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5 CV Mistakes that are Preventing Graduates from Getting Hired

In the competitive world of graduate employment, careless mistakes are rarely tolerated.

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In the competitive world of graduate employment, careless mistakes are rarely tolerated.

You have identified a job that you really like and have decided to go ahead and apply for it. You are confident that it is the perfect fit for you and have spent the entire day preparing a CV and cover letter. However, before you submit your application,you should be aware of a few common CV mistakes that graduates make that prevent them from getting hired.

Not checking your CV for spelling and grammar mistakes
There really is no excuse for making grammatical and spelling errors; even if English isn’t your specialty. A mistake-free CV is important in showcasing your attention to detail and precision, so make sure you check everything at least twice. Don’t just rely on spell check programmes or your own assumptions. Instead, ask others to inspect the document in detail. 

The best way to reduce the risk of making spelling errors is to take your time when preparing your CV, as opposed to writing it in a rush as you try to beat a deadline. In the competitive world of graduate employment, careless mistakes are rarely tolerated.

What makes you stand out from other graduates?
Your prospective employer is interested in understanding what sets you apart from other candidates. Look for achievements from your time studying or work experience. Highlight your successes in your CV without coming across as arrogant or vain. 

Were you a sports team captain on campus? Have you built and maintained a blog? Are you an early adopter of bitcoin in Kenya? Anything that can make your CV stand out from the others could mean a foot in the door at your potential future employer.

Too much “fluff”
Your CV may be full of clumsy expressions or clichés, and use of jargon that may hide all the interesting parts. If something is not relevant to the message you are trying to convey, take it out. You are not trying to win a literary prize, so don’t make your CV boring.

The language you use in your CV is under scrutiny from recruiters who are gauging your communication skills. Be precise and use positive words such as ‘created that’ or ‘initiated this’ to reinforce the message that you are an upbeat candidate. 

Sending off a generic ‘one size fits all’ CV
Get used to tailor making your CV to each role you apply for. While some of the roles maybe similar, each role will have a slightly different focus. Examine the job description and competencies so as to understand the requirements. 

Be prepared to tinker around with the details and sections on your CV to highlight key aspects of the information. For instance, if a crucial requirement is previous experience in a customer care role, let it appear prominently in your profile. Strive to be flexible.

Bad formatting 
Employers are turned off by CV’s that are unclear or not easily readable. Research shows that human resources departments spend an average of 8.8 seconds reviewing each application on their desk, which means you have a short window to make a favorable impression.

It is therefore vital to keep your CV concise so it can be easily absorbed. Avoid complex layouts and refrain from using multiple fonts or font sizes. Before you submit or print your CV scrutinise how it appears on your computer screen. 


Written by

Kelvin Mokaya

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