BY TERESA MULOMI
If you are looking for a job, I have bad news and good news.
Your CV is underselling you!
If you are relentlessly writing your CV, dropping your CV and sending your CV but you get no response, then unfortunately, your CV is letting you down.
All is not lost! With proper advice and guidance, you can turn this around. This article will give you a snapshot of the 5 elements in your CV that are underselling you and tips on how you can supercharge your resume in order to stand out!
1. Passive words and cliches
So you are enthusiastic? Or maybe you are a team player? Or better yet, a hard worker.
An “enthusiastic, hardworking, team playing” employee is a recruiters dream. However, on a CV, such cliche words are a recruiter’s worst nightmare.
Tip One: Use powerful action words
Remember that team you led? Or that strategy you developed? And implemented? Not to forget how you reduced costs and doubled profits?
The best way to truly convey your abilities and competencies is by using lively language, filled with powerful action words and bold statements. Get rid of cliches and passive words that are sucking the life out of your CV.
2. Generic Irrelevant Skills
Generic skills, unless relevant to the job should be left out of you CVs since they only take up space that could be used to showcase the truly talented gem that you are.
Tip Two: Remove the fluff out of your CV
It’s time to cut out your birth date, marital status, tribe and any other irrelevant stuff in order to transform your standard CV from bland to fab by highlighting skills that will make you stand out as a remarkable and special professional.
3. Lengthy poorly structured CV
How long is your CV? 2 pages? 3 pages? 5 pages? If your answer was 5 or over it is time to hit the delete button and…delete, delete, delete.
You have under 30 seconds to make you best first impression with your CV. If your CV is lengthy, cluttered and poorly structured, it will only bog down the reader and you might just be tossed into the “no” pile.
Tip 3: Keep your CV short but concise
There is no set-in-stone rule on how long your CV should be. The length of your CV could vary based on your experience.
However, always strive to make you CV short, simple and clear. Remove the fluff out of your CV and replace it with easily navigable, clearly labelled, and well targeted content.
4. Duty based vs. achievement based
Your CV is not a synopsis of your job description.
Your CV is meant to showcase how you went above and beyond your job description in order to contribute and impact.
Simply replicating the information on your job description onto your CV could be the reason why recruiters are underestimating your potential.
Tip 4: Highlight your achievements not your duties
If you are a new graduate who has the grades but lacks the experience, create a credential based CV that highlights your academic achievements, professional affiliations and relevant volunteer or internships experience to help you stand out.
If you have a number of years of experience under your belt, highlight not your job description but your accomplishments, contributions and impact.
5. Unexplained gaps in your CV
Career paths are non-linear.
Each and every single professional is on their own career journey. Life may throw you a curve-ball that may send your career journey spinning out of control.
Be it sickness, a vacation, parenthood, career transition, study period or simply just a period of unemployment, these detours can leave unexplained gaps in your CV that may send employers running.
Tip 5: Spin gaps into positive stories
Truthfully spin any gap in your CV into a positive story that will enhance your narrative.
If you had taken a break to study, highlight how the material you studied will benefit the company. If you had traveled, showcase how your experience exposed you to different elements or people that will eventually benefit the company’s bottom-line.
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