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Crafting a Standout Resume: Avoid these mistakes in your Resume | Tara Rathnayaka | Wellington

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Your CV is your first impression of the employer, so it is essential to write it attractively and have the most relevant information. I have had the opportunity to review quite a bit of CVs from the community and came across some common improvement areas that I want to point out in this article.

This article will be helpful for people who are new to New Zealand and trying to secure employment. Paying attention to these things when preparing your CV to apply for jobs is essential. Make sure the things you add to your CV add value and present your experience and skills.

  • Career history – most recent to Old

I have seen most of the CVs have a career history starting from the old job you had. I am still determining the rationale behind this, but get your most up-to-date details on the top, so start your career history from your current job/ place you are working. Also, mention your title, organisation, and the time frame (start year- to date).

  • Remove high school information.

Most Sri Lankans mention their high school details in their CV. When this happens, employers can see this as strange, and you are a candidate who is not current. As per Sri Lankan culture, people tend to judge based on their high school / social status, but this is not the culture overseas. They would need to find out your high school, which would not be relevant for them if you have your most recent educational/professional qualifications.  So, it will not add value to your CV; instead, you will lose space to mention something important.

  • Unnecessary personal details

The other item I have seen most of the CV mentions far too many of your personal details. As I have mentioned earlier, this can also be seen as strange, and you are someone not up to date. Especially in NZ/ Australia, employers are not interested in your personal details and are looking at your experience and skills. So, having your personal details in can distract your valuable information and put you down in the shortlisting process. If any detail is important for a certain role, the employer will mostly have a form for you to fill.

  • CV Template

Your resume’s format is just as important as its content. Stick to a format that makes it easy for employers to skim through and easily find your experience, skills, and career goals. Once you find a format that works for you, stick with it throughout the rest of your resume.

Most people think having a very colourful, fancy CV format will help them get shortlisted, but it is different. Here is some formatting to avoid headers, footers, fancy font sizes and styles, and too many borders. The most important part is how you are presenting your skills rather than having a fancy format.

  • References.

If employers want to speak to your references, they’ll ask. It’s generally assumed that someone applying for a job will have a list of references available. Including a section about them on your resume is a waste of prime resume real estate.

  • Presenting the most important details on your CV and the order 

When I reviewed most of my CVs, I saw that the order of the items could have been more helpful, so pay attention to what you should mention in your CV and what order. Employers are interested in knowing your recent, most relevant information for the job they are hiring, so try to make it eye-catching from how you present. So, my recommendation is to focus on your

  • Profile summary first – talk about your main skills and write an overview to start with.
  • Then if you are applying for a role that needs technical skills.
  • Then go for your career history
  • Mention your career achievements.
  • Workshops/training that you have attended relevant to your job and given you learnings.
  • Educational qualification- can go end of the application.

Most of the organisations nowadays in Australia and New Zealand form what I have experienced adopting the best HR practices, and it is a trend to focus on best HR practices/innovations. To bring this to a reality most companies are prioritising adopting diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies into their organisation and it starts from recruitment practices, so it is very important to reduce bias, so most of the organisations are now introducing Blind CVS.

Understanding current trends in the market and recruitment practices will be helpful for you to understand how outdated your CV will be if you present yourself with the mistakes mentioned above.

By Tara Rathnayaka – Wellington

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