Developing your skills through your degree, completing an internship or placement, volunteering or juggling a job whilst studying – these are all valuable experiences to include in your CV. With so much to include, it’s hard to know what isn’t essential. BUT there are a few details which can be left out (such as your favourite colour and relationship status!). To help you dodge the classic mistakes, here are a few tips on what to avoid, helping you to create a winning CV.
- Writing a lot of words but not getting to the point. You do not need to explain everything you’ve ever done, keep your CV concise and the layout clear. You could use bullet points to make your CV more readable.
- Spelling and grammar mistakes! Before submitting an application or sending a CV to a prospective employer, ensure you have thoroughly checked it for any errors. Silly mistakes can cost you that chance of getting an interview.
- Using clichés. It’s easy to fall into a cliché trap, using phrases such as ‘good communicator’ or ‘great team player’ but if you haven’t backed them up with clear examples they won’t have any substance. Make sure you explain why you are a good team player and how you can bring your skills to the job. Try using the acronym CAR when explaining a skill – context (what happened), action (what you did) and result (the outcome and what you achieved).
- Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org – definitely avoid using a jokey email address! Use a professional email for any job applications or communication with employers.
- Providing incorrect contact information. Check the details you have given (telephone number, email address etc.) are valid and correct. You don’t want to miss opportunities because employers cannot get in contact with you.
- Making your CV generic. Tailor your application for each job, considering the skills and experience the employer requires and how you would ideally suit the role. Remember to explain WHY you want to work for that particular company and WHY you want this job!
For more tips on how to create a stand out CV, including; FAQ’s, example CV’s and a checklist, visit the Careers and Employability Service webpage or use their drop in service to get advice from a Careers Advisor.