Making a few simple tweaks might unlock the door to the opportunities you are interested in, so take the time to get it right. Here are a few reasons why your CV might be holding you back.
It’s too long. If your CV is ten pages long, hiring managers won’t even bother reading it. Cut it right back so that it is no longer than two pages. You don’t need to include every bit of work experience and every qualification; just give the highlights.
It’s too generic. If you are applying for varied roles you may be tempted to fire off the same CV each time. This means you may not be making it clear why you are suited to each individual position. Read through the job description and person spec and tailor your CV each time you send it off.
It doesn’t contain the right key words. Some companies use technology to wheedle out irrelevant CVs before a human ever lays eyes on it. If this is the case, failing to include important key words could disqualify you right from the off. Avoid clichés, but make sure you use language that matches those in the job description.
It doesn’t stand out. If your CV reads like hundreds of other applicants’ you are unlikely to make a big impression. Include a strong opening paragraph detailing why you are the right person for the role and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.
It’s full of typos. One of the most off-putting things a hiring manager can face is a CV that is riddled with errors. Check your grammar and spelling carefully and get a friend to check it over before you send it out.
It contains large gaps. Perhaps you took time out to have a family, to care for a relative or to go travelling. Whatever the reason, make sure you explain any significant gaps in your CV rather than leaving them guessing.
It’s badly formatted. If the layout makes your CV difficult to read it’s likely to end up in the bin. Make sure it is clear, easy to read, and that the font you use isn’t a distraction.
It jumps around too much. While you may want to present your skills and experience in a non-linear way, make dates as clear as possible so that hiring managers aren’t forced to piece the information together themselves.
It is repetitive. Avoid using the same words or phrases over and over again, or mentioning the same former role or qualification too many times.
It isn’t accompanied by a strong cover letter. Your CV is really important, but don’t overlook the significance of the accompanying cover letter. Never send your CV out without a cover letter, and make sure the letter isn’t a simple repeat of your CV. Use your cover letter to highlight why your skills and experience equip you for the role, and make sure it is consistent with the information included in your resume.