For professional CV writing, don’t make these nine mistakes:
1. They don’t research the job and the company properly.
When writing a professional CV it is critical that you analyse the job advertisement carefully, get a Job Description too if you can. These are the employers’ shopping lists, you need to know them and target them with a professional CV.
2. They fail to identify and use key words that are appropriate for that profession.
Many CVs are scanned electronically for key words, and if they don’t match, the CV can be rejected automatically.
3. They cut and paste a friend’s CV or material from their own Job Description. Hardly professional CV writing.
This results in their CV not being unique or professionally distinctive. Job Descriptions feature what professionals have to do in a role, they are written in a totally different manner than a CV. A CV should be designed to sell those skills.
4. They fail to differentiate themselves.
Their CV is generic for the role and offers skills that “go with the territory”. People need to elevate themselves beyond that to avoid looking like their competitors, of which there will be many!
5. They over use clichés.
People need to find unique ways of selling their skills. Clichés simply make potentially powerful skills look hum drum.
6. They get quantifiable achievements confused with normal duties.
If people convey day-to-day duties as achievements they undermine their professionalism. They need to be pragmatic and hard on themselves not to fall into this trap.
7. They use stuffy, complex language to puff themselves up.
This is a “smoke and mirrors” technique that professional recruiters spot immediately as having little substance. They are looking for professional competencies and quantified achievements, expressed clearly and simply.
8. This is not the time to be humble!
Recently, I assisted a professional manager who was working for a global brand. He had been judged the best manager in the country via a staff/peer evaluation process. Of course, I put that in his CV as a quantifiable demonstration of his leadership. He asked me to take it out. I asked, “Why?” His reply? “Because it’s a bit over-the-top.” After a brief discussion, he agreed to leave it in!
9. They fail to get professional help with their CV.
Enough said. Call me now on 021 50 20 93.