Writing a CV can be a stressful process, especially if the deadline is close. It’s better to write a general CV once you’re ready to start applying for jobs, and then keep it updated. That way, you’ll always have a template for a general role, but you will then be able to tailor it for each application.

Already doing all of this? Great! But there may well be a few things that you are doing, that aren’t giving off the right impression to the recruiter. Here are a few common mistakes made on CV’s that you can avoid:

 

Poor formatting  

If a CV is hard to read, it’s a huge turn off for employers. It’s a common thing that employers will scan over CV’s initially, so you should make sure it’s tidy and organised. Avoid confusing layouts and using various letters, sizes and fonts. Before submitting or printing your CV, be sure to check it over for errors. You can always ask someone to read it for you. 

 

Spelling errors

We all make spelling errors here and there. But the difference between the applicant who gets asked for an interview and the applicant who doesn’t get one, is that one of them proofread their CV before sending it.

A CV with no spelling mistakes is a must to show off your precision and attention to detail. Spell check your CV before getting another person to look over it. Never write your CV by hand, as even if you have the best handwriting in the world, it could end up looking unprofessional.

The good thing about typing your CV up on a computer is that there is always a spell checker tool on there – beware though, some computers may suggest that you change your spelling to an Americanised version. Typical signs of this include suggestions to change words with a ‘s’ to a ‘z’ – for example, ‘customize’ (UK spelling ‘customise’), ‘realize’ (UK spelling ‘realise’), or changing ‘ou’ to ‘o’, for example ‘color’ (UK spelling colour’)

 

Lying

Some people choose to lie on their CV’s for different reasons – maybe they want to include it because they think that if they get the job, they can then pick it up before they start. Or perhaps they’ve been rejected from certain roles because of one or two skills they don’t yet have. Whatever reasons you may have for lying on your CV, under no circumstances is this acceptable. 

Think about it – you would never want an employer to lie to you about your role, so you should respect them by being honest about your skills. Not all people who apply for a job have every required skill, but have successfully attained the role for other reasons. A white lie on your CV could potentially lead to dismissal from a role if you’re found out – is it really worth the risk?

It’s much easier to tell the truth – especially if the employer decides to grill you on what you’ve lied about.

 

Lack of evidence

Having a lack of evidence can make or break your CV – backup your achievements wherever possible. The interviewer will not only be looking for your achievements or skills, but they will most likely want to see or hear examples too. Give as much detail as you can about any achievements or real life examples of your skill set  

 

Poorly formatted work experience

Many of you may have a long list of past work experience. It’s important to note that you do not have to list every place you’ve ever worked at. List the roles that apply most to the job you are applying for. 

If your work experience appears messy and ambiguous, your CV could be disregarded. Start your previous job roles with a brief description of the company you worked for and the role you had. Then, include the dates of when you worked there, and add a short description of your responsibilities while in this role. Keeping the same format organises your CV nicely, so stick to th same layout throughout.

 

Too much information

The most common mistake people make when writing their CV is that they write too much. Interviewers are pushed for time and may need to meet deadlines for recruitment, so they often do not have time to read through your CV properly – especially if it’s full of useless information. Limit your CV to two A4 pages and only include information that is relevant to the job you are applying for. Don’t waste the employer’s time with unnecessary waffle.

A day in the life of an automotive retail manager

John Fitzgerald is a retail manager at Johnsons Hyundai, based in Bootle. He’s worked there for 2 years and has kindly taken the time to share a day in his shoes…   Looking for retail manager roles in the automotive world? Click here to find a job you love...

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