A CV is a person’s first, and sometimes last, impression to a potential employer and the key lies in being succinct, clear and engaging. Yet few know just what to include and what to avoid, which is why Peter Yang, CEO of Resume Writing Service shared some lesser known topics to steer away from.
Irrelevant hobbies and interests
“Everyone has a hobby, and most people think that the more unique it is, the more it will make them stand out from other candidates.
“But hiring managers don’t care about how you spend your free time — at least not immediately,” Mr Yang commented.
“Of course, it’s okay to include your hobby if it’s related to the position you’re applying for.
“If it’s a finance job, for example, mentioning that you like to dabble in cryptocurrency investing can be seen as a plus. But if you’re trying to land a medical research assistant role, don’t bother.”
Too many soft skills
There has recently been a steep uptake in trying to learn as many soft skills as possible, but as it grew in popular so did the gimmick of adding all of them onto ones CV.
“Too many candidates overdo it with the soft skills, and hiring managers are very aware of this common ploy, so you might lose credibility when start listing too many.
“I generally recommend having more hard skills than soft skills.
“For the soft skills that you do include, make sure they are demonstrated and not just stated.
“Instead of just saying you’re good at multitasking, for example, it’s better to include something like, “Led multiple projects from start to completion, leading to an X percent increase in X.”
A professional headshot
It may be tempting to make ones CV more visually interesting is to add a headshot, but this is already a controversial move in the recruitment and hiring industry.
“For starters, some managers and recruiters have told me that they find it ‘unprofessional’ or even a bit ‘tasteless’.
“Whether it’s the way you dress, your gender, race, or just how you old look — these are all things that can potentially impact a recruiter’s decision-making, even if it’s done unintentionally.
“Lastly, there’s a small possibility that the photo can affect your resume format, leading to technical difficulties when it goes through applicant tracking systems,” he commented.
Deciding whether to write in third or first person, or whether to even include full sentences, no one writes their CV in the same style but personal pronouns such as ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘we’ should always be avoided.
Mr Yang explained: “It’s your resume, so it’s already implied that everything on it is about you. Instead of writing, ‘I managed five employees,’ just put ‘managed five employees’.”
“Hiring managers want candidates who are at least somewhat tech-savvy and that means not having an email address from an outdated account like AOL or Hotmail.”
While this used to be an industry standard, if there’s the possibility of one relocating for a job it’s better to leave this out as employers may prefer local candidates.
“Recruiters don’t need to know exactly where you live during the early stages of the hiring process.
“It can also become a security risk if your information gets stolen.”
Including older positions
“Unless you’re a recent graduate or a senior executive with decades of experience, you should include no more than four or five positions that span no more than 10 to 15 years.
“The older the position (unless it was at a big, well-known company, or is closely related to the job you want), the less hiring managers will care about it.”
Mr Yang concluded: “Rather than dive into outdated work experience, use that precious resume space to flesh out the details of your most recent jobs and accomplishments.”