Your CV says a lot about who you are to recruiters, before they even meet you, but is this actually accurate and fair? Keep in mind these four common mistakes that recruiters will judge you on and update your CV accordingly.
1. Long periods out of work
If you leave gaps of time on your CV with no explanation, recruiters may jump to conclusions about why you were unemployed. There will be reasonable explanations for your time out of work such as training, career breaks and further education but instead of omitting it from your CV altogether, account for what you were doing on your CV to turn this into a positive. If you were travelling, relate it to the skills you acquired while you were away that are relevant for the job you are applying for.
2. Frequently moving jobs
If your CV shows you have moved from one job to another too frequently (every 6-12 months) it will start alarm bells ringing. These days it is much more likely to be the case but it can suggest that you are disloyal, get bored easily, or other problems such as being asked to leave a job.
If a recruiter is going to invest in you, you need to show that you can stick at a job and make it work, on paper this should show at least one year to 18 months per role. If you have short stints at various different companies be prepared to answer questions about why.
3. You don’t live in the area
If you currently live in a completely different county to the job you are applying for, an employer may focus on the fact that you will have to relocate, instead of your relevant skills and experience. Recruiters prefer not to waste time checking these details and it can suggest that you are just blanket applying for any new job that comes up. If you have seriously considered relocating or are looking at commuting make sure you include the practicalities of this in your cover letter.
4. You’re over qualified
Often recruiters will see someone’s advanced experience as meaning they’ll have to be paid more. If you have worked for a number of years, list your last 10 years’ experience and just summarise the previous roles and again, mention in your cover letter that your salary expectations are at the market rate.
We are here to help – get in touch with us. Email us if you would like us to talk through your CV and offer any advice. You can also download our full information sheet on how to write and tailor your CV from start to finish.