Tuesday 5 February 2013

Top 10 Biggest CV Mistakes

It's very easy to make mistakes on your CV and extremely difficult to repair the damage after an employer has already seen it. It is imperative that you prevent these mistakes whether you are writing your first CV or revising it for a new job search. The 10 biggest CV mistakes and how to avoid them are as follows:

1.     Do Not Head Your CV ‘Curriculum Vitae’.

It should be quite obvious what your CV is without giving it a title; if it’s not then I would suggest that you have a problem. Start with your full name, address, telephone number(s) and email address. Very often your CV will get printed off and stapled together, so don’t put your contact details at the bottom of the last page. The fact that the page looks like a CV will do the rest.

2.     Making Your CV Too Long or Too Short

There are no real rules regarding CV length, however that doesn’t mean you should start sending out 5 page CV’s. In general you should limit yourself to a maximum of two or three pages depending on experience. At the same time don’t cut the meat out of your CV by sticking to one page.

3.     Punctuation and Spelling Mistakes

Your CV needs to be grammatically perfect. If it isn’t, employers and recruiters will read between the lines and draw unfavourable conclusions about you, like “This person clearly doesn’t care” or “This person can’t spell”.

4.     Job History That Doesn’t Match The Job Your Applying For

All employers want to see a CV specifically for them; they expect you to clearly show how and why you fit the position in a specific organisation. Your key achievements should match many of the job requirements in the position you’re applying for.

5.     Highlighting Tasks Instead of Achievements

It is very easy to note tasks after tasks you completed whilst in a job but what employers are really looking for is your achievements, they want to see achievement after achievement, make your achievements stand out first and then put in the tasks you also completed.

6.     Poor Layout

If you’re CV has a poor layout it could be put straight in the bin. Some CV’s are scanned in less than 3 seconds, so it needs to be pleasing to the eye and easy to read. Don’t cram in too much information in a small font, your font should be no smaller than 10 but also make sure it isn’t too spaced out. Finally make sure your most recent job is first and the job before that second and so on.

7.     An Outdated CV Will Make You Look Obsolete

Your CV should be updated for every position you apply for. Be sure to update your skills and work history; make sure your skills set is current and tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for.

8.     Some Things Are Best Left Off Your CV

Don’t list your hobbies, no one cares what your hobbies are, your CV is not your Facebook profile. Don’t put anything on your CV that’s irrelevant to your job. If it’s not relevant then it’s a waste of space and a waste of time.

9.     Don’t Write Your CV In The First Or Third Person

It’s fine to write in first person in your opening statement, but the rest of your resume should be in bullet points. Never write in the third person as everyone knows you’re the one writing the CV.

10.  Professional Email Account

Don’t include email addresses or websites that have the potential to reveal controversial or inappropriate personal information, Make a new one. It takes minutes and it’s free.


Written by Liam Oakes

Liam is the Candidate Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 2 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.


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