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The single biggest mistake you can make when applying for a job

As a Recruiter, we see CVs of all shapes and sizes on a daily basis and while grammar and format are important, there is one standout issue that will mean the difference between getting called to an interview, or not.
Let me start off by saying, I understand, writing a CV for a job application is not an easy thing to do. It's difficult to know what to include, what not to include, how far back to go with your work history and what skills to list. On top of that, is it acceptable to stretch your CV to 2 pages or will 1 suffice?

You may have been triggered to send your CV on the back of a job vacancy you saw online and felt the need to quickly submit your application. If you've been in your current position for a number years, it's likely that your CV isn't not up to date, so you probably add in the detail of your latest position; job title, company, location, dates of employment and responsibilities.

Perhaps because we have always been told that this is the acceptable format when writing a CV - include your job title, company name, dates of employment and list of duties of that role. But, in order to stand out amongst a sea of CVs, you need to highlight your accomplishments, not just your responsibilities.
The standout issue we see with CVs is highlighting responsibilities, not accomplishments
'Selling new and used cars' is the responsibility of a Vehicle Sales Executive but it doesn't necessarily mean you are good at it.
'Selling new and used cars' is the responsibility of a Vehicle Sales Executive but it doesn't necessarily mean you are good at it. However, selling new and used cars and including the following will highlight your sales achievements:

  • X% achievement of new car target YTD
  • Average washout of €x
  • X% achievement of used car target YTD
  • Accessory sales YTD - €x
  • Increased new car PCPs to X% YTD
  • Achieved finance penetration of X% across new and used vehicles
  • X% new car service plan retention YTD
  • Achieved highest ranking CS score in dealership for x months concurrently
  • Ranked # nationally in Customer Satisfaction in x year

Yes, selling a prestigious brand is respected but it loses its benefit when the supporting details are missing. Also, including terms like, 'team player' is great, if you can support it with a specific example e.g. describing how you were a successful team player during a certain project and the contribution you made to the team.

We always recommend writing a CV with a specific role in mind, where possible. Reason being, certain skills and achievements will only be relevant to the role you're going for.

For example, if you are applying for a Senior Sales Executive position, 'proficient in Microsoft Office' may not be that relevant however, 'highly accomplished in the use of DMS and automotive CRM systems' is.

Feel free to help yourself to our free Sales Executive CV template.
Download our free Sales Executive CV Template now
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