Your CV is the first impression your potential future employer will have of you, so it’s important to get it right to make the right impression. It is a snapshot of your career history and what you’ve achieved in your working life. If your CV doesn’t come across as professional and clear, you may give recruiters an excuse not to shortlist you for an interview.
We look at six common CV errors and how you can avoid them.
Typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors
You would be surprised at how many CVs we receive with numerous spelling mistakes and other basic grammatical errors. With a bit of effort and time taken, these can easily be avoided. Submitting a CV with mistakes will make you look careless and unprofessional.
To avoid this from happening, check your CV carefully before you send it. Spell check software can pick up some mistakes but it’s not fool proof so ask for a second opinion, just to be safe.
Incorrect contact information
Having a CV with the incorrect contact information is very frustrating for a recruiter. Especially if it is a great CV with the potential to be a great employee for a company.
Make sure your email, phone number and address details are all correct, or you might lose out on getting your dream job.
Photographs, coloured paper and unusual fonts
We’ve seen it all! We know that CVs are never going to look the most exciting and we understand your desire to make yours stand out from the rest but you don’t want it standing out for the wrong reasons. Including a too casual photograph of yourself and using unusual fonts or fancy formatting will not grab the attention of a recruiter and/or employer.
Make sure that the words speak for themselves. Keep to a font that looks clean and make sure the design of your CV isn’t cluttered and that it looks professional.
Make sure your email, phone number and address details are all correct or you might lose out on getting your dream job.
Lack of specifics
When an employer looks at your CV, they want to know what you have achieved in your work experience and how and why this is relevant. Including a variety of relevant and necessary statistics in support will also be highly beneficial for your potential future employer as its provides evidence.
Ask yourself these 4 questions to help you evaluate the quality of content in your CV - does it say clearly:
- What your role was
- What your responsibilities were
- What you achieved...
- ...and the benefit it delivered to your employer?
Long and elaborate sentences
Avoid using excessively long words and elaborate sentences as you might risk overshadowing your actual achievements and this could also make your CV harder to read. Use bullet points instead. These help to add structure and clarity on key information you want to display.
Check what you’ve written and see if you can rewrite the information so it’s shorter and easier to digest.
Attempting a ‘one size fits all’ CV
Employers who receive generic, ‘one size fits all’ CVs generally discard them. Most recruiting managers look for tailored CVs explaining exactly why – in terms of achievements and accomplishments in previous roles – the person is appropriate for the role.
When you are writing your CV it is helpful to have the job description to hand and look at what you’re writing with a critical eye. Every word should be designed to persuade someone recruiting for the role that they should interview you.