Simple CV Writing Tips to Get Your Resume Read

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CV writing

Recruiters Flip through your CV in 7 Seconds

Recruitment managers can receive hundreds of CVs for every advertised post and discard most of the applications. CV writing can be a challenge. However, there those common mistakes that job seekers make that get them rejected. When drafting your CV, remember recruiters have hundreds of CVs to read through and they spend as little time as possible on each.

Keep in mind that your CV is what will secure you an interview and if recruiters are not reading it, you will not move to the next step. This is your first impression, make it count.

Here Are Some of The Things That Recruiters Look At

  • Format

If your CV format is complicated and needs translating or explaining, you will keep waiting for that interview call. Your CV format should be simple, easy on the eye and avoid of clutter and unnecessary information.

  • Sections

When a potential employer looks at your CV, their eyes rush over your name, email address, qualifications, and previous work experience. Ensure that these sections are on the first page of your CV. In the work experience section, it is wise to quote the period of time you were with a certain company. Also in work experience, do not list your job description, rather list your achievements in that role and how you helped your department attain its goals.

  • Role Titles

The potential employer will go over your previous job roles looking to see your relevance to the current position they are looking to fill and your career growth over the years. Ensure that you state your previous titles clearly.

  • Turn-over

Your potential employer will be highly interested in knowing how long you lasted with your previous employers. It is wise to separate the permanent jobs from the part-time ones to avoid the illusion of job-hopping tendencies.

  • Little Obvious Things

Issues like typos, bad grammar, poor formatting and wordy sentences are a turnoff to anyone reading your CV.

Why Recruiters Bin CVs

Below are the main reasons, given by hiring managers, on why your ‘perfect’ CV is not helping you secure the all important interview.

  • Your CV Contains Irrelevant Information

CV information

Remember, a Human Resources Manager quickly skims through your CV in 7 seconds. This means that you have a very small window to capture and retain their attention. Avoid including unnecessary information such as marital status, religion or age in your CV as these tire the recruitment manager before they move to the most important parts. Irrelevant information also lengthens your CV and this might make the recruitment manager avoid reading it.

Keep it brief

How To Correct This:

Optimise your CV by staying relevant. Leave out unnecessary personal information unless such information has expressly been requested. Read through the required skills and competencies for the job and only point out what is relevant to the job. Your CV should also not be a dumping ground for everything you have ever done. Above all, keep it short and precise.

  • Lack of Keywords

Technology has literally revolutionised our lives. Hiring managers are, thus, using computer programs to skim through your CV and pick out the best candidates based on certain standards. If your CV lacks certain keywords, the hiring software automatically eliminates your CV from the recruitment process even if you have all the necessary qualifications; and this means that your CV will not be read.

How to correct this:

Keywords help the hiring manager to closely fit a candidate to the advertised position. Read through the skills, competencies and main duties and responsibilities and map your skills with keywords you feel are the most relevant. This will help the hiring software to quickly pick up keywords in your CV for short listing. If your title or key responsibilities do not use the exact words as those used in the advertisement, then tweak them a little bit so that they are as close as possible to the terms used to get your CV to be read.

  • You Do Not Highlight Your Accomplishments

Proper structure

When conducting a recruitment drive, the human resource manager is looking for a result-oriented person. Too many job seekers only highlight their responsibilities and fail to point out what they have accomplished. For example, if you are in customer service, you can say “During my tenure at company X, the customer engagement improved by 50% due to timely and personalised responses.” This will show your actual value and you can get an interview to further discuss your strategy.

How To Correct This:

Your accomplishments should be your main selling points. State what you accomplished in your position without going into details. You may, for example, say, “Improved customer satisfaction by promptly responding to queries via email.” This shows that a particular action on your end improved the company’s operations. A failure to state accomplishments often leads to CV binning as the hiring manager is not sure of what you can bring on board.

  • Poor CV Structure

This can never be over emphasised. Although there is no standard formatting, there are certain guidelines on how to write a good resume as pointed out in our in-depth guide here. If your CV lacks a chronological flow of dates and experience, the employer rejects it as they do not have the time to figure out your experience.

