It’s amazing how many people say they want a job but their actions suggest they really don’t! At CV Medic we hear the success stories, and the horror stories, and here’s our round-up of the top ten lazy mistakes that have cost candidates dearly in the hunt for employment:
1. Cutting and pasting cover letters. Seriously – it’s the biggest short-cut and it leads straight to the bin. Every organisation has a story about somebody who sent them a cover letter saying how much they’d always wanted to work for their biggest rival. Sainsbury’s get letters listing Tesco, Apple get applications citing Samsung, even Dior get letters saying people have always wanted to work for Yves St Laurent! Tailor your application with care, because laziness shows. As Business Insider*reveals – this is the quickest way to not get a job!
2. Talk about the organisation with interest and authority. Don’t just put its name down in a couple of places in your CV and think your job is done. Always wanted to work for Oxfam? Say why. Been a fan of Ocado Tech since the beginning? Be clear about what appeals to you.
3. Learn about your target audience – dedicated job-seekers make sure that they know exactly what the position entails, and shape their CV to that position. Lazy job seekers simply hope that one CV will suit all targets and it won’ Lazy CVs get a lazy response – they are chucked in the general direction of the bin.
4. Keep it simple. One page CVs really work because it’s like showing up to a first date in your best clothes. A four page CV is like you couldn’t choose between a ball gown and jeans so you wore both – it’s lazy and stupid and turns people off. Get somebody else to read through your CV and be ruthless with it – this is where a professional CV writer from CV Medic can really help you show up like a pro.
5. Remember that it takes two. Your CV is not all about you … you’re the product that’s being advertised by your CV, so you need to be clear, direct and persuasive. No doubts, no long explanations that only show you’re not sure you’re right for the job – talk about the job and why you’re right for the job. The other half of the equation is the reader, the person who puts CVs into two piles: ‘interview’ and ‘don’t take further’. Learning to think like the reader will help you write a CV that gets you interviewed. Thinking like yourself is lazy and only gets you into ‘don’t take further’
6. Check your tenses. Lazy CV writers leave their previous jobs in the present tense. Make sure only your current position is present tense – everything else should be past tense.
7. Be intelligent with questions. Filling in forms and completing applications can be nerve-wracking but you’d be amazed how many job applicants use their CV to ask really stupid questions like ‘how much holiday will I get’ or ‘where are you based’? 90% of such questions can be answered with a little research and the other 10% should be kept for interview, if they get asked at all. It just looks lazy to ask such for such basic information in your CV or cover letter and it suggests you have no brains and no initiative.
8. A biggie for emailed or uploaded CVs is the filename. A recruiter told us recently that she received nearly 1,000 applications for a vacancy – and that several hundred of them used the same filename – mycv. As she put it, ‘If they get to be lazy, why shouldn’t I?’ She put those CVs to the bottom of her list and by the time she’d filled all the interview slots with suitable applicants there were still dozens of mycvs to be opened. Guess what? They didn’t get the chance to show why they were best for the job because they were lazy. A good filename is first name, last name and month/year – but here at CV Medic are great at helping you work out the filenames for online CVs, so why not get some help?
9. Asking people to do your job for you is lazy. So sending your CV to a company and asking them to work out which job or department would be best for you is a truly terrible idea. Who wants to hire somebody who’s already shown they are not willing to do the necessary work?
10. Don’t be lazy about time and effort. Add a couple of details to your CV that shows you know what the hiring company is looking for. For example, if you are a cross country runner, you can mention that you recently took part in a 10k race ‘very similar in terrain to the one X Company sponsored last year’ or if you are a graphic art fan ‘I noticed that X Company’s most recent logo revision in 2007 used my favorite font’. Anything that shows you’re energetic and interested will help you get onto that interview shortlist.
Sheikh has been involved in the employment and recruitment industry, both in the corporate and third sector for many years now. He is more than experienced and has worked with a variety of prestigious organisations. You can follow him on Twitter for news, updates, advise, hints tips and strong doses of daily inspiration @CV_Medic