If you want to know the most significant red flags that employers look for when going through your CV content in your application, consider these 7 CV red flags to avoid.
Selecting the right kind of curriculum vitae or CV content is crucial when you are applying for any position. However, curating your CV content can be difficult, especially if you don’t know which red flags that employers will immediately take notice of-and promptly cause them to reject your application outright.
CV Red Flag #1: Spelling!
Please take advantage of all the tools your PC has available! We have so many CVs that are submitted that are littered with spelling errors. This is inexcusable IMO especially as you are applying for a job in the world of finance or accountancy where accuracy is so important. Yes, you may be great with numbers, but please use that spell-checker. And it is a good idea to get some-one independent to read over your CV.
CV Red Flag #2: The CV is too broad and not specific to the job
CV content should never be an extensive history of your career or education; your CV should be tailored towards the job that you are applying for and needs to be curated accordingly. The best thing to do with your CV is to make sure that it showcases your history, career and talents as related to the specific sector that you are applying for; make sure that the CV includes the appropriate keywords for that sector as well.
CV Red Flag #3: The CV has poor or unwieldy formatting
The formatting of your CV can be just as important as the actual content. The formatting should be concise, clear and easy to read; this includes breaking up text into paragraphs and shorter sentences, using bullet points and lists when appropriate, and using an easy to read standard font. A poorly formatted CV will look unprofessional in addition to being difficult to read. Here is our top tip: please make sure your CV is in word. Sure, if you have a show-reel or portfolio then a pdf with embedded hyper-links is great, it really brings your work to life, but when we pitch you for a job, we will lift sections from our CV for speed, so help us to help you! Word please!
CV Red Flag #4: The CV doesn’t include your achievements
One of the biggest mistakes that people make with their CV is listing the “duties” that they had with previous employment or education. Listing duties is a good way to help employers get an idea of what you did at your previous position, but you shouldn’t forget about your achievements. Highlighting your achievements and accomplishments is a great way to help you stand out to potential employers, as it will show them what value you will bring to the position.
CV Red Flag #5: The CV uses clichés
Clichés take up valuable space in your content and will do nothing than make an employer roll their eyes. Avoid using clichés such as describing yourself as a “strong team player” or someone who “gives 110%.” Instead, make these statements in a fresh way that will help employers remember you. For instance, rather than calling yourself a “strong team player,” highlight a team related accomplishment you achieved at a previous position. Here is a list of phrases you should avoid!
CV Red Flag #6: There are gaps in the CV that aren’t explained
It happens—there may be points in your career where you took a break for some time either out of obligation (such as caring for a sick family member) or leisure (such as taking a travel year). If the gap is visible in the resume, it can help to provide a very concise explanation for the break in your career. This will ease the employer’s worries about why you have a gap in your career.
CV Red Flag #7: Assuming the reader has knowledge of the company you worked for
This is particularly pertinent if you are moving away from a sector to transfer your skills to a new industry. Please help the person scanning your CV and give a little intro into the company.
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