How To Correct This:

Ensure that there is a chronological flow of ideas and information on your CV that correlate with your cover letter. This ensures that the recruitment manager can follow your skills and experience with ease and make a decision based on the available position.

  • You Do Not Qualify for The Advertised Position

Finding a job has become hard in the current economic climate and as such, most job seekers apply for open positions even if they just meet the basic qualifications for the job. This is one of the main reasons why your CV will not be read, as recruitment managers will consider you incapable of handling the job. It can lead to frustrations as you constantly feel rejected despite having some skills that you find applicable to the job.

How To Correct This:

Ensure that your skills and experiences fit the job’s requirements as closely as possible. Narrow your job search to only those jobs that match your qualifications closely to avoid rejection.

  • Failure to Customise Your CV

Every job advertisement is unique as different companies look for different skills and experiences. However, most job seekers have a standard CV that they submit for every job advertisement.

A HR manager quickly skims through each CV and if your CV does not immediately sell you as a good candidate for the job, chances are very high that it will not be read thoroughly.

How To Correct This:

Once you read through a job advertisement, go through your CV and remove any information that is not relevant to the job. Tailor your CV to suit each job application so as to improve its chances of being read. This also shows focus and attention to details.

  • Lack of Contact Information

Believe it or not, some candidates submit their CVs with no contact details. It often baffles employers how a well-written CV can lack such vital information as there is no way of reaching out to the candidate. CV writing is a critical undertaking that requires close attention. Candidates who provide unprofessional email addresses also leave a hugely negative impression. No one is looking to hire the next candy_princess@gmail.com.

How To Correct This:

Pay close attention to contact information, apart from ensuring that your CV is bespoke. Ensure that your contact information is accurate and correct. Provide a logical email address and a phone number that you can be reached on anytime. Ensure that your email address is professional. A fancy email just does not show seriousness.

  • Spelling and Grammatical Mistakes

Surely, sending a CV with grammatical, spelling and formatting errors will definitely reduce its chances of being read. One crucial skill that employers look for is attention to details. Mistakes communicate carelessness and laziness. You do not want to be qualified for a job and lose out due to avoidable mistakes. Recruiters hate carelessness so do not give them an excuse to bin your CV effortlessly.

How To Correct This:

Mistakes are the surest way to ensure that your CV is not read. Avoid falling victim to this error by carefully going through your CV before submitting it. This will give you a chance to weed out any grammatical, spelling or formatting mistakes you may have made. You can also enlist the help of professional CV writers to review and rewrite your CV for you. This is your chance to dazzle so do not take any chances with it.

For more information on CV do’s and don’ts, watch the video below and share your thoughts in the comments. 

How To Find a Job

Posted by BrighterMonday Kenya on Wednesday, August 8, 2018

 

Mueke Katwa
I have two years experience in Business Support which covers Human Resource as a function; and a lifelong passion in creative writing.
 

115 COMMENTS

    • Hi Fabisch,
      Thank you for your support in our services and we are glad that they are of great value to you. Keep it BrighterMonday for more information on career development. ^AN

    • You’re welcome Cliff.
      We are glad you are now well equipped.
      All the best please write to us if you need more assistance.

      ^TM

    • Hi Charles,
      Thank you for visiting our website…unfortunately you are on the wrong website please understand we are an online jobsite. If you are in need of those services just find from other channels and you will get assisted.

      ^TM

  1. Hi Brightermonday,

    Should one include referees?
    If yes, how many?
    If no, can someone just say ‘References are available on request’?

    ^MNjoki

    • Hi Mwangi,
      Thank you for reading.
      We are glad you have been brought transformed . Keep it here for more tips and advice.

      ^TM

    • Hi Juma,

      Thanks for reading.
      We value your support and readership.
      Stay tuned for more.

