Our consultants handle hundreds of resumes every day from job seekers looking for new roles in accounting and finance.
They see people making the same mistakes on their CVs time and time again, avoid falling into the same trap and your job hunt will be off to a great start.
Here are the top 10 most common errors people make on their CV, and some tips to help you make yours shine.
1. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors
This is by far the most common mistake people make when writing their resumes, regardless of experience, background, or expertise.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to run a spell check on your resume and proofread it thoroughly before each job application.
Grammarly is an excellent free app you can use to check spelling and grammatical errors if you’re writing your CV in a web-based programme.
Also, avoid using ‘americanized’ spellings when applying for a job with an Australian organisation. The main varieties of English have many nuances, here’s a great article that outlines some of the key differences.
2. Irregular formatting
You might not notice that your first heading and your second heading are different sizes, but we do. It may sound trivial, but if your formatting is irregular it gives the impression you have poor attention to detail.
Taking a moment to ensure your bullet points are aligned can make the difference between a rejection and an interview.
3. Forgetting to include a phone number
Your experience might be perfect, but if the recruiter or employer doesn’t know how to contact you, it doesn’t matter.
Make it easy for prospective employers to reach you quickly by always including your phone number.
4. Unexplained gaps between jobs and missing dates
Make sure you account for any significant gaps between jobs on your resume. A simple sentence will often suffice, and you can list it in the same format as your other jobs.
When listing qualifications (which for accounting and finance roles should be at the top of your resume) make sure you include the dates you graduated.
It should go without saying to include the dates for your previous roles too.
5. Unprofessional photos
When applying for jobs in accounting and finance it’s not necessary to include a photo on your resume. However, if you really want to, make sure it’s a professional one. Employers aren’t ready to see your holiday photos just yet!
6. Failing to list experience in chronological order
The rule of thumb across all industries is to list your work experience with your most recent job first, then work backward.
Failing to do this can make it hard for prospective employers and recruiters to navigate your CV and understand your background, increasing the chances of your resume landing on the ‘no’ pile.
Unfortunately, providing too much information about yourself can work against your favour and leave you vulnerable to bias.
There’s no need to tell prospective employers your age, marital status, religion, or how many children you have. Their focus should be on your skills, experience, and attributes.
8. Being too clinical and lacking personality
When you’re applying for a job in accounting and finance you don’t have too much leeway when it comes to creative license.
However, when people are sifting through hundreds of CVs adding a little personality can really help yours stand out.
Including your extracurricular activities and interests can help give people an insight into your personality. You can add some soft skills and attributes to your profile at the beginning of your resume too, for example ‘outgoing people person with the ability to handle stress with good humour’.
9. Failing to include previous achievements
Candidates often fail to include achievements they’ve made in their career to date, which is vital information for recruiters and employers. Make sure you include at least one key achievement per role. Examples could include driving business growth, hitting targets, and improving systems and processes.
10. Using acronyms and abbreviations that outsiders won’t understand
Avoid using abbreviations that people outside your current or previous companies won’t understand. If you’re not sure, just spell it out fully to be on the safe side.