Trying to make an excellent first impression can be difficult in a competitive job market. That is why you need your CV to stand out. After all, your CV is the only thing that separates you from the competition (at least from the point of view of an employer who has never met you).
But as you know, it is not as simple as just typing out a quick profile, adding your employment history and qualifications, then hitting the send button.
Being a good CV writer means not only getting the structure and formatting right, but overcoming any challenges that may be stopping you from winning an interview for your dream career. Whether it is a long career gap or you are trying to conceal the fact that you were once a bit of a job hopper (we don’t judge!), there may be many reasons why your CV is damaging your career progression.
Of course, these hurdles do not mean that you are not a worthy candidate for your dream job; it just means that you need to carefully craft your CV to find creative ways to turn any potential negatives into positives.
As professional CV writing experts, we are here to help. Here are some of the most common CV problems and how you can easily rectify them to impress recruiters and employers:
1: Your CV makes you look like a job hopper
Working in a large number of roles over a short period of time is not necessarily a negative thing, but it can be potentially off-putting to recruitment managers if you do not properly explain it. Put simply, recruiters may assume that you are unable to maintain a long term job or that you are not very committed to your employers.
To overcome this hurdle, you should explain the reasons behind any short roles you have had in the past. Maybe you have worked seasonal roles or covered employees who have been on maternity leave or long term sick. The best CV writers carefully explain the reasons for short job roles and then outline what they achieved during their time at these roles. Doing this will outline your value as an employee and help recruiters to look past the short time lengths.
2: There are large gaps in your employment history
Plenty of very successful people go through periods of unemployment. This could be due to illness, study, travel or any number of other perfectly good reasons. While it is absolutely acceptable to have gaps in your employment history, these periods of unemployment should not go unexplained on your CV.
Being a good CV writer means tackling the issue of employment gaps proactively. This means explaining the reasons you were out of work and using the experience to demonstrate positive and desirable personal attributes.
If you have been travelling, for example, you will have used crucial transferable skills such as communication, time-keeping and organisation. You may have also developed new skills such as a new language or cultural awareness. The best CV writers will highlight such experiences and demonstrate how it improved them as a person and as a candidate for the job for which they are applying.
3: Your CV is too long
Including too much information in a bid to impress recruiters could be damaging your chances of securing an interview – even if you are the perfect candidate for your dream job. Most recruiters are short on time, and are very unlikely to wade through page after page of content, especially if some of it isn’t relevant to the role you are applying for.
While it is only natural to want to highlight your many years of work experience and all the impressive courses you have taken, you should do your best to focus on targeted information and keep your CV to one or two pages long.
As professional CV writing consultants, we recommend that you remove any roles that are more than 10 years old and any other outdated information that do not have any connection or relevance to the position you are applying for. Keep your sentences succinct and to the point (just as we have done here!).
4: You are changing careers
Everyone deserves the chance of success in whatever industry or employment sector they wish. But how do you secure a job interview for a new industry when you do not have relevant experience behind you?
The best CV writers do this by addressing their career change in their personal profile. For example, you may have started a personal project or an online course that is related to your new chosen sector or industry. You may have transferable skills such as communication, critical thinking or problem solving that you can bring to your new career path. Highlighting such attributes will help you to grab the recruiter’s attention and help you to stand out as a suitable candidate for the role.
In summary, is your CV damaging your career?
From career gaps to a lack of experience, many successful people face these common CV hurdles. But they do not have to hold you back from securing an interview for your dream job. No matter what challenge you come up against when writing your CV, the key is to think creatively and put a positive spin on any perceived negatives. This will help you to sell yourself effectively and increase your chances of winning an interview.
Found this post helpful? Keep checking our blog for regular tips and advice on becoming an effective CV writer. You can also contact us today for professional CV writing or career advice. We are waiting to help you land your dream job.