As an HR person, I see over 40 CVs per day, on the average. In most cases during recruitment, I receive over 2000 CVs for a specific job role. You can then calculate the figures when we have multiple job roles. I have decided to offer some advice to job seekers out there who are having challenges getting job interviews – even for jobs they are well qualified for.
During my early days in HR, I was flabbergasted by the silly mistakes made by job seekers, but along the line, I became used to seeing it. Your resume is your representative on paper. So if there is something that needs to be well-presented aside you physically, your CV should be that thing.
Below are the top 7 mistakes or areas where people let themselves down while searching for a job
1. Spelling, Typos, and Grammar
It is no longer news that the average Nigerian student possesses bad spelling habit. There are no excuses; you have to double check your spelling, grammar, in the most efficient way as possible. You can employ the use of spelling checkers; ask friends or family members to help.
I might make a mistake in this article, but it won’t affect anything in my career. But making a mistake on your resume is not an option at all. You would never have the chance to defend yourself.
Even if you aren’t proficient with English, you can employ the services of someone who can help you get the job done.
2. Cover Letter
Let’s not beat it; the basic aim of your resume is to know if you’ve got the required experience. The cover letter is what shows your motivation, and attention to details about the job requirements. Sending your resume without your cover letter (unless when there’s no room to send it) is like gifting someone a machine without the manual.
Cover letters are important for 3 reasons
- To see if you have the ability to put together a business letter.
- To see if you’ve analyzed the job role, company, and put some time into customizing a letter that accompanies your resume. Most times I get a letter that references other companies from job seekers – which is very bad.
- To learn why you are applying for this present role.
3. Using Drab Career Objectives
Since the idea of inserting career objectives at the top of a resume came into the scene, we have seen it bastardized. Several times I come around people who copy and paste career objectives from job sites.
If you really feel cool about inserting a career objective at the top of your resume, then you should customize it for the job role you seek for.
4. Your Resume looks like a job description
Avoid statements like “Responsible for” or “Duties included”, these phrases belongs to job descriptions and not your resume. You need to focus on your achievements and accomplishments in your previous job roles. How will the present employer benefit from you?
Show them facts and figures of things you’ve achieved, not the job you carried out.
If you have your address in Kwara state on your CV, then you apply for a job whose location is in Lagos, how do you intend to explain that?
The first place I look at on any CV that comes into my desk is the candidate’s location. If it is within proximity, I can then proceed to check up on other details (If we aren’t having a large pool of resumes).
6. Avoiding the use of keywords
If your CV can’t pass the ATS test, then I advise you keep praying and fasting. If you have the right connections, then no need of passing your CV through software. But if you don’t, then you should know about the ATS software.
It screens out CVs from a pool where candidates have uploaded their resumes. It functions with the help of specific keywords keyed into the system by the hiring manager.
So if you have been sending out your CVs without callbacks, then this might be one mistake you are making.
7. Not including what you can do for the employer
If I look at your CV for 7 seconds and can’t figure out your areas of expertise, then I dump it and move onto the next. Nobody has all the time in the world to analyze a single CV unless an order has been given from above – it happens.
Your CV must be concise and professionally written to attract maximum attention – even if you are a fresher. You need to explain to me who you are via your CV like a 4-year old.
If most HR persons like me can’t get these details, we won’t be convinced about adding you up to our interview list.
I hope you’ve learnt a few. In coming days I will still be explaining more of these to you. I wish you success. Bye.