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Career Advice

5 Ways that your CV may appear Unprofessional

You might have spent hours, days even, crafting what you think is the perfect CV – the CV that is going to get you that elusive or dream job. However within seconds, a recruiter or HR Manager may have looked at it and immediately put it in the rejected pile. Harsh but unfortunately true. cv..With so much competition in the job market these days, it’s an absolute necessity that your CV is professional and impresses from the off. How to do that? Well for starters, by avoiding some of these common pitfalls – we’ve highlighted 5 Ways that your CV may appear Unprofessional. Avoid them at all costs!

An ‘inappropriate’ email address

You might think that your email address doesn’t really have any impact on your job search but you’d be mistaken. If your email address is a little too quirky, ‘out there’ or downright rude, it is not exactly portraying you in a professional light to prospective employers. Yes it has no direct impact on whether you can do the job or not. However, what it does do is give a little insight into what you are all about. It could reveal a little more about you than you would ever want an employer to know. The best thing to do is to err on the side of caution – create another email address just for your job applications. Yes it might appear dull or boring perhaps but it certainly won’t cast any negative impressions to a potential employer.

Spelling and grammar mistakes

Most of us will have made spelling mistakes or grammatical errors at some point – whether it’s simply as a result of a typo or because we genuinely did not know the correct spelling of a word or the proper use of punctuation. However, when you are applying for a job, you ought to check, check and check again. Make sure that you don’t have any spelling mistakes in that CV or cover letter. Errors do stand out and they could potentially be what an employer or recruiter remembers most about your CV or application form. Don’t let that happen. Use a spell checker or get someone else to give your CV or form the once over. A fresh pair of eyes can really help spot mistakes or errors that you may miss. A professional CV will be error-free – remember that at all times.

Too lengthy

It’s said that a CV ought to be no more than 2 A4 pages and generally this is the case. Any more than this and you are likely to lose the interest of any potential employer quite quickly. There is really no need to list every job that you have ever had if you are now 20 years down the line in your career. List the jobs that are relevant for the job at hand. Likewise, if you have just graduated, there is no need to detail at great length every subject you ever studied and all the modules therein. Maximise the impact of your CV by keeping to the point. Keep the content concise but relevant at all times.

Using a template

There are lots of resources out there – online and offline services which provide CV templates that you can utilise when creating your own CV. This might seem like the most convenient choice – however it doesn’t mean it’s the best choice. HR Managers and recruiters can spot a CV that’s been created from a template immediately and aren’t usually impressed by them. Although some of the basic content may be fine, the layout and ‘identikit’ style can do  you more harm than good. Stamp your own mark on your CV by being original – and of course professional.

Disregarding the details

Every part of your CV should be checked thoroughly before it ever gets sent to an employer. This may seem like common sense, however many jobseekers don’t do this. The details matter – is your contact number correct? Are your qualifications up to date? Have you listed the correct dates of employment? Are you still claiming to be employed somewhere to ‘present date’ when you left quite a while ago? Remember – any inaccuracies that your CV contains simply serve to portray a poor impression of you as a potential candidate – and an unprofessional one at that.

We hope that by highlighting 5 Ways that your CV may appear Unprofessional, we’re helping out a little. Got any other tips you’d like to share? Why not let us know via the comments below.


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