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A Resume Expert Shares 8 Ways People Ruin Their CVs

Published On 03/07/2017 Published On 03/07/2017

Crafting the perfect resume is an art, not a science. To the untrained eye, your CV might color you the most hirable office-drone on the market, but truth be told, you’re probably selling yourself wrong -- (hi, horrable spellars).

Enter Tina Nicolai of Resume Writers’ Ink, who claims to have critiqued upwards of 40,000 resumes since 2010. Since she excoriates people’s CVs for a living, Nicolai has been kind enough to share with Business Insider UK the eight most common grievances she has with people’s resumes. So please, those looking for employment should take note:

1. Sloppiness:  Proofread the hell out of the thing, and even have your friends give it a once-over to ensure it’s crisp and free of grammatical and formatting errors.

2. Summaries that are too long: This is your resume, not a freakin’ novel. Keep your summaries succinct and to the point.

3. Too many buzzwords: Have you OPTIMIZED HIGH-AGILITY MARKETING STRATEGIES for an INDUSTRY-LEADING MEGA-BRAND?!? Cool story, bro. But turn down the hype and cliche for a second and talk like a normal person. No one really gloats about SYNERGY in real life.

4. Starting a bullet point with “Responsible for”: If you were employed in any capacity, you were responsible for something. Stop pointing out the obvious.

5. Being too formal: Listen, this isn’t Great Expectations and you don’t necessarily need to address your query to a “Dear Sir and or Madam.” Be polite and poised, but you won’t receive 20 lashings for bad behavior if you speak like an adult in the 21st century.

6. Sticking to a template: These things are ubiquitous online. Try not to present your resume like you downloaded it from LinkedIn.

7. Using awkward white space: Every inch of your resume has value. When space comes at a premium, it’s best to use it wisely. Watch out for excessive blank spaces in between paragraphs and at the top of the page.

8. Cramming up too much space: By the same token as no. 7, make sure you’re careful for economy too. Don’t shoehorn twelve sentences into one job description. It’s hard to digest all that info and it’s also an eyesore.

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster. 

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