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8 common CV mistakes

With stacks of CVs arriving in hiring managers’ inboxes every day, they quickly grow to loathe some of the common mistakes they see and use them as an easy way to whittle down their potential candidates before considering them for interviews.

If you don’t want your CV to be deleted or dragged to the recycle bin, please ensure you have taken on board these common CV mistakes and avoided them.

Spelling errors and poor grammar

It’s an unfortunate area where you don’t gain anything by getting it right, but you lose a lot when you get it wrong. Check every word, then double check it and before you send it off, check it again. Read your CV out loud to uncover any grammatical discrepancies and consider getting a friend, family member or if available a mentor with industry experience to look it over. It’s important to get this right so ensure the person reading it will have the confidence to tell you if something doesn’t make sense.

Too duty-oriented

If you’re copying their job description into your CV, you are missing the point. Employers already know what the job is; your CV should highlight why you are suitable for the trainee or junior broker role that you are applying for and highlight your positive attributes, not regurgitate an employer job spec.

Inaccurate dates

Recruiters need to know when and where you worked to get a better understanding of your working history and to use the dates for background checks. Missing dates, especially for long periods of time, could send up a red flag. Include specific ranges in months and years for every position. If you have any gaps ensure they are explained. Sometimes uncertainty can lead to extra effort by the employer when they can streamline their time by moving on to the next CV that doesn’t leave unanswered questions.

Inaccurate contact information

It’s important to remember that you’ve created a CV for one reason: to get a response. How can someone contact you if the phone number is missing a digit or your email address is incorrect? Recruiters will not take the time to look you up; they’ll move on to the next candidate.

Poor formatting

Different typefaces and boxes may look nice on paper, but as your CV goes through various email formats and IT packages, it can get distorted. If you want everyone to see your CV in the same format, keep it simple. You are applying for trainee or junior broker jobs that although they may like an individual with a bit of flair, your CV doesn’t need to graphically show this through different fonts and headings etc. Keep it looking clean so you can ensure it has all uploaded correctly.

Long paragraphs

Employers generally don’t have the time to read them. This is especially true when recruiting for entry level jobs where the applicant rates tend to be extremely high. Focus on the skills and accomplishments that directly relate to the role that you’re applying for and put them into concisely laid out bullet points. Every word counts, so you don’t want to dwell on the specifics of each job and detail things that are irrelevant, so focus on ones that highlight the points that sell you best for your new role.

Unqualified candidates

You may want a job, but if you don’t have the skills and experience needed, recruiters will feel you’re wasting their time. We don’t want to hold back hungry, motivated candidates and if you think you have what it takes, look carefully at the job description and highlight the skills they are looking for with a bullet list of your related qualifications and experience at the top of your CV to catch their eye.

Information unrelated to the job

With the limited time recruiters spend on your CV, you don’t want to distract them with your age, height, weight and interests unless they’re directly related to the work you want to do. If you’re travelling in by train to work on a trading floor a clean driving licence is the least of the recruiters’ worries. You need to make the link between what a recruiter needs and what you bring to the table. The hobbies and interests section is valid and can showcase your hard work and dedication to something but don’t let it dominate. It can cause a recruiter to switch off or even worse leave them concerned that they want a new recruit that is 100% committed to their work when your passion for something is so strong and distinguished, they are left fearing you will not commit to the long hours that lay ahead.

Your CV is now almost at its best, it is clean, professional, fully focused on your positives that relate to the role in hand and almost ready to be sent.

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