On average, a recruitment manager spends a few seconds reading each CV. This makes it essential to prioritise what information will be included in it. But it’s also important to bear in mind certain details that employers don’t want to come across in any CV and which would lead to candidates being excluded from the outset.

The CV is your letter of introduction, the first impression that you’ll make on recruitment managers. So when you sit down to draft it you must think carefully and concentrate on those points where you stand out. However, certain mistakes are often commented on. These are the ones that are made when applicants try – mistakenly – to get the attention of those in charge of selection processes:

Informality: Your CV must show that you are a professional. So avoid using excessively colloquial language as if you were talking to a friend. Careful though! Don’t be too distant or formal either!

Empty words: As already mentioned in this blog, there are words that we think of as “key” but which actually don’t add anything different to your CV because they say nothing.

Disorganised structure: Recruitment managers will only glance at your CV for a few seconds before deciding whether to consider you for the job in question. Don’t make it difficult for them. Organise the information about your education and your experience in a coherent manner.

Look after your presentation: It is clear that to get the recruitment manager’s attention, you have to try to make your CV stand out from the rest. One way of doing this is through the design, but don’t try to be too original. Avoid designs that make it difficult to locate your personal information. It may seem like fun to you but recruitment managers don’t want to spend too much time looking for information that interests them. And if it’s not easy to find, they will move on to the next candidate.

Typography: the design that you choose for your CV is important, and so is the typography that you use. Always use a simple and modern design that makes reading easy; the reader will appreciate this.

Inappropriate email: One of the contact details that must be on your CV is your email. Like your CV, it must transmit professionalism. Avoid funny or invented names or server accounts that may be unreliable.

Photography: Your photo must be on your CV – make sure that it’s recent and good quality. Don’t make the mistake of using the last photo you took when you went out for the night with your friends!

Finally, remember to limit the length of your CV to a maximum of two pages. If you don’t have sufficient experience, avoid including irrelevant information to pad it out. On the other hand, if you do have a lot of experience, being able to summarise it is vitally important and will be positively valued by the recruitment manager.

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