Have you put together your CV and sent it off to many, many job opportunities, with no response? You send to more vacancies and wait, and wait, and wait some more, and still no response? You think to yourself, what could I be doing wrong?
The answer could be that your CV is letting you down, but with a few changes and improvements you can make sure potential employers could take a second look at your CV.
The following are some common reasons why your CV may not be getting the response you are looking for.
You are applying for the wrong job
You may not have every requirement on the job application, applying for a job that requires four years’ experience, while you only have two, is safe, but is something you should avoid if you cannot do the job properly. It is very important you have the right qualifications and skills for the job.
Submitting the exact same CV to a myriad of different positions and notting receiving a response? You may want to tailor your CV for every position you apply for, edit your personal statement and leave out or add certain information relevant to the position.
No employer has the time to read pages and pages of information about a single candidate, it is best to keep your CV to a maximum of two pages, longer CV’s are the most common mistake and the easiest to rectify.
Bad word choice
The words you use to describe yourself, your skills and your aims – are they getting the right message across about who you are?
Lack of or incorrect contact details
Having all your information up to date and correct is something that goes unnoticed. Double check that your phone number and address are correct to avoid getting no response from applications.
No personal statement
Not having a personal statement could be harmful to your chances. Add a few lines at the top of your CV can give potential employers a basic overview that will help them to make their decision.
To improve your CV, try these tips:
Spelling, grammar and punctuation
It is incredibly important that you spell words correctly and use the right grammar and punctuation. It is best to not make use of ellipses (the dot, dot, dot) or exclamation marks. There is also no need for question marks.
Your CV should follow a logical structure. Put your latest information first, an example would be adding your tertiary education at the top of the list and other education – high school and primary school further at the bottom. An employer does not care what your grade seven results were, but they will be very interested in the type of degree or diploma you have.
Make it easy to look at
Try using space, colour and the right font to ensure that your CV is easy to read and nice to look at. An organised CV implies an organised mind!
Condense your CV, make sure its concise and to the point, but has all the essential information.
Leave out anything that is not essential. Again, your primary school results, long jump trophy and your interest in knitting are not important for most positions.
Emphasise the good stuff
For example, if you received an A for English and History, but an E for Maths, leave your Maths mark out. You could do it like this:
Jones High School (finished 2002)
English, Afrikaans and History: A
Biology and Geography: C
Remember that your CV is a potential employer’s first impression of who you are. Take the time to make it spectacular!