Of the nine CV mistakes outlined in 9 Common Resume Mistakes Every Job Hunter Should Avoid, I consider these two the most important:
Mistake #1: Emphasizing tasks instead of achievements.
Those bullet points underneath each job entry? They shouldn’t read like a list of daily duties. Instead, they should emphasize the impact of those duties.
What did you accomplish in each role? How did your daily responsibilities help make or save money, boost efficiency, solve a problem, improve customer acquisition or retention, or otherwise make the company better?
If you want your resume to stand out, you need to go beyond listing tasks and highlight the achievements that make you a valuable employee.
Mistake #8: Opening with your education
If you just graduated from college or are new to the world of work, ignore this. Otherwise, include your work accomplishments before listing your education.
Employers are more interested in your achievements in the workforce than they are in your degree. So keep your work-related information at the top.
This is said after 18 years of state government employment – wherein I read, wrote and assisted people in writing effective CV’s applications. Over those years I wrote over 200 applications, 20 in my first year. (I was a contractor, so it was expected).
It’s a daunting task, yet if done right will sell your strengths and attributes.
The best thing about a well-presented CV – it becomes your persona. You read it regularly and say “Yes, I did that, I can do that, I accomplished that, I am that which I say I am.” Breathe in and out. Do you like that feeling? That’s self-pride. There’s nothing wrong with it, so long as you don’t proclaim it too much. Have a healthy ego, just don’t over-inflate it.
Yet like many around me, I too seek employment.We have moved our small family to Kangaroo Island to support my wife’s passion and small business, an island where day-jobs are scarce. Yet I do not sit idly: I am currently working on an entrepreneurial idea that involves my photography. The outcome of that will be published on facebook within the next few months.
Happy hunting to us all, may our CVs be filled with accomplishments & pride, and give us success.
I wrote this for my own benefit as much as for anyone else. A self-reminder of value, strengths and abilities is always important when rejected from jobs you feel positive you’ve done well.
POSTSCRIPT: Iwill publish a followup post soon outlining how winning interviews is easier than winning jobs!