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4 reasons why your CV might be failing

By Andrew Fennel on 22-03-2018

Applying for jobs is all about showing potential employers exactly what you can offer them. Your CV will provide them with an insight into who you are, what you have achieved and how you can perform the role they are offering. However, if you have been applying for jobs and not getting a response, then there is every chance that your CV is not selling you effectively.

So, why might your CV be letting you down?

You haven’t carried out your research

Unless you carry out research into your target roles before you start writing your CV, you have no way of knowing what content should go into it. It is vital that you identify what your potential employers are looking for in a successful candidate by researching your desired jobs online and discovering what the most in-demand skills are. Once you have identified what is required, you can then build your CV so that it reflects your findings. Failing to do your research will result in a convoluted CV that is overloaded with irrelevant information, and does not appeal to your target employers


The structure and format does not work

Your CV can contain a lot of information that relates to you and everything that you have achieved, including past employment, skills any other information that is relevant. If your CV is structured incorrectly then it can make it impossible for employers to extract the information that they need. The chances are, they will have many other CVs to consider so why should they spend an unnecessary amount of time looking for the information that sets you apart from the rest? It has to be structured logically, neatly and formatted in a way that ensures the important information is easy to find and digest.

You haven't included achievements 

Potential employers will want to know how you will impact their business in a positive way. Therefore, if you fail to include achievements they will have no idea what you can actually offer them. Employers like people who are willing to go above and beyond and they particularly like achievements that are quantifiable. If you have saved a business a lot of money by cutting costs then you should highlight just how much you saved. If you managed a large project then indicate how much the project was worth or if you delivered a project ahead of schedule let them know how far ahead of schedule it was, and how you achieved it. This will show employers just how much of a difference you can make to their business.

You have too many clichés in the CV

You might be a hardworking, reliable team player but these are clichés in every sense of the word. Employers really want to know what skills you have along with experience, knowledge and qualifications so they can identify whether you are the right fit for their business. If you include this information in your CV then potential employers will be able to determine that you are a hardworking, reliable team player without you having to mention it. These clichés are generic and mean very little in a factual sense. So focus on the facts and use terms that are more specific to the industry that potential employers operate in and you will soon find that your CV become a roaring success.

Andrew Fennel is an experienced recruiter, and founder of CV writing service StandOut CV. He also contributes to a number of leading career pages such as The Guardian, Business Insider and Huffington Post.

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