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We see a huge variety of CV’s – some are great, some are… well… not so strong. Here are the Top 6 mistakes that we regularly see – if you do nothing else before sending your CV in, make sure it doesn’t fall foul of these.



1. Spelling mistakes or bad grammardictionary

Despite all the built-in spell-check features in today’s software, it’s still the most common mistake on a CV. No matter how strong your CV, errors in spelling and grammar will indicate a lack of attention to detail and could derail your application before it’s begun.

Spell-Check won’t pick up all the errors so you can’t rely on it to spot the difference between “their” and “there”. Instead, have someone else read it slowly - fresh eyes are always more likely to pick up errors on a document that you’ve been working on for a long time.

To get a sense of any grammar errors, reading it aloud can help – as can passing it through an app such as Grammarly.



2. Poor formatFonts

Remember that your CV is a representation of you on paper, which means that if your formatting is off, it will give the wrong impression.

Common mistakes are fonts that randomly change halfway down your document, inconsistent layout, obvious edits that are not formatted properly, or an over-use of ’gimmicky’ formats & colours - all big misses when it comes to CV writing.

This doesn’t mean it has to be a work of art (unless you’re perhaps applying to be an architect) – but it does mean it should be clean, professional and should scan well. Decide on a style and font and stick with it (and leave the Comic Sans font and emoji’s alone).

Finally, make sure you save as an appropriate format (Word / PDF) so you know it can be opened properly by the recipient.



3. Mind the clichéscliche

Somewhere in the world, a recruiter is rolling their eyes at yet another CV full of “I’m a hard-working, driven individual with a can-do attitude who works well independently or as part of a team” sentences.

Those attributes are great, but recruiters want you to expand on how you gained the skills and how they relate to the job you’re applying for.

A CV that showcases your skills, with real-life examples of how they add value will stand above the rest. Remember, a skill that is backed up by evidence carries much more weight than a tick-list of generic attributes, especially in an industry like FM.



4. Not tailoring your CVtailor

It’s all too easy to have a CV that’s ready to go and just sending it off without amendment. However, the most effective CV’s are those that have been tweaked to consider the role – and the organisation – that you are applying for.

How do you do that? Simple.

First, re-read the job description and pick up keywords and phrases. Then focus your CV on the skills you have that address those requirements – with examples of course.

Second, research the company to get an idea of their culture/ethos. Tweaking your CV so it speaks to those values will make a recruiter feel that you will be a good fit for their organisation.

Your CV should highlight the elements that are relevant to each job.



5. Too long / too shortpapers

Most people believe that a CV should not be longer than 2 pages, arguing that a recruiter is likely to switch off if it’s any longer than that. In general, this is a fair starting assumption, however, when it comes to a career in FM this may need a rethink.

The FM industry is extraordinarily diverse and more varied in terms of roles. Trying to condense all your experience onto 2 pages can often miss out the all-important relevant experience that may get you the job.

It’s often the case that recruiters (who may not themselves be experienced in the FM sector) are looking for keywords on their mental checklist. If you’ve over-condensed your CV you are in danger of them missing the fact that yes, you have exactly the skill-set they need.

At Hexagon we can of course help you with this dilemma as we have the industry knowledge.



6. Correct (and appropriate) contact detailsmagnify

It’s easy to focus so much on the content of your CV that you can miss errors on those all-important contact details.

If you aren’t 100% certain that your phone number and email address are correct then check them again. Imagine the frustration of a recruiter who likes what they see, then can’t get in touch to take it further because of a typo on your phone number.

Almost as importantly, make sure your email address is an appropriate one. If your personal email is still one you set up when you were thought making it funny would be kind of cool, then it’s time to set up a new one.

The one thing that is almost certain is that drunkendave@davemail.com is unlikely to get too far through the recruitment process!


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