CV mistakes = less breaks

CV writing is a skill, so many people without practice make common CV mistakes that blow their chances. A CV (curriculum vitae, or ‘what has happened over your life’) is your representative and yet people don’t take enough time with them.  You could always go to a CV writing professional, but that costs money. Avoiding these top 10 CV mistakes should make your CV a lot better without spending money.

1. Not enough research

You need to think long and hard about how your attitudes, skills and achievements match the job on offer. Likewise, you need to know a fair bit about the company. This means you do have to do some research and soul searching to bring these two together. How will you match your personal details with the needs of the company? Not doing enough research is one of the classic CV mistakes.

cv mistakes

2. Leaving out details

Ninety percent of job hunters concentrate on their personal details like: date of birth, address, colleges attended, job history and the like. They forget to include how they are what the employer needs (which relates to number one on research). The employer is only really interested in the value and benefits you might bring to the company.

By the way, you do not have to provide your age, nationality and whether or not you are married.

3. Plain old mistakes

Nine out of ten CVs are filled with structural errors. For example, your work history is not in date order (starting with your current job). Or they don’t include the hottest information up front. Some are so badly written and structured that they make little sense.

Spelling and grammar mistakes are a definite no-no. Ask someone else if they wouldn’t mind checking through your CV for typos, grammar or spelling mistakes. It doesn’t take too much time but is worth it. These particular types of CV mistakes give the impression you couldn’t be bothered.

4.Too many pages

Recruiters spend literally seconds, not minutes, reading CVs. If your CV is too long they probably won’t read right through it. Many ads say how long the maximum should be, so check this out. It is possible to briefly explain your achievements, what you’ve done and your milestones. Don’t go into excessive detail, because you need to keep some stuff up your sleeve for an interview too. The ideal number of pages is one or two.

5.Overwhelming amount of information

If you go into mind numbing detail about your knowledge and skills in the expertise section, your reader probably won’t remember the details, so they will be lost in a sea of words. Tailor your CV to every job by choosing relevant knowledge, skills and achievements. If possible, organize them by groups, and will help you avoid at least one of these ten CV mistakes.

6.Not targeted

Your CV needs to be reinvented for every job. Your recruiter should find relevant details in your CV. Pick out outstanding details that are related to the role you’re going for. Take out the ones that are not related or useful. For example, if you are applying for a tech job there is not much point telling them about when you were a barista one summer.

Your main CV can be several pages and includes absolutely everything about ‘what has happened over your life’. But it needs to be edited each time. So next time, don’t just send your last CV to print – go through it and add or take out things so they match the position.

7.I don’t get it – how do you stand out?

A professional CV has no CV mistakes, and the results gained from every experience are clearly explained. What are your highest achievements? Writing about these will demonstrate your ability especially if the goals you’ve reached are what the company wants. Set yourself up as the one.

cv mistakes

8.Appearance is unreadable

Don’t dress your CV up with fancy fonts, colors or borders. Use fonts like Times New Roman, Arial or Verdana as these are readable and common. Make sure to keep the font size above 11 too, because not everyone has perfect eyesight. If you use colored paper it can be off-putting. People just want to get straight into the information – if you make it too fancy you might look like a schoolkid.

9.Referee details are wrong

It is imperative that you provide accurate details for your referees. Also, ask the person before putting his/her name as a reference. You need to include their name (spelt properly), title, company and contact details. Some people may prefer email to phone, so ask them about that too.

10.Interest and hobbies are too out there

Mentioning how much you like to go out drinking and partying with mates is probably not the best hobby to list. It is a good idea to add something in this section though as it gives people some idea of the kind of person you are outside work. Volunteering is often viewed favorably by employers, so include any you have done too.

Mistakes can look like they’re not important. But CV mistakes really let you down. You can use these as a checklist, if you like, for your next application.

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