There are many articles out there screaming “don’t make these mistakes on your resume” or “five things that put an employer off.” They are excellent click bait but what they often fail to do is actually explain how to remedy these common resume problems.
In the spirit of actually helping you get hired rather than causing you to roll up in a ball in the corner of the room in despair, let’s tackle some of those often highlighted problem areas.
Not being qualified or having enough experience
To be clear: Never apply for a job when you don’t have the required experience or qualifications. If you do not fit the job requirements, then save your time and energy and do not apply.
Here is what you do:
Note down everything in the job description that you do not have. Set this as your goals list. Write it down and display it somewhere where you will see it.
Target the job at the level below. Very often the opportunity to gather the required experience and qualification exists at this level and it is the best way in. There will also be opportunities to act up to that level when the current incumbent is on holiday or away from the business.
Having too many jobs
In a more volatile economy people are moving jobs more than ever. In some quarters this is still looked down on when applying for roles.
Here is what to do:
Be honest. Use your professional profile to explain your working history. If you have been working a number of short term contracts or agency work then say so. No disgrace in that.
If you have worked a number of roles in different industries then explain you have been unsure of your career direction so have worked hard gathering experience in a number of sectors. This has allowed you to decide that this job is the career you now want to focus on.
Your CV is too long
Frankly, says who? The two pages mandatory length is said so often it’s accepted as truth. That is not the case.
Here is what to do:
If you have had a long and established career or you work in an industry such as IT where your list of knowledge and skills can be long then allow yourself an extra page. Employers only tend to get frustrated with long CVs full of unnecessary information. If it is 3 pages but full of relevant information then it is not a problem.
If you do feel two pages is all you will be allowed then cut the following as it offers no benefit:
- Hobbies and interests
- Job descriptions for jobs over ten years
- Specific qualifications not related to the industry you are applying for
- Reduce references content to “References on request”
A good rule to apply when deciding if something should be included is “will it help me get the job?” Be critical and if it does not; lose it.
Use the comments section below to ask about any other areas that we can help you with!
Editor’s Note: Want more career advice? Check out Jamie’s book, Marginal Gains: 88 Ways to improve your CV and kick start your career.
(Featured Image Credit: PEXELS)