The importance of a good Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Résumé cannot be overemphasised in one’s career and we all know it well. So rather than talking about how important it is, let me directly get to the point – 7 Common CV Mistakes to Avoid.
1. Misrepresentation of Facts: Never try to lie on your CV; it gets caught sooner or later. Even if you are able to sail through the interview and get an offer, most of the big companies have a strong background check policy. Anything on your CV proving to be wrong in the background check would mean withdrawal of the offer.
Another risk with misrepresenting your experience/skills is that you may end up in a job which is not suitable for your skills and you cannot grow within that profile.
2. No proofreading: Read it, read it and again read it, to make sure that there are no spelling or grammar errors. A small error might kill your chances altogether. I have personally seen very good CVs not getting shortlisted just for spelling errors. The best way to avoid them is to get someone else to read it. As you are too used to reading your own CV, you may not notice these mistakes.
3. Sloppy Formatting: Do not get overboard on trying to standout with use of creative fonts. Use the generally accepted business fonts. The entire resume should be presented in form of bullet points and there should not be too many long paragraphs. Avoid use of colours and make sure the overall CV looks neat.
4. Lame Email Address: Guys you are out in the real world seeking to get hired as serious professionals. Use proper Email address; ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ would not take you far. I understand getting email address with your name is sometimes difficult but try some less popular email providers.
If nothing works, try to use CA [your name] as email address; I am sure ICAI makes sure there are not many. Another point with emails, avoid using emails such as ‘yahoo.co.uk’, chances are that it is read by the recruiter as ‘yahoo.com’ and your interview call would bounce.
5. Too Long: No one has time to read a 3 pager CV for a fresher. Try to make it as precise as possible. Ideally for the first 2-3 years, I would stick to a one pager – it is enough space for writing what the companies need to know or are interested in knowing.
6. Generalised CV: While you may have a general template for your CV as a base just try to customize it for requirements of the job you are applying for. For instance, if you are applying for a position in the tax department of a big four, make sure your tax related work experience gets highlighted as they would not care too much about knowing how many statutory audits you have done.
7. Not using Key Words: A lot of times, recruiters search CVs based on key words in large databases. Make sure your CV contains those key words. For example for an audit job – your CV must have reference to accounting standards or if you have done something around IFRS make sure you mention that.
Look forward to your feedback and for a CV review against a discretionary fee, you can reach me email@example.com