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Think your CV is fine? Think again

Have you been applying for jobs and not getting anywhere? It's probably because your CV is... well, let's just say less than optimum.

Recent conversations I've had with a recruiter and some (currently recruiting) employers have surprised me. It seems the vast majority of job applicants submit terrible applications!

I've compiled their top 5 gripes. If you are guilty of any of the following, then you are in desperate need of resume/job application assistance!


1. No cover letter

So, do you actually want the job? Not submitting a cover letter shows a lack of care and interest in the role. A cover letter is where you sell yourself, your enthusiasm for the role and highlight how your skills meet their needs.

2. Not tailoring your application

An application should be tailored to the role. This means having a customised, well written cover letter (see point 1 above) and a slightly tailored CV. This might just be a slight adjustment of your professional profile and skills to match the skills they are looking for.

3. Not following the job ad/application instructions

Demonstrate to the employer that you can read and follow instructions! If it tells you to submit a one page cover letter with your CV, do it. If it asks you to respond to the Key Selection Criteria specifically, do this in a separate document. If the instructions are unclear, call them to clarify.

4. It's too hard to find the information

There are typically 100 - 200 applications for most jobs. That's a lot of applications for someone to read, so make it easy for them. Have all the important bits about you (your profile, skills, achievements, career summary) laid out clearly on the front page of your CV. Make sure the first paragraph of your cover letter is amazing! And don't make the font so small it can't be read.

5. Poor grammar/spelling/cut and paste errors

Microsoft Word can check your spelling and basic grammar - so use it! Then triple check it and get a friend to read it too. And most importantly, make sure you have addressed the application to the correct person and organisation! LinkedIn can help you find the right person, or call up and ask.


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