Posted Jan. 11, 2013
Refreshing your CV as you prepare to apply for postgraduate study?
Make sure you avoid these top 10 no-no's...
- Typos - Don't rely on spell check to do the hard work for you. Go through your CV with a fine tooth comb. Once you've checked it, check it again, and again, then give it to someone else to check!
- Foolish Fonts - If you thought you could add some pizzazz to your CV by using a quirky font, stop right now. Cheesy fonts scream 'I have no idea what I am doing'. Keep it professional and simple.
- No Cover Letter - A cover letter is the most effective way to introduce yourself and grab the attention of the interviewer. This is your opportunity to show exactly why you are the perfect candidate for your selected postgraduate course, totally aside from what is already included within your CV.
- Blank Space - It doesn't have to be overly wordy or ten pages long, but a CV that is only half a page will give the impression that you don't have enough job/life experience. Even if you haven't ever had a job, you should at least have other things you could include such as volunteer work or hobbies.
- Inaccuracies - Small inconsistencies can and will jump out at the reader. Do you have periods after some lines but not after others? Have you kept a consistent font type and size throughout? If you want to come across as someone who is attentive to detail then pay attention to the little things.
- Objective Statement - Objective statements are outdated. Ditch it! You don't want to paint yourself into a corner. If you want to make the reader sit up, and spurt hot coffee from their mouth as they scramble to make an appointment with you, forget about an objective statement and opt for a short, snappy, powerful headline instead.
- Irrelevant Information - Be sparing with what personal information you include on your CV. Too much information can be overkill. If it's not relevant scrap it.
- Bad Formatting - Think easily digestible. Don't make your CV hard to read by using lengthy sentences and big blocks of text. Opt for bullets, headings and an overall visually pleasing structure.
- Burying Important Information - When writing your CV think about the benefits you have to offer, and make them as obvious as possible. The interviewer will be asking themselves 'Why should I interview this person?' Make sure the answer is loud and clear.
- Including Every Job You've Ever Had - You don't need to list every job you've ever had. If it's irrelevant or something that happened donkey's years ago, lose it. Your CV should present you in the most compelling light. Stick to recent achievements and accomplishments.
Have you made any of these mistakes on your postgraduate CV?