Steer Clear of These Outdated CV Trends

3 min read

Career Trends: May 8, 2022
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

CVs which demonstrate the achievements and values of the candidate as an employee secure an interview.

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If you want a CV that consistently lands interviews, it’s best to keep things simple, professional and easy to read. Whether it’s overusing clichés or wasting space in complex layouts, there are several dated CV fads that may be impacting your success.

If you’re regularly not getting invited to interview, your CV might be impeding your professional goals.

Here’s what to avoid when writing your CV:

1. Complex CV designs

  • For a CV, a simple design will always be more professional and effective than something unconventional.
  • Rather than an “eye-catching” design, your potential employer only cares about one thing: your ability to do the job well.
  • Ultimately, it’s your work experience and professional achievements that will determine whether you land an interview.
  • A complicated CV design can work against you by making your accomplishments difficult to locate on the page.
  • Keep your CV design simple, with a clean font, a conventional layout with clearly defined sections, and key information listed in easy-to-read bullet points.

2. Listing every job you’ve done

  • You don’t need to include every job you’ve ever done in your CV.
  • Recruiters mostly care about your last three years of employment, so focusing on these roles is key, especially your achievements within them.
  • If you have a career history going back many years, you can still include older roles, but just in short summary format.
  • Make sure that they do not take up more space than your recent employment, and only include information that is relevant to your target jobs.

3. Clichéd terms and phrases

  • When it comes to writing your CV, the rule is simple: show, don’t tell.
  • Writing that you’re a “team player” or “always give 110%” isn’t going to give a recruiter any concrete evidence about your skills.
  • Besides being ineffective, a CV full of clichés comes across as unprofessional.
  • Rather than claiming that you’re a “passionate, hard-working and creative employee”, demonstrate these qualities by giving examples of your professional achievements.

4. Only listing responsibilities

  • Between two equally qualified candidates with similar job history and education, it’s the achievements that are going to be the difference between who gets the interview and who doesn’t.
  • When writing out your responsibilities, add some examples of your successes in the role.
  • This information will prove to the employer that you are capable of bringing real value to their organisation.

5. Hobbies that don’t add professional value

  • “Watching TV” or “Enjoying good food” will not get you your dream job.
  • The space on your CV is limited, so you must use it wisely to communicate your suitability for the specific role.
  • When you’re adding any information to your CV, ask yourself: “What does the recruiter learn about me from this?”
  • If you have space and must mention any hobbies, make sure they’re the kind that strengthen your job application.

Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?

Getting into tech with a psychology degree!

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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