Op-ed

Common CV writing problems & how to fix it

Sheharyar Kaleem

Anyone who has written a CV has probably had to overcome a number of challenges – whether they be lack of work experience, gaps in employment or explaining a short stint that didn’t work out.

Facing these issues when writing your CV does not mean you’re not a worthy employee, it just means that you must find ways to explain areas that may appear negative to recruiters. If you’re struggling to explain discrepancies on your CV, the following examples will show how you can reflect your experience more positively.

Overcome the Gaps in CV

Many people go through periods of unemployment, it’s perfectly natural. But leaving
unexplained gaps on your CV will arouse suspicion with recruiters, so you need to meet the issue head-on and explain it. Whether you have taken time out to travel, taken on a personal project or cared for a loved one – you need to include this information and put a positive spin on it.

CV is too long

If you are an inexperienced candidate such as a recent school leaver, you may lack the work experience your target employers are looking for. To get around this, you need to draw out transferable skills from other areas of your experience and highlight them. For instance, you could use experience from your studies, voluntary work, personal projects or anything else that relates to the jobs you are applying for.

Lots of short roles

Nowadays it’s common to have short roles on your CV but it can still be a turn-off for employers if not properly explained. Some recruiters may assume you have been fired or lack commitment. To avoid appearing unreliable or a job-hopper, explain the purpose of each role and what you achieved before moving on. This will show you added value and fulfilled an important purpose for the organization.

The writer is a Human Resources & Administration Manager