The potential pitfalls of even a good CV

When it comes to job seeking everybody know that your CV can be the making or the breaking of whether you get to the interview or not and yet time and time again we find that people are making the same silly mistakes that may bring an employer to tears of laughter but won't land you that dream job.

The most common question we get asked about always boils down to content, that is to say. Not just what we put in our CVs but how we say it and to be honest the difference between the two is staggering. Let me give you a quick example of something that came across my desk just the other day and it involves personal interests; the basic premise is that this person, let's call him Bob is a bit of a classic geek and he is aimed for a job in programming. Now instead of writing "I have a keen interest in the artistic qualities of graphic novels and their construction" Bob wrote "Like to read comics" and as you are probably aware this is something of a no-no.

CVs, like good book, must read well and make the reader feel like the person involved is actually an adult and capable of serious conversations and actions and while there is nothing wrong with reading comics it does not read as if you have a professional attitude. This rule applies to every single part of your CV so if you have a skype name like "c00lestdudeeva" then perhaps you might want to leave that off your CV or perhaps make a new one for the occasion.

If you are ever struggling with the personal interest part of your CV just remember that interesting stands out and common does not so "likes cooking" is not as interesting as "attended professional bakery classes"

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before but professionalism is key which means that unless you are a graphic designer of some sort it is best to stay away from coloured paper and artistic touches. Never in the course of my career have I ever heard of an employer saying "Well, they don't have any skills we need but the flowery paper and cute kitten drawing are too cute, we simply must hire this person!".

The next part is something of a grey area and it concerns humourous content. While it can be a fun and interesting reflection of your character the general rule of thumb is to not do it and that is the advice I am going to give you. While there are employer out there that like fun and interesting when leafing through a pile of CVs it can be a minefield for the job seeker who can't know in advance what the reader will be like and so for that reason I say don't do it unless your job involves comedy.

So I hope these little bit of advice are useful to you and always remember that a CV is an important professional document and should be treated as such. The content is what is the reader is looking for and the better you can highlight this the higher your chances of landing that interview become. So good luck out there!