CV Red Flags That May Prevent You From Getting the Job You Want

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For recruiters, selecting the right candidate to match client specifications is essential. But, it’s also a recruiter’s job to support our candidates and help them put their best foot forward to a prospective employer. To do so, candidates need to put forward compelling CV content that’s well-structured. 

Of course, if left unchecked, even minor CV errors present red flags that won’t land candidates the job or even the interview. Here are some specifics to watch out for:  

  • CV’s that aren’t tailored to the job – A CV shouldn’t just be a document listing a candidate’s career and educational history. Rather, it should showcase a candidate’s suitability for the specific opportunity or sector they’re pursuing. So, CV’s should be adapted to match each job description, including specific keywords and core strengths. 

  • CV’s with poor formatting - CV structure is almost as important as the content within. Candidates should format for easy reading by breaking up large blocks of text, using bullet points and bold headings to create distinctive sections.

  • CV’s that focus on duties, not achievements – Candidate CV’s should focus on the impact they made within a previous organization. The goal is to highlight key accomplishments with sector-specific achievements that prove value. 

  • CV’s littered with clichés - Overused phrases add nothing to a CV. They just take up valuable space that should instead be used for more in-depth descriptions and specific, unique content.   

  • CV’s contain unexplained gaps – Any unexplained gaps in your career should be honestly addressed. Context is key to explaining these variances to employers. Those who are open and upfront are more likely to be considered than candidates who try to hide gaps.  

By keeping your candidate in-check and helping them watch out for these common CV red flags, they’ll be more likely to secure the opportunity, which will not only reflect well on them but on you.