According to the BBC, employers receive an average of 60 applications for every low-skilled job and 20 for every skilled post. Some jobs get many, many more. It’s difficult enough to convince a recruiter that you’re the right person for the job, however, before you can even present the skills and qualities that make you perfect for the role, you have to ensure your application and CV is not dismissed out of hand. One study found that recruiters spent just six seconds scanning CVs in the first round.
If you’re in the market for ex-Forces jobs you’ve probably read a lot of advice about what to put in your CV, but here are some things you should definitely avoid:
Typos and poor grammar
A CV littered with poor grammar and spelling mistakes is one of the best ways to ensure your application goes straight into the recycling bin. Use your spellcheck and don’t be like one candidate highlighted by the BBC who, lacking a comma, said that he liked "cooking dogs and interesting people".
You have a very limited amount of space to get your main points across. Keep it concise, to the point and don’t waffle.
You should make sure it looks the part, so a CV for a creative design role might require a different approach to one for a financial services firm. Remember that many CVs are viewed primarily online these days so it should be clear and easily viewed on a monitor.
Lies or exaggerations
This could actually help you get through the first round of the selection process, but you’re likely to be found out in the end and the results could be calamitous. Lots of people exaggerate a little but outrageous whoppers can only lead to trouble.