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3 years ago

You probably got yourself acquainted with a resume, or in other words CV, when you were still a student at school, but when we prepare for the search of a new job, many of us return to the same question – how to write a compelling CV which would help revealing our personalities and qualities best? It is becoming more and more difficult to surprise a "modern" employer as people's creativity in presenting themselves is growing and a plain formal 'cookie cutter' CV or motivational letter, often no longer stand out. However, trying to write an original resume, which would draw the potential employers attention, without deviating from acceptable norms is quite a challange. In order to help you prevent this, we highlight a few things you probably should not do when writing a perfect CV:

 1. If you are sending a motivational letter together with your CV to a potential employer, do not repeat yourself. If you included certain information about yourself in your CV leave it out of your letter. The motivational letter should be informative but concise (unless you are specifically asked to write otherwise in the position description). If it is an e-mail, specify the position you are applying for in the subject field. If it's a message, mention the position you are applying for in the first sentence. Avoid writing messages such as : 'interested'; 'interested in the proposal' etc. Do not write messages messages that do not show clear intentions.

2. Never belittle or talk negatively about your former job positions when writing letters or resumes. No matter what kind of experience you had, disrespecting your previous workplaces is not polite and will reflect badly on you. If it is important for you to mention significant negative aspects of your previous working experience, do so during the interview and in a polite manner an have a reason for doing so, maybe mention what you learned from that, or why is it important to you as an employee. Also, do not mention the reasons why you left the former job positions unless you are asked during the interview.

3. If you have sent your information to the employer and have not received any answer, do not jump to calling or writing with complaints that you have not heard from them immediately. There is a high chance that the position you are applying for is fairly popular and wanted, which means that human resources are most likely getting a lot of CVs and it is taking them some time to sort through. However, if it has been a few days and you still have not gotten any answer, then you can send a letter inquiring if they got your information and ask if the selection for the job is still ongoing.

4. Do not include your personal information such as marital status, height, weight, religion, political opinions, place of birth, etc. in your CV or motivational letter, unless you are specifically asked for these things.

 5. If you are including a photograph of yourself – make sure it looks professional (it should not contain other people, animals etc.). In general, if the description of the position does not indicate the need to upload a photo, do not upload it.

6. If you have a lot and varied experience, try to highlight newer experiences and the ones that might be more relevant to the position you are applying to. If you have acquired excellent competences in one position or another, but worked there some years ago, you can briefly mention them or leave them out completely and instead mention them during a job interview.

7. When filling in information about yourself, make sure your list of experiences and competences is not shorter than your hobbies and interests. It is better to have a concise and clear description than one overflowing with facts that are not currently relevant to the employer. In general, if your interests have nothing to do with the position you are applying for and they do not give you competences that you could use at work, do not include them at all. This is redundant information that, if you want, you can share when you start working.

 8. If your motivational letter or CV points are very long, divide them into paragraphs and separate them into statements. The text written in this way will be more convenient for a person to read and this will of course give the text a greater chance of being read.

 9. Do not write various phrases or citations that do not belong to you. If you live according to one motto or another, you can mention it, but it is important that these words are reasoned and make sense to your letter/CV.

10. Avoid high-sounding phrases about yourself e.g. 'I am a sales professional' or 'I am the best at what I do' etc.; better change such phrases to: 'I will help to increase your sales results, because I have 5 years of experience in sales' or 'I have had a lot of experience in this field and have a great understanding of it'. So, better change phrases describing you to statements on how you can help the company and why.

11. When describing past job positions, do not write general descriptions or what was expected of you in that position. Write the things you have actually done and learned in those workplaces.

12. If you decide to include negative aspects of yourself in your description, try to think up some arguments as to why they will not hinder your ability to work or how you can use them to your advantage . We would like to remind you that trying to seem like you are flawless, or worse, trying to pass off useful abilities as negative, such as being too responsible for your own good or anything like that, will seem unnatural and can make a negative impact on your description of yourself.
13. Information about you must be organised from the newest and most relevant to the oldest. Do not mingle your experiences, even if it seems to you that one is more important than the other.

14. Avoid grammatical errors as much as possible. We are all human and sometimes, even if we know the language fluently, we can make mistakes. Keep in mind that it is not the end of the world if you send in a job request a few minutes late and instead dedicate this time to checking grammar and text logic. You can do this by using free apps that you can find on Google or by asking someone whom you trust to go over your CV or motivational letter and check for errors.

15. If some of your skills are insufficient, do not mention them. For example, if you studied German at school, but cannot hold even a basic conversation, do not include that language among your skills and do not mislead the employer.

16. If you want to include contacts of former colleagues or employers for recommendations, first ask for their permission and inform them. Absolutely do not include these contacts if you have not received a response or if it was negative.

17. Be sure to provide your contacts when applying for a job and make sure that they are listed correctly and look professional.
To sum up, it's hard to fit 'yourself' into one or two pages, but when writing a description, it would be better to follow the "less is more" rule. Write only the most important information, do not try to distort and improve the reality, do not overdo it when trying to stand out and be likeable. To prove yourself as the best candidate, you should trust your competences and your ability to do the job and showing that in your resume, instead of using high-sounding phrases that more often than not seem unnatural and do not give enough information.

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