      ^TM

  2. Great information indeed.
    May I request you to disseminate such vital information to Universities, colleges and high schools too.
    These can help breed great thinkers, potential career developments and have a better Kenya to live in a corruption free society.
    In some cases our names betray us even when one qualifies for certain position in a company.
    Bravo brighter Monday-keep us updated and help our young generation get what is best for them.

    • Hi Yussuf,
      Thanks for sharing your sentiments.
      As per your request, we will keep you updated on the latest jobs available.

      ^TM

  3. hey there,can you possibly require to have 2 or 3 cv for different job applicatons based on your qualifications?.

    • Hi Eden,
      Thank you for reading. With regards to your question, the CV must be standard because if at all you apply two different positions from the same company, then the one doing the shortlisting comes across the two, then they might have second thoughts even if one matches their criteria, so make sure that your Cv is well constructed, one that includes all your working experience and qualifications. Read also from this http://bit.ly/2qYQXBT article and get tips. We hope we have helped you and if you need more advice, feel free to write to us.

      Have you installed our App? Click here http://bit.ly/2jZt7S

      ^TM

      • thanks for reply.but with regards to my questions above ,am asking if for example i want to apply for NGO jobs in X co. and ACCOUNTING jobs in Y co. thanks

        • Hi Aden,
          You can just apply but as we had explained earlier, let it be standard because if you frequently edit you CV because of applying different job category then not only will it limit you chances of getting feedback, but it will also delay your time of application because you will find that more time is spend on constructing the CV. We have a large number of job seekers online who apply so if yours does not fall in the first bunch, it will likely not get viewed so application should always be immediate. We hope we have answered you accordingly.

          ^TM

    • Hi Birech,
      We dont have a specific CV that we can send to you but from the article here http://bit.ly/2qYQXBT you will get tips to draft one and also inclusive there is a sample Cv attached that you can use to draft.

      ^TM

  4. Wonderful and informative information. This is what we job seekers need. Most job seeker don’t secure an interview due to ignorance or perhaps lack of knowledge on how to present one’s applications.

    Keep it up Brightermonday for the good work.

    • We agree Leah, a cv which is not well drafted or failure to enter key details can contribute to one not being considered. We also have written an article that is in lined with this, click here http://bit.ly/2c4BL3F

      ^TM

  5. Nice article. I keep trying but i have never gotten it right with key words and skills.
    Any pointers to the right direction?

  6. hi,
    I’m fredrick martin my issue is I need to know my mistake because since i joined in this link I didn’t get any call for an interview,So, where is my mistake cause some time I knew may be level of education is real challenges to me,
    thank you.

    • Hi Fredrick,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      We checked from our end and realized that you dont have an account with us. Kindly follow the below procedure to create one.
      – using the the URL below:
      http://bit.ly/2qIbVJa …… click on the sign up tab to create your job seeker account.
      -Once logged in to your account, please update your profile by clicking on “My Career Profile” (a complete profile should have a 99% profile completeness percentage)
      – Ensure that you upload a fresh C.V on your profile by following the below process:
      . click on ‘Upload CV’ tab, browse and attach your CV, which will be automatically saved on our database. Make sure you attach your updated CV each time you apply for a job.
      – You can also create job alerts by clicking on the circled icon at the top right corner of the page. Select the ‘My job alerts’ option from the menu that appears on your screen.

      Feel free to get back to us if you need further assistance.

      ^TM

  7. Hi admin, I have been applying for jobs with Brighter Monday but I have never won an interview, what could be the problem?

    S.m.mutuku

    • Hi Salesius,
      Kindly review your account and make sure that you have updated your cv and profile. They are very important because the two are the key elements that recruiters look at. Read articles here http://bit.ly/2ng8Hup
      to help you on that.
      ^TM

  8. Hi, thank you for your help
    Actually this is helping.

    Can you please view my CV so that i can understand if i did correct it well. because after these tips i have undergone my CV and tried to make some corrections.

    Thanks.

