So you’ve fought through the mountains of textbooks, achieved countless deadlines and generally just survived the battle that is getting a degree. Your time at university has now come to an end and it’s officially the time of year when you should be thinking of applying to jobs or internships, if you haven’t been doing so already. Of course, when it comes to job applications there is nothing more important than the first impression you make on a potential employer; which is where your CV comes in. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of the CV redundancies you should be definitely be avoiding when searching for your first graduate job.
Related: Employers Share the Worst CVs They Have Received
When it comes to applying for a job the first thing to remember is that you’re essentially marketing yourself as the perfect solution to a company’s problem – having a vacancy. To do this you have to make sure you’re angling all the statements you make about yourself to fit within the job criteria that they specify in their advertisement.
This also means that you shouldn’t be including anything that isn’t relevant to the position, which means only including personal information that is relevant and concise. Don’t include such things as your height, weight, religious beliefs or dietary requirements. You should only include what information is absolutely necessary to the application. This includes your contact details, address and date of birth.
If you’re not applying for a job where you’re specifically required to include a photograph of yourself then just don’t. It’s really not necessary and is very likely to send your CV to the top of the reject pile. Finally, as far as personal information is concerned, you should only include hobbies if you can show how they benefit skills you bring to the workplace. No-one wants to know if you’re an avid stamp collector. They’ll only think you’re a little strange and strange won’t get you a job.
Take care with your application
Appalling spelling and grammar in a CV is simply not acceptable. It’s not hard to search for the correct way to write whatever you need to say, and employers will immediately throw away a CV that includes these fatal errors. You should also take special care to make sure your contact details are correct and up to date. If you’re still using the same email address you made when you were thirteen there’s a good chance you’re going to need to change to something more professional!
Resist the urge to make your CV stand out by using interesting fonts or changing the colour of the font you are using to something particularly bright. It’s very likely that the person reviewing the applications is reading them quickly and anything that makes your application difficult to read will not be appreciated. It should be your skills and merits that make your CV stand out – not the awful choice of font that you’ve made.
Also, consider spending a significant amount of time deciding on the formatting of your CV and make this format constant throughout the document. It’s easy enough to download a CV template but making one completely individual will make it stand out. Avoid making your CV too long however, and keep your CV to 2 pages’ max with information from the last 5-10 years being most relevant.
Related: How to Create an Employable CV
Once you’ve got your basic template ready the next most important step to take is to optimise your CV for the company you’re applying to. This means making sure that you target all the requirements specified in the vacancy advertisement and gear your application to the employers’ sector. If you can’t find much in your skills that benefits the employer then perhaps you aren’t the right candidate for the job, in which case you’re wasting your time. Though it can be tempting, when faced with the possibility of unemployment, to apply a scatter-gun approach to your job hunt and fire off a million applications at once, you’re only wasting your time. You should also:
- Make sure you have a snappy introduction
- Include some brief information about the employer
- Be concise and keep your paragraphs an approachable length. No one wants to trawl through long paragraphs.
- Avoid stretching the truth
- Explain any employment gaps as well as you can
- Include a cover letter that had been purpose written for the employer in question
Once you’ve made the perfect CV template you’re ready to start browsing the job market for the ideal role. With these steps your CV should help to take you comfortably from graduation to your ideal career. Good luck!
Do you think there’s a CV redundancy we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments section!