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The 3 biggest product manager CV mistakes and how to prevent them
The hiring manager of a company will only spend between 8 and 9 seconds on average reading a CV, and the main reason for this is that they just don’t have the time to sit and read every single word of every CV they receive.
With so many applications being sent for just the one job, you can understand that the hiring process needs to be as swift and as efficient as possible. If you make just one of the following errors you are going to likely end up on the ‘no’ pile.
To help ensure your CV makes a great first impression, here are the 3 biggest CV mistakes and how to avoid them…
Giving too much information
Providing too much information on a CV is not going to help the hiring manager to quickly see that you’re the right person for the job. The employer doesn’t need to see your life story, and although you may have all the right skills and qualifications, they are going to struggle to find them hidden between all the irrelevant information.
What to do:
Your CV needs to be focused on the company and the role, and by using the job advert you should be able to extract all of the relevant information in order to tailor your CV. Check to see which specific skills have been requested, qualifications and experience, and then construct your CV around this vital information.
Another great way to find out more about the company is to check out their website, Facebook page, and any other social media platform they use. See what type of customers they have, what product or service they offer, and get a feel for what they are looking to achieve.
The employer wants to see a relevant and focused CV, and not a generic one. There is no need to list absolutely everything you’ve ever achieved if it is not relevant – and most likely won’t be!
Using too much generic language
Everyone that has ever written a CV has been guilty of using cliché statements like, ‘I am a fantastic team player’, but the problem with this is that it’s too generic and doesn’t hold any substance. The hiring manager can’t just take your word for it, and wants to see actual evidence of your performance and skills.
What to do:
Try to keep the generic statements to a minimum, and focus your attention more on highlighting your achievements and past performances. Rather than simply listing all of your tasks and responsibilities for each job title, you should also go into more detail of how you performed.
A successful project, an amazing idea that generated more revenue, exceptional customer service – these are all great examples to provide that would add credibility to your CV and prove that you are not just all talk and no action.
“An achievement consists of three components:
- Using a particular skill.
- Carrying out a particular activity.
- Getting a measurable / quantifiable result / benefit.
The simplest means of doing this is to employ the ‘What?/So What?’ formula, a two-step process that asks:
- What did I do?
- So what? What was the quantifiable result?” ~ International Hellenic University
Creating your own product manager CV template
If you decide to create your own CV template and layout for your information, you are going to struggle when up against so many other professional CVs. Everything has to be perfect – the layout, the font, font size, headings, paper quality, colour, spacing, and so on. It won’t matter how amazing your credentials are if they are not very well presented.
Remember, an employer will only spend a few seconds skimming through your CV and could decide to reject it based on the presentation. With other qualified applications to choose from that are professionally presented, you can understand why presentation is so important.
What to do:
Use a CV template!
As simple as this sounds, you no longer have to struggle with the task of creating your own CV layout when there are literally hundreds to choose from online. Some CV templates are even designed specifically for a particular role or industry, which makes choosing one even easier.
All it takes is just a few minutes to decide which one you’d like, and then you can focus the time you’ve saved into writing a great CV. Don’t forget, you can also edit the CV template if you want, to ensure it fully meets your needs.