It’s surprisingly easy to make simple mistakes on your CV but once you’ve sent it off to an employer the damage is irreversible. We receive 100s of CVs every week and seem to constantly come across the same mistakes, some minor and some downright awkward.
The good news is that it is very easy to avoid these common CV mistakes and errors.
This is the most common mistake that we see on CVs and it’s also one of the easiest to avoid. Even if writing isn’t necessarily a key skill in the role that you are applying for, incorrect spelling and grammar in your CV betrays poor attention to detail and suggests that you don’t care that much about the opportunity. Don’t just rely on a computer spell-checker, get someone else to thoroughly read your CV to spot any mistakes that you might have missed.
Grammarly is also a helpful tool that you can use to check for spelling and grammatical errors. It is better at picking up mistakes than traditional computer spell checkers as it can spot errors based on context as well as spelling and grammar.
It’s best to keep your CV concise and direct. Employers don’t need to see an explanation of everything you have ever done. Stick to using short bullet points that list key elements and examples that show off the skills required for the role.
You shouldn’t apply to numerous roles with the exact same CV because every opportunity is different. Instead, try to make small changes to ensure that it matches the specific role requirements. This shows an employer that you have taken to time to understand their opportunity and what is required of you. Discover more about how you can tailor your jobs applications here.
Try to ensure that there are no gaps in your CV as this leads an employer to start speculating what you were up to in that time and you don’t want them to assume the worst. If you took some time out to go travelling or to raise a family, it’s worth mentioning it along with any skills you picked up in that time.
Listing cliché skills or buzzwords like “great communicator” and “works well in a team” is pointless without backing it up with evidence, so elaborate a bit further to prove to employers that you have these valuable skills.
An employer can’t contact you if the number or email on your CV is wrong or absent, so check and double-check this!
Stating what you’re looking for or your career aims at the start of your CV is a great opening for employers, but do avoid using fluffy lines. Be more specific than just saying that you are looking for an opportunity with progression for example.
Opening your CV with a sentence about your family and kids is something that an employer doesn’t need to see. It’s not that your potential future employer doesn’t care about your family life, but more that they need to know how you will be a part of their business by looking at your CV. Just because you’re a great parent doesn’t mean you’ll be a great employee so avoid including too much personal information or at least only mention it in the interests section towards the bottom.
Avoid these common mistakes to ensure that you make the right first impression and secure an all-important interview. Good luck!