If your résumé is riddled with mistakes, you’re in good company. Many people struggle to write a truly good CV — it’s a skill that takes some practice and know-how.
Business Insider recently asked three experts to share the most common mistakes they encounter on a regular basis.
According to these three experts, who’ve read over 300,000 résumés between them, far too many people fail to truly focus their résumés.
Rangel says that many résumés read more like a job description with a person’s name slapped at the top — they don’t flesh out any real reasons for a hiring manager to take notice of the candidate.
“Most candidates do not submit an achievement-based document that truly tells me why they did a great job for each area of responsibility and task and how they did a better job at that area of responsibility or task than a competing candidate,” Rangel says.
Nicolai advises job candidates to combat the issue of unfocused CVs by not sending out generic résumés. She argues that tailoring your qualifications to the role is a key part of standing out.
If you don’t, you’re essentially telling the hiring manager that you’re not serious about this job or your career, Nicolai previously told Business Insider. “It also sends a message that you didn’t do your homework, and that you don’t value your own achievements. It’s not up to the hiring manager to ascertain what a candidate has achieved. It’s up to the candidate to show or prove it by creating a résumé that highlights their skills and achievements that are most relevant or useful to the job at hand.”
Adler agrees, explaining that hiring managers tend to toss out generic résumés straight away.
“Truly, the most common mistake is a lack of focus. So many people think that they need to write their resume first, then cast about to identify the right role,” Adler says. “No hiring manager will ‘try someone out’ without a clear understanding of the candidate’s value, and bringing in a candidate for an interview without knowing how they can succeed in a particular role can be a time waster.”
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