Your CV is one of the first things that potential employers use to assess whether or not you are a good fit for their organisation. One of the most common mistakes people can make is adding information to their CV that can be misinterpreted by employers, without an adequate explanation. When writing your CV, you need to remember that the person reading it knows nothing about you. Information that might make sense to you, might give a different impression to employers who have no background on your situation. It is important to identify any elements of your CV that might raise red flags with employers, so you can provide explanations that minimise the risk of an employer overlooking your CV.
Does your CV raise any of these red flags with employers?
A career path that jumps around with no explanation
A significant amount of short term jobs with no explanation
Your working history doesn't match up with your education and LinkedIn profile
Typos and use of industry jargon from a different industry
Gaps in working history without any explanation
No synergies between your skills and experience and the job specification
You are applying for a role more junior to the one you are in, with no explanation
You are applying from a different region to the job advertised with no explanation.
If your CV currently includes some of these red flags – you can easily tweak it to make sure you give yourself the best chance of success. The key to this is to provide explanations where any red flags are raised. For example, you may have a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why there is a gap in your working history – perhaps you took time off to stay at home to look after your children, to travel, or to care for a sick loved one. If there is an explanation, it is important to include it to give prospective employers context. Making sure your CV is professional with no spelling mistakes and correct grammar is also vital. It is a good idea to get a friend or family member to review your CV – a second pair of eyes is invaluable to pick up typos you have missed, and any mistakes you may have overlooked. Your attention to detail is a good indication of your working style, so make sure your CV is immaculate. It is also important that you pay close attention to the jobs you are applying for, and don't just put yourself forward for jobs that are of no relevance to your skillset. If you have a couple of different areas that you are looking to move into, create tailored CVs for each, so employers can see how your skills relate to the jobs you are applying for more closely. Most importantly of all, make sure you are honest. If you are stringing together experiences that didn't take place, chances are you will get caught out. Make sure that your CV is a true representation of yourself and your experience – this way you can put your best foot forward, be confident in yourself and give yourself the best chance of finding your dream role.