Regardless of the finite university, degree of education or experience, many philologists make the same mistakes in their CV. Today I will describe the ones that have caught my eye and I will tell you how you can avoid them.
1. Professional experience that is irrelevant to a given item
A common problem for both fresh masters and more experienced candidates. While the students, due to the lack of sealing wax, simply try to fill in an empty CV, people with some experience should only choose what is somehow related to the current recruitment.
What jobs should you not include in your CV?
Let’s say you apply for the German language teacher position. If in the last two years you have worked in 10 language schools, write only those about which you could tell something more about the interview. In one of them you only taught 2 months, after which you gave up for various reasons? You can easily omit this in your CV. If, in the meantime, you also worked as a salesperson in a bookstore, you should also not include it in your CV. Let the recruiter focus only on your most important achievements.
What if your previous experience is only indirectly related to the current application? Let’s analyze this scenario: for the last 2 years you have worked in a corporation in an international team. You were involved in the creation and editing of documents in English. After hours, from time to time, you did minor translations and tutored. Now you would like to become a full-time translator. Wondering what to write in CV …
Although your previous position as a full-time employee in the corporation had nothing to do with the translations, it is indirectly important from the point of view of the recruiter. In the end you worked with an English-language text. You probably have features that are key to translator like analytical thinking and perceptiveness. A person experienced in recruitment can read between the lines. And what about tutoring? In my opinion, you do not have to mention them unless you have special achievements in this area, which you should show off.
Is writing a temporary and occasional work in a CV a good idea?
CVs full of small jobs commissioned are a common case among students who are just starting to look for their first job and have not yet gained any significant experience. Let us assume that you are looking for a job as an English-language copywriter, but until now you only had the opportunity to work behind the bar. Even if it was a bar in the heart of London, it makes no sense for you to mention it in your CV. Yes, maybe 20 years ago it had some meaning, but now it is not.
In this case, focus on internships, volunteering and other student initiatives. List the training and courses you finished, even those online. For the recruiter, you will be prepared to take on various tasks, demonstrate proactivity and take care of your own development.
2. Linguistic errors, misspellings and other shortcomings
Language is a showcase of a philologist. Not only foreign but also native. When you make mistakes in your CV, you shoot yourself in the knee. It is as if the shoemaker was wearing holes in his shoes. Check your CV 10 times. Then give it to someone else to check. Every two pairs of eyes are not one. The CV is a bit like the story. He must see for a time in the drawer. Give yourself 2 days and come back to him. Sometimes a fresh look helps to spot shortcomings or ambiguities.
Quite often it happens that a CV in a language is required for recruitment, which you will use every day in a new job – a language that you should be able to use well as a philologist by profession. It is astonishing how many of these CVs contain basic errors.
The ones that caught my eye the most, during the recruitment I carried out, for example, an incorrect translation of a field of study or university. Try to always check what is the official name of your studies in a given language, just go to the university website or do a small research on the internet. At this point, we come to a very important contentious issue, i.e. …
English philology or English studies?
English philology refers rather to scientific discipline than the name of the field of study. On foreign, eg American universities, English studies are the equivalent of our English studies. What’s more, the average native speaker does not know what English philology is, but English major or English studies do. Confirmed info.
3. Outdated information
Do you know how often a candidate is surprised by a fact from his own CV? And it would seem that he should know it from the inside out. As a rule, this is due to the fact that he prepared it “once there” and did not even look into it before sending it.
It is worth taking a look at the CV before clicking the “send” button, and it is best to update them on a regular basis. Whenever you get more experience, have completed a course or acquired new skills, add it to your CV. Update them on a regular basis.
4. One CV for everything
I am an advocate of having several versions of my CV, which are adapted to a specific position or company as in the following scenarios.
Two CVs for companies from two different industries
I deal with copywriting and translations, but when applying to a marketing agency, I would not send the same CV as for the translation office. It is better to approach these two different professional paths individually.
The professional experience I have in copywriting may not necessarily be of interest to a professional translator and vice versa. Reading about my experience in preparing a marketing strategy will be a waste of time for a translator-recruiter. He will be more interested in my recent projects regarding the location of the phone application. Make sure that information that is irrelevant for a given recruitment does not distract the recruiter from the most important.
Two CVs for two different companies in the same industry
Many companies on their websites give the industries or lists the largest customers with whom they work. This information can help you personalize your CV for a particular employer. For what?
To extend your experience with similar clients or related to the same industry in the foreground. Build your CV around what is most important for a future employer, expand the description of similar projects that you have made, choose those from your skills, which the employer particularly emphasizes in his job offer. Keep the least important facts to the background so that they do not divert attention from the most important one.
Make your CV last
It’s a good idea to regularly update your CV, both in terms of content and appearance. The philologist can not afford any language errors: neither in English nor in a foreign language. Ask to check someone who has an eye for detail. It is a pity that a typo or language mistake will warn you of the recruiter. Also, remember to include in the CV only the most important facts from the point of view of the position you are applying for.
If you do not know where to start, use one of the designs that I prepared especially for philologists looking for a new or first job. For a good start