Your career is too important to take a job-search risk.

From putting up a shelf to gluing homemade greetings cards or crafting decorations for a family event, we've all had a go at DIY. And most of us have experienced a DIY fail too! The shelf crashes down, the card falls apart and your decorations look low budget rather than on trend. But it's rarely a problem – after all, you can learn from your mistakes and start over again.

When it comes to your career, however, DIY is a risk too far. Your CV fail could mean that you miss out on your dream job and are overlooked for opportunities that seem like a perfect fit. That's when you know it's time to call in the professionals. Some projects are just too important for DIY, and your CV deserves an expert. Here are some common DIY CV fails that could be costing you the interview – and ultimately, the job.

You've made basic mistakes

It's not just spelling and grammar mistakes that will send your CV heading to the bin – although they're obviously a huge red flag! A professional CV writer will be aware of the latest best practices in CV writing, which DIY CV writers often overlook.

For example, maybe you've included your date of birth or nationality. Well, they're no longer required due to anti-discrimination legislation. Have you included contact details for your referees? Again, these aren't needed; references aren't usually taken up until much further along in the recruitment process, and it's unlikely that your referees will thank you for uploading their personal details online. A photo? Whatever were you thinking?!

And it's not just what you've included that could be causing a problem. Missing details, such as dates, contact information and a professional profile may mean that you're not selling yourself as well as you could be.

A CV-writing expert will be up to date with all of these current CV requirements and more, thereby eliminating the amateur feel of your CV and giving it a more professional touch. They'll take out the superfluous information and add in any missing details, giving a rounded impression of what you can offer.

You've not included achievements

CVs have evolved since the days when job hunters would just jot down a list of their day-to-day responsibilities (or even copy their job description into their CV!) and expect to get an interview. Now, with the job market being so competitive, it's vital to set yourself apart from other applicants and really show how you've contributed to your organisation in a quantifiable way.

A professional CV writer will be able to draw out your achievements and successes and present them in a manner that makes it easy for an employer to see the value you can add to their business. By considering where you've saved, improved, won and delivered, you'll be gaining an advantage over the competition and really proving that you have the skills and abilities you claim to possess. Working with a professional to think about your achievements and successes in this way also prepares you for an interview, when you'll need to have specific examples of your abilities fresh in your mind.

It's rare that a DIY CV will focus on achievements, and even rarer that they're presented to deliver maximum impact, so this change alone can make a great difference in helping you to achieve your goal.

You haven't optimised your CV for the ATS

If your CV isn't optimised for an applicant tracking system (ATS), it may never reach the eyes of a recruiter. ATS software will utilise keywords to sift out unsuitable candidates and select only the most appropriate CVs for progression. If your CV is getting stuck at this stage, your chances of being invited to an interview are severely reduced. If the computer isn't prioritising it, a human isn't seeing it.

The ever-increasing popularity of the ATS means that this is an area you simply can't overlook. Your CV writer will have a sound understanding of ATS requirements and will ensure that your CV is correctly formatted and contains the right keywords to help you through this stage. By getting a professional in to help with this, you'll be eliminating one of the main problem areas of a DIY CV. 

So beware the DIY CV. Save your creative handiwork for less important tasks and put your career into the hands of the experts. They'll put a professional polish on your CV, leaving you free to polish off your latest DIY project.

Here at Top CV, we have a great team of professional CV writers waiting to help you. Get in touch to see how your DIY CV measures up with a free CV review, or get your own dedicated writer on board for a complete CV overhaul.

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