3 Little Mistakes You Urgently Need to Correct in Your CV

Practical things are difficult to correct because you often don’t notice them. But they could make a whole lot of difference.

As a recruiter, I read hundreds of CVs. Every day I read at least five to ten. And as I do this, day after day, I find myself frowning upon some candidates that seem not to care about… me. People do all kinds of things to be attractive to recruiters and to make themselves look good, but they constantly overlook the simplest things that would make them seem professional and focused. I don’t look for Europass formats or perfect design — but sometimes CV’s can make me a little less interested in the person, and that’s the last thing a CV should do. Here are 3 of those little mistakes people often make that annoy me as a recruiter:

1) NOT NAMING THE FILE CORRECTLY — As a recruiter, I find myself constantly changing the name of the files containing CVs. I get CVs named 34095493865876, or something like that. You need to identify your CV correctly. That’s a ‘must’. Why should I have to put your name in the file myself? And if I forget or don’t have time to rename the file as soon as I save it, how will I find your CV when I’m looking for it, if it’s called GRT_CV2020? Just make sure your name is easy to find, even if I’m not opening the file.

2) NOT SENDING THE CURRENT CV — I know people need to send many applications and sometimes it’s difficult to keep track of them and of the files sent to recruiters. But it’s really not a good thing to be saying in an interview: ‘I’m sorry, I don’t think I sent you the current CV. That one doesn’t show my last two years of projects.’ This always makes me think the candidate is not taking my job offer seriously. By the way, the same thing when people ask me: ‘Could you recall what position I’m applying to? I don’t remember.’ Please prepare yourself and find a way to keep track of your efforts.

3) NOT INCLUDING A HEADSHOT IN YOUR CV — A couple of decades ago, this wasn’t a thing. CVs didn’t include headshots. But now they do. It gives the recruiter a face to connect to and shows you are not afraid to put yourself out there. Whenever I get a CV without a picture, I feel the candidate is just outdated. Not exactly what I’m looking for. And it should be a current photo if you don’t mind. It doesn’t make sense to have a 20-year-old picture in a CV — even if it’s the best picture you ever took. A picture is not a way to ‘judge the book by the cover’, it’s a way to personalize your efforts and make a recruiter a little ‘warmer’ to you.

All these mistakes I also made in the past. They are small blind spots. And they wouldn’t be nearly so frustrating if I only had a couple of CVs to check. But remember, recruiters never have just one CV to check. They have to read dozens or hundreds or thousands. Realizing that and making it a little easier for them will set you out as professional and efficient. And that’s what you want, right?



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Bruno Martins Soares

I’m a Business and Communications Consultant. I’ve been writing professionally for over 20 years. Find me and my books at brunomartinssoares.com