10 Common CV Pitfalls to Avoid

Does your CV need an annual check up before 2013? As most of you will be aware, we are approaching  one of the busiest periods  of the Dubai job seeker and recruiting calendar. Yes, the January jobs merry go round is almost upon us. The signs are clear, we have noticed a surge in job related queries from job seekers in Dubai and the UAE as professionals and job seekers ready themselves to take full advantage of the January jobs rush in Dubai.

As a result of this increased demand in job seeking activity in Dubai, we are now focussing in our articles on CV optimization and interview preparation, with a view to ensuring that our readers are among the best prepared job seekers in the UAE, that is, we want our readers to go in to the new year fully primed and ready to land their job of their dreams.

In this article we will be presenting to you some very useful advice relating to CV preparation, stemming from some research that was carried out by CareerBuilder earlier in the year. They surveyed over 2,000 hiring managers and asked them what were the main CV  mistakes that applicants were making which were leading candidates to be dismissed from consideration. And you can find these below.

10 Most Common CV Pitfalls

1. Resumes with typos – 61 percent

A good way to minimize typos is to make sure that you use a spell checker. However, spell chceckers are not perfect and do not identify typos if they happen to be a real word. This is why we also recommend that you read your CV aloud after completing it, as this will allow you to uncover more errors than a simple visual scan.

2. Resumes that copied large amounts of wording from the job posting – 41 percent

The fix to this is fairly straight forwards in that you simple shouldn’t do it. There is no good reason for copy and pasting the job description wording into your CV.

3. Resumes with an inappropriate email address – 35 percent

Avoid using playful email addresses like crazysteve@xxx or partygirl@xxx as these look unprofessional. Make sure to use a business email address like, jack.brown@xxx.

5. Resumes that don’t include a list of skills – 30 percent

In order to avoid this pitfall, make sure to include a skills list on your resume. You should ensure that you describe your competency level in each skill, e.g. Adobe Photoshop (Advanced)

6. Resumes that are more than two pages long – 22 percent

You can address this issue by making sure that you condense each job by prioritizing the key responsibilities and achievements and excluding  the less important.

7. Resumes printed on decorative paper – 20 percent

Therefore, always use white paper and minimal formatting.

8. Resumes that detail more tasks than results for previous positions – 16 percent

This is self explanatory. Focus your CV employment entries around achievements.

9. Resumes that include a photo – 13 percent

10. Resumes that have large blocks of text with little white space – 13 percent

Good Luck with your 2012 Job Hunt!

About the author

Kazim Ladimeji is the Director of thecareercafe.co.uk—a resource for start-ups, small business and job seekers. It includes a blog with career and small business advice articles. Kazim is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has been a practising HR professional for 14 years.

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