Neville Rose, director at CV Writers, offers his CV advice for horticulture professionals
Everyone makes mistakes. We are human after all. However, if we repeatedly make the same mistake and expect a different outcome then it may be time to reflect and take a different approach. So, if you have been sending off your CV and not getting any responses, then our 5 CV blunders to avoid may help you in understanding how changing your approach could really pay dividends.
Using a generic, single version of your CV
No two jobs are the same and you should therefore not use the same CV to apply for two different roles. Even roles with the same job title are going to have different requirements. So, read person specifications carefully and align your CV to these individually. The scatter gun approach to applications is much less effective than concentrating and tailoring a few with thought and focus.
Copied and pasted job descriptions
Your CV needs to demonstrate specific achievements and be supported by measurable examples. Just lifting a job description without any kind of personalisation will not engage the reader. Think about it, if every head gardener simply copied and pasted their job description into their CV, how would a recruiter be able to tell whom had performed well and should be invited to interview?
Spelling and grammar
If you think your CV is error free you might want to double check. According to research by Adzuna, 46% of CVs uploaded to their site had two or more spelling mistakes. Spelling and grammatical errors stick out like sore thumbs to recruiters. The number of great candidates who have missed out on interviews because of errors in their CV must run into many millions. Get a second person to proofread your CV.
It is standard practice not to include references in a CV. You don’t even need to mention ‘references available on request’. Why? Quite simply because it is too early in the recruitment process to provide them. You only need to provide references after you have been made a job offer. It is better to use the space in your CV to extol your achievements to get that interview in the first place.
Overly designed CV formats
Your CV should look professional, clean and clutter free. Try to stay clear of using colour, infographics and fancy typefaces. Make sure the headings stand out so the reader can navigate their way around easily. Your CV will not be assessed on the design but rather the content. Job board software cannot read infographics so any information within them could well be wasted.