- led by lead
Don’t take advantage of the kids
Job titles can be difficult, especially in terms of expiration. In fact, you need to think a bit before making a decision. Are you talking about “job title” or “job description”? If it’s a job title, such as “Vice President of Operations”, then it’s actually capitalized. If you describe the duties performed for the job, such as “I managed a staff of twenty-five authors”, do not capitalize the title (in this case, “manager”).
With these tips, you should be able to write (or quickly review) your resume and make it sing “HIRE ME!” in no time!