Whether you are in your first year as a trainee or fast approaching the end of your training contract, there is no better time than now to start preparing yourself for the next step in your journey: your first real job after the completion of your traineeship.
A strong CV makes a good impression, stands out from the crowd and will have a better chance of securing an interview.
Your CV is basically a synopsis of your qualifications and skills, and is your chance to show the company why you’re the best person for the job. It’s easy to go wrong with your CV.
Here are the most common mistakes people make with their CVs and the things you should avoid:
· An unprofessional email address: This should go without saying – you’re entering the working world so an address like firstname.lastname@example.org is not going to help put across the professional impression you are trying to make. If necessary, set up a separate email address.
· Clichés: Using an expression like ‘Motivated team player and self-starter’ may sound good, but they are in fact over-used and meaningless clichés, and you should avoid using them. Choose instead to focus on the facts and use concrete examples and results you have achieved that will be useful in the role you are applying for.
· Making your CV too long: A CV should be no longer than two pages – it lets potential employers decide whether or not to consider you, so your views on politics and the latest Game of Thrones episode are unnecessary. You should include your name, contact details, education and job experience – and accomplishments and achievements within those fields – but more than that is actually superfluous.
· Grammar and spelling mistakes: Careless mistakes make you look unprofessional, so be sure to use the Spellcheck that all computer programmes are equipped with, and also give it a final proofread yourself (or ask a friend or family member you trust to check it for you) to make sure your CV is error-free.
· Lying about your qualifications or skills: Prospective employers typically do background and reference checks, so any embellishments of either your credentials or abilities are likely to be discovered. Even if it doesn't necessarily come out upfront, you will be caught out sooner or later, so rather stick to being honest and only list skills and qualifications you actually have.
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