The smallest single mistake could be stopping you from getting your job, CV expert Patrick Harnett told Australian news.
Mr Harnett, a former recruiter and now a career coach and professional CV writer, said that the most common and indeed the costliest mistake he sees, is that applicants include their date of birth. He also added that jobseekers often indirectly give their age away anyway.
“A big one I see is a lot of people thinking they have to list their date of birth, but that’s a big no-no because it can lead to ageism. It’s also against the law to ask [an applicant’s] age, so don’t list it down on your resume,”
“People ask why – and it’s because if a hiring manager asks a recruiter or HR person to find someone aged 30 to 35, even though they shouldn’t ask that, if you are 36 and apply, you could be absolutely ideal but you won’t be brought in for an interview.
“Another mistake is mentioning age identifiers on your resume. If you have the year you finished year 12 or a list of employment going back to the 80s, that’s going to reveal your age, so be very wary of putting down dates.
“A lot of people also use email addresses like [email protected] – a lot of people tend to use their year of birth in their address, and it’s a dead giveaway.”
Whilst there is no definitive length for a resume, Mr Harnett recommends that job applicants have a CV no more than two or three pages maximum.
And it isn’t just the age that is letting down jobseekers. Mr Harnett, who established his resume writing business five years ago, also said that all too often simple grammar and spelling mistakes are all too prevalent in people’s CV’s.
Another area to avoid is in the use of “HR buzzwords”. “Never directly copy and paste the information in the job ad to your resume … when everyone says they are a confident, motivated, self-starter and a team player, all those words are used over and over again and they start meaning nothing to the reader,” Harnett said.
Formats are important too said Harnett. You can use a good free resume builder to establish a good, clear format which presents the information well and gives the reader what they want to see without having to look for it.
As a final point, also strongly suggested excluding any reference contact details unless specifically requested in the job advert.
“If you don’t include your referee details, it gives you more control over the referee process,” Mr Harnet concluded.