Four CV problems solved

Is your CV suffering from one of these four problems? Let us help you sort the situation out – after all, you're far more likely to nab that great job if that all-important resume is representing you the way it should.

It's full of spelling mistakes

Spelling mistakes are a major problem on a CV – don't doubt it for a moment. The most impressive list of achievements is genuinely made significantly less impressive if it's littered with silly errors. After all, if you haven't taken the time to ensure your work has been presented properly, you're that bit less likely to be taken seriously.

The solution

Not all of us write all that often and not all of us are great at spelling. British spelling is also notoriously difficult – but that's no excuse, especially given the technology that's out there at the moment.

Your first step should be to spellcheck absolutely everything (tip: ensure you're using UK, rather than US spelling, as there are some key differences). Next, don't just take what the technology says as the ultimate truth – get some human eyes – preferably someone who has serious spelling skills – to look over what you've written and alert you to any errors.

It's 16 pages long

A long CV may seem like a good thing, after all it shows you've got lots of experience right? Wrong: even the most fantastic CV shouldn't exceed two pages in length. Not only does this make it easier for the person who might be able to hire you to read, it also shows you know how to present the most relevant details succinctly.

The solution

It's a case of being concise, without leaving important things out. Sound hard? that's because writing in this way is a challenge, but an important one. The key is to look for any sections where you're explaining things in more detail than you need to and cut them down. Also consider how things like bullet points could help you summarise things more smoothly.

It's in Comic Sans

An unusual font may have seemed like a good idea when you first drafted your CV, but it's a much better idea to go for something more conventional that won't stand out so much as to potentially overshadow your work and make a bad impression.

The solution

Don't simply change everything into Times New Roman without a second thought (although you're unlikely to go far wrong with this font choice). Rather, try out some different looks and see how different underlined or bold elements make a difference to your CV, before making a final choice. Get someone who is good at spotting whether something is visually appealing to check your choices if possible.

It's confusing

There are lots of reasons a CV can be confusing – it may be that you're not presenting the information in quite the right way verbally, or maybe it's that there are problems with how things look that makes it all difficult to follow.

The solution

It may sometimes be appropriate to ask for CV feedback at the end of an interview. Your interviewer will know better than most people whether the CV has made the right impression. However, at this stage, chances are you will have been doing some things right. Again, asking a friend to read the document and tell you whether it all makes sense can help pre-application. 

Berkeley Scott is a specialist hospitality recruitment agency.

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