What most of the people don’t know is that, when checking the applicants’ CV’s, recruiters are either very bored and in a crappy shitty mood, either are they in a hurry and they don’t they have enough time. That’s why you need not only to avoid common “stupid” mistakes, but also to inject something special in your CV to succeed to trap the recruiter and make it spend more and more time reading it. One single error found, and you are screwed up. Game over. Yes, that’s the way it is. Yes, this is not a game for “week” people. You don’t anyway naïvely expect to get a respectful salary and a position in a respectful company when you apply with a “disastrous” CV. Here is what MUST be avoided:
- First thing’s first: writing your own name, as stupid as it seems it is, people usually mix the French and the English way. French people write their last names in capital letters (like Chuck NOURRIS). English people hate that because they think you are yelling at them when you write in capital letters (so the English way is then Chuck Nourris). Within the same topic, but not exactly related to this point, people don’t make the difference between Mr. and M. : Mr. refers to “Mister” in English (like Mr. Donald) and M. refers to “Monsieur” in French (like M. Donald). People usually use Mr. in French, “Cher Mr. Donald” is just wrong and wrong and wrong.
- When you don’t respect the structure standards of a CV information flow, you are screwed too. The standard structure is: Objective (for English CV’s), then Academic Curriculum, then Work Experience & Projects, then Technical Skills, then Languages, then Extra-Curricular Activities, then Interests, then References (if any). the Languages and Extra-Curricular Activities may sometimes be inverted (depending in which one you are stronger, consequently, which one you want the recruiter to read first).
- Unorganized crowded way of writing information about your education or projects / experience. When it becomes harder to read those parts. The recruiter becomes irritated and loses interest in continuing the reading. That’s normal, he can barely follow you. Game over, too. The point here, try to keep you information well structured, well spaced, well presented, well said. Use tabulated writing, something like this will provide a comfortable way of reading (never mind of the 1. and 2.):
- 2007 – 2009, Bla: Blablablablablablablablalbablablabla
- Spelling mistakes: a number greater than 2 of spelling mistakes will reflect that you don’t even master the language with which you are writing the CV. Then when it comes to the Languages part, the recruiter finds: English: excellent (assuming that English was the language the CV is written). you are busted, it’s either you don’t know how to evaluate yourself and you don’t know what you are talking about, either you are lying. Don’t worry which possibility the recruiter will pick up, you are done anyway.
- A “dead” Extra-Curricular Activities part. Apart from consulting companies and recruiters who are looking for “human-robots” or for someone who does just only his own job without socializing, communicating, interacting (in other words, they are looking for a “static human code generator”, in the software developer case), This part is as important as the Work Experience & Projects (which says what you have done technically) part. This part says what you have done in your life. Have you ever done something beneficial to your university, society, community, team ? What are you good at except working ? What can you ever do except coding ? Because the company will be your university, your society, your community, your team. Then if you were completely useless and selfish during your student life, no reason that you would change later. Recruiters don’t like those passive, consuming-only, programmed-robots applicants. If you are “Extra-Curricularily” dead, don’t expect to get the job of your dreams, if you ever have any.
- Fake Interests part: lying candidates can be easily spotted when the recruiter comes to this part. Why ? Because candidates usually don’t differentiate between a hobby, and a theme. Reading is not a hobby, Music is not a hobby, Sport is not a hobby. Those are vague endless limitedless themes which contain other vague endless limitedless other sub-themes. On the other hand, “Reading police novels” is a hobby, “Listening to Smooth Jazz music” is a hobby, “Tennis Table training every Thursday” is a hobby and a pastime. Those are more reliable, those are more trustful, those are real and those really reflect what someone does in his pastime. Avoiding this famous mistake will save you ass from ending in the trash.
This article should complete, in a way or another, my previous one which is: “Points to consider in your CV/Resume”. Of course there are other points not mentioned here, there will always be other points. It’s just impossible to bring them all them together in one article. I hope this will be helpful to you. Don’t forget that when you apply and tell that you studied in a given university and when your application is a hell of mess. It’s your university that will take the blame, it’s your university’s reputation that will be affected, this will be negative to yourself and to where you come from as well. So let’s apply “responsibly”, let’s give a good impression about where we come from :)