This article is written by John Nelder and is originally published in smartcompany.
“Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” If that’s a phrase that sounds familiar, you’re far from alone.
Job applications might be the thing stopping quality talents from landing in businesses, however: research shows more than nine in ten Aussie jobseekers are being held back by error-laden CVs.
Jobs site Adzuna analysed more than 50,000 CVs in their database and found that 91% were riddled with either spelling mistakes, incomplete employment histories, badly formatted file names or misjudgments on suitable length.
What, then, makes the perfect CV?
Of all the CVs Adzuna analysed, only one was bestowed such an honour. Pictured below, it’s refreshingly clean and devoid of mistakes. According to HR advisor Dina Fergadiotis of HR Staff ‘n’ Stuff, what makes it stand out most from the crowd is its clean, logical layout.
“There’s a clear objective at the top and then employment history is a great way to start highlighting your background,” she says.
“Sometimes we advise to put your skillset up the top to align your CV with the advertised job criteria. But employment history is a great place to start.
“You could even take that presentation of employment history to the next level by adding a bit about each company and achievements made while at each.”
As for all the not-so-perfect CVs out there, spelling and punctuation errors are rife. Among the CVs analysed by Adzuna, Western Australians were the worst offenders, with nearly three-quarters of jobseekers making such mistakes.
Fergadiotis says such errors are among recruiters’ biggest bugbears.
“If I’m comparing CVs, it’s all about attention to detail, especially if it’s for a receptionist or marketing role – any position where you’re going to be writing emails on behalf of the company,” she says.
“The resume is your first impression, so you need to be putting your best foot forward.”
Just as important to get right is CV length, with two to three pages generally considered best practice.
“You really want to be capturing concise, up-to-date, key information in as little space as possible. Sometimes people go on and on,” Fergadiotis says.
But she advises even the most perfect of CVs can go to waste if they’re not accompanied by a killer cover letter.
“We like to see a cover letter and a CV that has the same formatting, a similar file name, with nice clean space on both,” she explains.
“It paints a picture of ‘wow, this person has good attention to detail and present themselves as putting the best foot forward.”
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