Great ways to ruin your CV and your careerRoger Quinn ▼ | Tuesday November 13, 2012 5:01PM ET
One of the scariest things for every person is that moment when you should write a CV. It's incredibly easy to make a mistake and ruin the chance to get a better job. Or any job. Here's what you should NOT do.
First, you probably know that there can be a lot of candidates for a single job, right? So, try to put yourself in recruiter's shoes and think what would happen if every candidate would submit War and Peace. The point of a CV is not to get you Pulitzer, it is a test can do write short, correct and to the point. If you submit 15 pages long CV, don't expect it to be read. A cover letter is what the name says: a letter. It's not a "cover book," is it? So, be focused, keep it short and straight to the point. We know, it's easier to say than do but CV should not be a book.
Don't fall into "no cover letter at all" trap. Cover letter is an introduction to your personality, information that speaks volumes about you, while CV is mostly about work history, education and such formal info. If you put some effort into CV, you should write a proper cover letter because if you don't have it you will send the message "I had enough, can't write any more, gonna play some basketball." You got the point.
Don't send an empty e-mail with a subject "CV is attached". The only thing worse than that is to send a link to some website with information about you. That means just one thing: "I'm too lazy to write why I'm interested in your company." Of course, the recruiter will then click on your e-mail and then on "Delete."
While writing your CV and the cover letter be very careful what tone you are using. We all use different tone when talking to different groups of people. "Yo, what's up?" is appropriate for a Facebook status but not for a business introduction. "I wish you a very good day, Lady Jane" is good if you are talking to a princess but you don't speak that way with your friends, do you? "U R so COOL!" is a nice way for a message on a mobile phone. And for nothing else. You wouldn't believe that a serious person can write "U sound like awesome company, I think I'd b awesome too, LOL" - but it can. There's no LOL in it at all.
A nice way to send your e-mail directly into trash can is to address it "To whom it may concern." Do you know the name of your recruiter? You should because it's not so hard to find that small piece of information and to show that you are genuinely interested in your new company. Another beautiful way to insult the recruiter is to write "What's the pay?" If you are a good candidate, the time will come for the talk about the salary, so don't be arrogant and start that conversation in the first e-mail or during the first phone call.
And a word about typos. Indeed, there are spelling-checkers and there shouldn't be a typo in your CV or cover letter. If you don't use some software tool, a typo may slip in but that will not kill you. What certainly will kill your career is your attempt to sound "cool bro y'know what I mean!" at the wrong place. ■