Crafting a CV for an entry-level position is not an easy task. First of all, many soon-to-be graduates hesitate what exactly they should include in this document. There is little to no experience yet that can positively influence the opinion of recruiters and HRs.

However, specialists from agree that even an entry-level CV or resume can be effective if written correctly. There are rules and standards of resume and CV writing that can help you shine. 

Still, it is better to highlight the most common unacceptable mistakes in this article to help students avoid them. Here they are in the order from the most generic to more specific.

Neglecting Cover Letters

In the era of digital communication, many job seekers find cover letters redundant. They do not only decide not to write them but try to avoid job announcements with a request for such letters.

A good cover letter is actually the best thing that largely helps you land a dream position, be it your first job or not. You will never tailor your CV to the job description as much as you can do it with a cover letter.

Also, a cover letter is the first (or second) thing a recruiter sees. If you manage to persuade them that you are a great fit in the cover letter, your CV might be looked at differently.

Sending the Same CV Over and Over

Your CV should be adapted to every job posting you find attractive. It might come as a surprise, but having a single CV for every occasion only proves your unprofessionalism.

Different job announcements have varying requirements and keywords’ sets. Your CV should cater to each. Therefore, when reading another job posting, you need to highlight the most important information and adjust your CV accordingly.

Grammar and Stylistic Errors

We do encourage you to read and proofread your final files several times as well as conduct grammar checks on them. Given the fact that your CV and cover letter are so condensed, grammar mistakes are too easy to notice. As soon as the reader spots them, one may easily become biased.

Make sure you send grammatically impeccable documents only. Give them to your family or friends for proofreading. Your close ones may also have some good ideas to include in your resume.

Outdated Contact Details

There are many students who have written perfect CVs but fail to get feedback. Wonder how this can even be possible? Easy question. 

They might have failed to check their contact details before sending out CVs and cover letters.

Many students forget to update that part when they change their numbers and/or email addresses. Therefore, all recruiters’ efforts to contact you may end up with nothing.

Improper Keywords

If you know something about SEO and online advertising, you should understand how important the right keywords are. CVs and cover letters may also be rendered by similar instruments. 

There are applicant tracking systems that filter all applicants based on how they “fit” the position.

Recruiters do not read all of the CVs sent to them. They only pay attention to those that rank high in the system. To secure a place at the top, your CV and cover letter should include enough relevant keywords (ideally from the job posting) to get through the filters

Another important aspect is the keyword relevance. Make sure that the words you use match the requirements and duties of the position you apply for. Otherwise, you risk being misunderstood by the ATS.

Clumsy Formatting

A CV package is your profile before you get to meet the interviewer. If you fail to format it in the right way, making it comfortable for your counterpart to read, it is highly likely that you will not get to the interview stage.

You need to make sure that the font and its size are comfortable enough. Also, the text should be properly aligned for your CV to look neat and inviting to the eye. Make sure to have a CV and a cover letter matching at least in style.

Wrong Document Format

Since all files you send are carefully checked for viruses and then scanned, you must make sure that your CV and cover letter are easy to open safe docs.

The most practical format for your files is PDF. Acrobat Reader is installed on many computers and allows for opening PDF files without any distortion. However, some companies specify what format they want to receive.

Irrelevant Information

Of course, no recruiter or HR wants no waste their time browsing unnecessary information or checking outdated credentials. For example, if you apply for a resident’s position, your loan processing skills are beyond irreverent and should not be placed in a CV.

The same applies to volunteer experience, courses, licenses, etc. Think about their relevance to your targeted position and mention only the crucial ones. Do not include outdated, irrelevant, or expired licenses and certifications as well.

Wrong Salutation and Closing

This mistake is pretty common in cover letters. The problem is that students forget about business correspondence requirements and try to add something on their own. However, the letter should start with a formal greeting and end the same.

Do not try to reinvent the wheel here. Address your unknown counterpart as “Dear HR Manager” or “Dear Mr./Ms …” if you know exactly who will read your cover letter. You should end your letter with closing such as “Sincerely yours.”

Bonus Tip: Keep Your Voice

You should remember that your CV and cover letter shape the first impression of you. The way you present your ideas, format the layout, and communicate in writing defines your success in getting an interview.

Therefore, use the elaborate language but do not speak too fancy. Do not make up things or lie about your skills and abilities. Speak up for yourself as openly as you can. After all, you want them to hire a real you rather than some imaginary person.

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