Want to ensure your CV is shortlisted for your dream job? Avoid making these five rookie mistakes:

  1. Spellings and Grammar: Nothing turns off a recruiter more than spellings or grammatical errors in a CV. Think about it – if you were hiring a candidate, what are the two fundamental expectations you will have? Good communication skills and diligence. A CV with spelling or grammatical errors shows you lack both.
    Success Tip: Always proofread your CV before sharing it with your hiring manager. You can use free apps available online to do so. You can also ask a senior or a mentor to proofread your CV for you before submitting it.
  2. Inconsistent Formatting: After spelling and grammar mistakes, what makes recruiters squirm are inconsistent formatting or multi-colored CVs. Common errors here are some points numbered; others are bulleted. Some text has a black font color, while another text has a grey or blue font color.
    Success Tip: Always ensure your CV has the same formatting standards throughout. If you are using numbered lists vs. bulleted lists for sub-points, continue to use that throughout. Refer to Aon CoCubes’ CV Builder Template to help you design a consistent format for your CV.
  3. Mentioning Incomplete or Extra Details about Your Experience/Projects: Most first-time job seekers tend to have CVs in two extremes – either short or very long. Brief CVs lack information about the projects you worked on and what your contribution was or what you learned from that internship. While long CVs mention extraneous details such as what the company does, information on the role, manager, etc.
    Success Tip: How long should your CV be? Ideally one page. To keep your experience and project details relevant and concise, mention three things – what your project was about (1 line), what you did/contribution was (1 line), and what was the impact/learning from the project (1 line). If there are quantitative metrics to demonstrate impact, mention those. For instance, if your internship was developing an app and the app got 10,000 downloads in a month, mention that.
  4. Mentioning Old or Irrelevant Extra-Curricular Achievements: Avoid mentioning competitions you have won in school to make your CV look better. Similarly, avoid mentioning achievements that are irrelevant to the role. Here’s an example – a candidate applying for an IT analyst doesn’t need to mention how she won a debate in 6th Grade. Nor should she mention about the Rangoli-making competition where she won 1st prize recently.
    Success Tip: If you do not have significant achievements in college – don’t worry. You can mention your hobbies or interest in this section. If you want to highlight achievements from school, mention those achievements that are significant such as state, national, or international -level achievements.
  5. Having Too Much Personal Information: Most jobs do not require you to add a picture of yourself or mention your parents’ name, marital status, or religion. Avoid mentioning these unless the Job Description explicit asks you to mention it.

In a nutshell, always keep your CV concise, professional, and relevant to ensure you maximize your chances of getting shortlisted. Click here for Aon’s CV guide.

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