  9. Hallow,thanks for this it’s real help me a lot,but also I have applied for many jobs through brighter Monday but not called for an interview it’s real disappointing, please will you help me to review my cv,it’s there on your database
    Thanks

    • Hi Anna,
      The list below can shed some light on the possible reasons that might have led to your current predicament;
      Do you send applications to job adverts that match your skills?
      Have you updated your CV since last year?
      Do you write a customized cover letter for each application?
      The number of job seekers has gone higher since last year, making the talent pool larger and you have to ensure your CV stands out from the rest.
      Start by editing your CV to reflect all the skills and experience you have gained.
      subscribe for alerts that are relevant to the career you wish to pursue.
      Update your profile to over 97% to make you more visible.
      We hope all these measures will help to improve your chances of being considered.

      ^TM

  10. Hi, what would be wrong with my cv? I haven’t received any response from potential employers. Gone through your article a lot makes sense. Kindly advise.

    • Hi Abunery,
      The list below can shed some light on the possible reasons that might have led to your current predicament aside from your cv
      Do you send applications to job adverts that match your skills?
      Do you write a customized cover letter for each application?
      The number of job seekers has gone higher making the talent pool larger and you have to ensure your CV stands out from the rest.
      Start by editing your CV to reflect all the skills and experience you have gained.
      subscribe for alerts that are relevant to the career you wish to pursue.
      Update your profile to over 97% to make you more visible.
      We hope all these measures will go a long way to improve your chances of getting feedback.

      ^TM

  11. Hey,

    I’d like to be a guest writer.

    How can I proceed with this? I sent a message last week but no response from your team yet.

    Please advise, thank you.

  12. Hello, I’ve been a member for long , applied for most jobs advertised in here bt only been to a single interview.. Check if I am anyway wrong, .thank you 😊

    • Hi Baraka,
      Thank you for writing to us.
      If you have been successful enough to be called for an interview, then your major problem lies in the interview and we have written several articles that can assist you on the same. click https://goo.gl/gsBXtp. You also need to review your account and ensure that your CV and profile are well update. All the best and if you have more questions feel free to write to us.

      ^TM

    • Hi Kelvin,
      There are several reasons that are contributing to that and the list of questions below will help you to figure out the root cause.
      Do you send applications to job adverts that match your skills?
      Have you updated your CV since last year?
      Do you write a customized cover letter for each application?
      The number of job seekers has gone higher making the talent pool larger and you have to ensure your CV stands out from the rest.
      Start by editing your CV to reflect all the skills and experience you have gained.
      Subscribe for alerts that are relevant to the career you wish to pursue.
      Update your profile to over 97% to make you more visible.
      We hope these measures will go along way to increase your chances of being considered.

      ^TM

  13. Hey..am.Joseph Mwangi,,I have been updating my cv and making applications time after time but I have never received any call,please tell me the problem.

    • Hi Joseph,
      Thank you for reading.
      We understand your frustration and if you want to increase your chances of getting feedback make sure that you update your CV and profile. The jobs which you apply have to be jobs that matches your skills and more importantly your time of application should be immediate. All the best and if have more questions for us, feel free to write back to us.

      ^TM

  14. Hallo Brighter Monday,
    Lately applying for jobs via your link is becoming a nightmare and frustrating. Applications do not seem to got through.
    I have an account with you. What could I be doing wrong. Nothing happens when you click “Apply Now”. Advise please.

  15. i have been applying for jobs severally with this site and no response back..i did it even for a whole year but no phone call for interview leave alone the job..

  16. Hello thank you so much for the tips. Can I please have a format or a sample of a perfect CV so that I compare with mine and make the necessary changes thank you.

  17. Thanks for the heads up nad advice it really helped. I recently reviewed and shortened my CV from a 3paged to 1page. Hope that will attract some attention. The only thing remaining is getting a professional email. Any advice on that.

    • Hi Antony,
      We are glad you have followed our instructions.
      To apply any job through our site you need to click the apply button and your CV will go directly to the company you have applied to although there are jobs that entails one to apply via email and its only when they have highlighted in job description.
      ^TM

  18. Hello there,

    This is Robert, a quick one!! Have applied like a thousands jobs but none of them or rather no call for interview, what could be the issue to my cv.

