Your Curriculum Vitae is one of the most important documents you will ever prepare. Your CV needs thought and clarity in the information you are trying to impress a potential employer with as you look for that dream position.
A CV can open or slam shut the door of opportunities with potential employers in 2 minutes, in many cases even less. Use the time that you have their attention wisely as you are unlikely to get a second opportunity!
At Scattergoods Agency, we've been recruiting for hospitality and catering jobs for nearly 40 years and in that time we've seen every mistake in the book! Here are some of the top errors applicants make on their CVs and some tips on how to avoid them.
TitleUse your name at the top, the employer knows it’s a CV you don’t need to title it as such.
Do not lie on your CV
You might think a little “white” lie or some embellishment of the CV will help. It will not and you and you are likely to be found out at interview or worse, at a later date.
Spelling and grammar errors
Spell checkers do not catch all errors! Read your resume through carefully to make sure each sentence makes perfect sense. If possible, also ask someone else to proofread it for you as well.
Making your CV too long is not user friendly
Two pages are ample, three pages at a push, any longer than this and you will be liable to lose the reader's attention. A short factual CV is remembered best.
Incorrect contact information and email address
Double check your details are correct. There is no second chance if the employers email to you bounces!
Up to date/gaps in employment
The CV must be up to date including your current or most recent employment, if there are gaps in your employment, you must be able to explain these if asked at an interview.
No dates of employment
If you don’t include dates, the recruiter will have to ask and you will have to explain. Make sure this information is clearly specified on your CV.
Keep it simple
Be factual do not put in additional detail for its own sake to make what you feel is an impressive document.
Keep it short and factual, there is no advantage in producing a 1500 word document that states nothing relevant. Do not list everything, is it relevant? And in particular, relevant to the application?
Formatting and layout
Make sure the format of the CV is simple and clear. So no fancy formatting/arty pictures/colours that aren’t necessary. This can make it difficult to read and also for recruitment agencies to re-format properly.
Not tailoring your CV
Tailor your CV for each job you apply for. Make sure the CV is adjusted for each role applied for, as no two positions are the same.
You do not need to include your referees on the CV, this just takes up valuable space. In most recruitment processes referees are only used after the interview stage.
Poor file name
As most CVs are now submitted by email, tailor your file name to suit the employer each time. The last thing you want to do is send your CV to the employer as CV version 22-2001doc, or untitled.doc. Make sure the file name includes your name.
Not including your personal profile
Write a short paragraph stating what you are looking for and why this particular role appeals to you. Use this as an opening for a CV and change this every time you submit the CV as you may be applying for a different job to the last time you sent the CV.
Inappropriate email address
Think about the email address you are using to send the application from. While it may be funny to you, no employer or recruiter is going to be impressed by “mrnaughtyboy@******.com. Use another address from another site such as Microsoft or Gmail, be professional.
If you are applying for a position as Executive Chef or any other position, use the position applied for in the content or your personal profile in the CV, as this will help avoid remote screening which filters applications automatically. Employers are starting to use this, again keep it relevant.
Past Job details
Be positive, many previous job details are vague and not specific enough i.e. “I was responsible for the restaurant’s day to day operations rather than ‘I managed six kitchen staff and four waiting staff at a 30-cover gastro-pub, ordering, taking and managing stock, and providing weekly profit and loss reports to management.