A CV (curriculum vitae) is an employer’s first impression of you, so it is vital that this a positive interaction. Employers receive hundreds of CVs for job advertisements every day and it’s a lengthy task to read through them all. Due to this, many often skim read these CVs and cast aside any that appear to be unprofessional, immediately.
Therefore, it is essential to check that you haven’t made any of these common mistakes so that you give yourself the best chance of standing out and being selected for the interview.
10 Common CV Mistakes
- Only listing your job responsibilities
Many people list their responsibilities for their past and current job roles and leave it at that. Whilst it is good to show how these are applicable to the job you’re applying for, you should focus on your achievements even more. Make sure you note any interesting achievements you have had, whether from your job or personal achievements that demonstrate the skills and qualities they would like you to have for the job role for which you’re applying.
Surprisingly, a lot of people still lie on their CV. Of course, the majority of people like to make themselves sound as impressive as they can but be careful when doing this! Lying about things such as your qualifications can be found out and, depending on your employment contract, can result in immediate dismissal.
- Not including your personality
It is important to come across as professional but everyone wants to know with whom they are going to be working. Adding a section in your CV where you include a list of some of your hobbies and interests allows your potential employer to learn more about you as an individual and adds some character to your profile. It is such a quick and easy aspect to incorporate and helps you to stand out more, yet so many neglect it.
- Making your CV too long
Your CV should be on two pages at the most. This is usually for those where the job role they are applying for requires them to demonstrate a lot of experience and relevant qualifications. Ideally, you should aim to keep your CV to one page of A4.
Remember: if it’s not relevant to the job you are applying for, leave it out!
- Using fancy fonts
When you are creating your CV, there is a temptation to jazz it up a little by using fonts that make it look more interesting. However, consider how many CVs an employer will have to go through. Are they really going to want to squint and put in more effort just to read and understand what the text says? No, probably not. Choose the safer option and keep it simple when it comes to the font. Making sure that your CV is clear and easy to understand is the key thing.
- Not giving your contact information
Making sure that your potential employer can contact you is vital. Be sure to check that you have included your email address and contact number.
Top tip: use a professional email which is just your full name, not silly words, which can look childish.
- Leaving gaps in your employment history
Leaving gaps in your employment history on your CV can be viewed as negative, as if that time has been unproductive. If you do have long gaps in your employment history for any reason, please ensure that you have an explanation prepared for these. Also note that if you have had many jobs in the past, listing them on your CV can make it become very long. You only need to list the jobs that you have done which are relevant to the role that you are applying for. If that’s the reason for the gaps, just say so.
- Spelling and grammatical errors
It can look unprofessional when you have spelling and grammatical errors in your CV. Your CV is the employer’s first impression of you and what will determine whether you progress to the interview stage. Make sure you check over your spelling and grammar and ask someone to do it after to double check. You don’t want to let a small error that could have been avoided decrease your chances.
- Being generic
Make sure that what you include in your CV is tailored to the role you are applying for. Think outside of the box! Anyone can sound great on paper but why should they choose you? What makes you different?
The typical ‘I work well in a team and as an individual’ is on everyone’s CV; try to get creative with it!
- No evidence
If you’re lucky enough to make it to the interview stage, they’re likely to question you about things you’ve mentioned in your CV. These can be about your qualifications and your achievements as well as work you’ve done in the past which demonstrates you are suitable for the role. Always prepare examples of your work to bring to the interview so that you can prove that you can do what you have claimed. This will show the employer that you are capable of doing the job role as well as the fact that you are forward thinking and well organised.