Sending off a bad CV is worse than not sending it at all. At least by not sending it, you may have another chance. A bad CV as it goes straight into the “decline bin”. If you are lucky, you will get an automatic response. So what is a “bad” CV? There are many ways to write your CV and it should always remain personal so take you time to think it through. Here are some classic rules that hopefully are useful:
- Use a non professional photograph (I think no photo is better).
- Copy any part of a resume sample posted online word-for-word.
- Worry too much about the old one-page resume rule, especially if you have a lot of experience or are using more of a CV format.
- But make sure that the first page can stand alone if the pages get separated.
- Repeat the same action word over and over again. Find different ways to say the same thing.
- List your job duties rather focus on accomplishments.
- List accomplishments over and over again for similar jobs.
- Go into detail on how you achieved results at each job. Save that for the interview.
- Use a lot of acronyms or jargon, especially if you’re changing fields.
- Don’t abbreviate words that aren’t normally abbreviated, even to save space.
- Emphasize experience more than 15 years old.
- Bother to list high school or secondary school if you have university experience.
- List a funny or crude email address; get a new one for business use if necessary.
- List references on your resume; have them on a separate document, and only provide them when requested.
- Include hobbies or skills that have nothing to do with the position.
- Sacrifice clarity or readability for creativity when it comes to format.
- Print on colored paper.
- Use graphics.
- Review professionally written resume samples to familiarize yourself with what a strong resume looks like and contains.
- Make your resume is as easy to read as possible, using bullets, a font size that’s comfortable to read, and so on.
- Customize your resume based on the position for which you are applying.
- Include a career objective that is focused on what you can do for the employer — not what you hope to gain from the position.
- List your past positions in reverse chronological order.
- Include for each job: title/position, name of employer, city/state of employer, dates of employment.
- Include measurable results you achieved at each job rather than listing job duties.
- Lead with action words instead of passive words. Avoid the word “work.”
- Include publications, patents, presentations, honors, relevant volunteer experiences, and professional licenses or certifications, especially if they pertain to the position.
- Emphasize transferable skills, especially when changing industries.
- Provide relevant contact information including one phone number, email address, website, and town.
- Proofread meticulously.
- Consider including a “summary of qualifications” or “profile” at the top of your resume to provide a clear focus.
- Test how your resume will look when emailed or submitted online, as well as printed.
If you have additional points to add, please send them through.
Good luck and if you wish to send me your CV for a proof read, feel free to do so. Peter@VR-People.com