Well, seeing as we have just experienced Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year, it could be that the thing wrong with your CV is that you put it out into the marketplace at all. Blue Monday is notorious as a time when people send their CV solely because they are feeling blue. As soon as their happiness picks up, they stop thinking about another job.
If you’re really serious about finding a new job, the thing holding you back may not be your experience or education, but your CV itself.
A recent survey found that only 6% of CVs contained no errors. 6 out of 10 CVs had 5 errors or more.
The major error groups included:
Spelling - offenders such as strategising, professional, responsibilities, liaising and efficient place high on the list.
Americanisms – typical ones include organization, specialized and humour.
Apostrophes – common examples are GCSE’s, A-Level’s and KPI’s.
These days, with spellcheckers and CV reading services, it is crazy that this still goes on. Sometimes people don’t realise the importance of a flawless CV, sometimes they lack attention-to-detail, sometimes people are so stressed out and sick of looking at the damn thing they send it off in haste and then sometimes it is something else.
Even though everyone includes ‘Communication Skills’ on their CV, a lot of people have not improved in their written skills since they left school. For people coming out of education now, internet research and cutting-and-pasting are part of their skill set but it can also lead to mistakes being made. If the CV is not thoroughly checked, can sentences mixed up easy get.
A section of candidates hire people to write CVs for them but, once again, attention to detail can be lacking. This move away from standard forms of writing is also having a worrying effect within industries as, according to Business Matters, 62% who took part in the survey described their spoken skills as at least ‘above average’ but more than 2 out of 3 struggle to communicate in writing.
This comes out in clichéd use of words and phrases within the CV. Ones like ‘motivated’, ‘initiative’, ‘hardworking’, ‘team player’ ‘outgoing’, ‘organised’ and ‘highly motivated’. If these are boring you as you read them, then join the club. You’re an individual, so stand out.
If you are sure you have the skills to get those roles you’re applying for and you never get an interview, I hope that this article has caused you to take another look at your CV, maybe with a more critical eye, and see if you can pick up on any errors that may be holding you back.