5 Mistakes to Avoid on Your CV

Mistakes on your CV to avoid

Your CV is a key marketing tool to sell yourself, what you have done in the past and what you can do in the future. The purpose of it is to give an employer enough information to make them think you could be suitable for their job role and thus invite you for an interview. But there are obstacles that can get in the way of your CV being the all-singing-all-dancing document that you need. 

Below, we’ve listed the top 5 mistakes that job seekers make on their CV so that you can make sure your CV is being a help, not a hindrance, in your job search. 

1. Spelling and Grammar

A CV that is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors is really off-putting for potential employers. It gives the impression that you are too lazy to proofread your work, that you don’t really care or take your job hunt seriously and that you’re not professional. You don’t need a degree in English to have a well-proofed CV, utilise the tools available to you such as spell check or Google, you can always ask someone around you to have a look too to see if you’ve missed anything.  Check out our tips on how to proofread your CV.

2. Length

CV length is a bit of a muddle. It is recommended your CV is 1 – 2 pages long. This can be quite difficult if you have 20 years experience in an industry and several promotions but try to keep it as close to 2 pages as possible. Employers spend less than a minute looking at your CV and if it is 4 pages long they won’t bother.

Keep it shorter by putting your most recent and relevant experience first, if you don’t have any qualifications specific to the role then don’t include them, do away with the hobbies section. You could even utilise the personal statement to stipulate the amount of experience you have, and you can always elaborate in your cover letter. 

3. Formatting

Formatting your CV is important not only for general readability but also because it reflects you as a person. If your CV is bunched together, cluttered and there’s barely any white space then you are perceived as being disorganised and unable to write concisely. Make sure your CV is structured so that you use subheadings and bullet points to relay key information. Also make sure you use a clear, legible font in size 10 or 12 and put headings in bold.

4. CV not Tailored to Job

When you are job hunting you need to personalise your CV to the job at hand. This will show that you are genuinely interested in working in that job, sector or company. A good place to do this is in the personal statement at the beginning, you could say something like Sales Manager with 8 years experience in technical sales looking to develop my skills in IT sales. This could be particularly good if you were a salesperson applying for a job within an IT company for example.

5. Not putting contact details

A huge mistake some job seekers make on their CV is forgetting to put their contact details on. This means that employers can’t get in touch with you! They can’t ask you any questions they need to make a decision or invite you for an interview...oops. 

The information an employer needs is your name, address, email and contact number. That’s it – they don’t need to know anything else, no date of birth, marital status, photo etc. 

Rectifying these basic mistakes could help you massively in the long run with your job search. Think of it as job seeker best practice and make sure that each CV you use is representative of you and your professionalism. 

For more handy hints, check out our other blogs:

• How to Proofread Your CV

• Writing The CV for The Perfect Job

• Why do Employers Want a Cover Letter?