    Thank you so much

    • Hi Robert,
      Your CV could be one of the reason but your profile if not completed could also contribute in not getting any feedback. Kindly update your CV and profile and in addition to this, ensure that you apply jobs that matches your skills. We have written good articles which will help you on both right here.
      If you need more advice, feel free to write back to us. All the best from us.

      ^TM

  19. Hello,am winfred.Am really made so many application since i joined this website and have never being called for an interview,where is my mistake please?

    • Hi Winfred,
      Below are a few highlights on possible reasons that might have led to your current predicament aside from your cv

      Do you send applications to job adverts that match your skills?
      Do you write a customized cover letter for each application?
      The number of job seekers has gone higher making the talent pool larger and you have to ensure your CV stands out from the rest.
      Start by editing your CV to reflect all the skills and experience you have gained.
      Subscribe for alerts that are relevant to the career you wish to pursue.
      Update your profile to over 97% to make you more visible.
      We hope all these measures will go a long way to improve your chances of getting feedback. ^AN

  20. Hallow,thanks for this it’s real help me a lot,but also I have applied for many jobs through brighter Monday but not called for an interview it’s real disappointing, please will you help me to review my cv,it’s there on your database
    Thanks

    • Hi Marvin,
      We are sorry you feel that and totally understand how frustrating it must be to make all those applications with no success. We don’t dispute that it is a little bit challenging and we attribute that to the fact that we have a lot of users also actively seeking job placements on our system.

      In view of this, we always advice our users seeking jobs to take up a challenge of making sure they stand out EVERYTIME when making an application. We are still very committed to turning that experience you have had working on our system, around and with such, please send us your query of ‘CV Review’ to customercare@brightermonday.co.ke ^AN

  21. I have been received an email than my CV have been read each and every time but I have never been admitted to be in an interview yet.

    • Hi Margaret,
      Thank you for sharing with us.

      Most of the time, we fail to secure interviews because our profiles, Cv’s and cover letters do not represent us well.

      To help you turn around this situation, we will share with you an article on our blog written by experts that shed light on good CV and cover letter writing. Have a look here: http://bit.ly/2w6JuqH ^AN

      • Also Margaret Mburu, this is just to help you. Your comment above has at least 5 grammatical errors. I am a CV reader and from my experience, grammatical errors in a CV are a NO NO. My advice would be that after you type out your CV, please go through it 4 to 5 times, read each and every line and make all the necessary corrections on typos and grammar before clicking ‘send’. This way you will be very sure that it has no mistakes. May be the reason you never get picked is because of the said grammatical errors. This is a kind comment, please do not feel offended.

        • Hi Nyawira,
          Thank you for your sharing your point of view.We appreciate your continued support.

          ^TM

  22. Hi, thank you for the info its very useful, am grateful. I need you help, i believe in myself and i know am skillful and ambitious to my area, however, i have had bosses who cannot see the ability in me because am cool and soft spoken. that makes me feel overlooked. what could be my problem and how can i improve myself.
    Please give my a job.

    • You’re welcome Ibrahim,
      Now that you know, ensure that you put into practice the tips you have learned here. All the best!

      ^TM

    • Hi Ibrahim,
      You are welcome and we are glad that our services are of great value to your career. Keep it here for more! ^AN

  23. Hi, Thanks very much i have learn something.
    I need help , i just need a sample of cv to compare with mine if it is okay.

    • Hi Ngomi,

      We are glad we inspired you. Kindly put all tips into consideration and we believe you will have positive feedback soon. ^AN

  24. Real piece in deed. Am one such who has maintained the same CV without a change for well over 5 years. With this insight I believe I’ll start editing based on potential employer expectation.Thanks to Brightermonday.

    • Hi Evance,
      A CV should capture your achievements and such if you have experience as a customer service officer, then you should highlight your achievements and core competencies as a customer service officer.
      ^EK

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