Your CV is probably the most important tool that you have in the process of applying for a job, as it’s a window into your experience and what makes you right for the position. Given that it’s the only ‘contact’ a potential employer will have on which to base a decision of whether or not to give you an interview, it’s important to make sure that your CV is packed full of relevant information and is free of distracting errors. If you’re out to make sure you have a top notch document, look out for – and avoid – these top 10 mistakes you can make on your CV:

1. Spelling mistakes. This one’s a biggie – if your CV is peppered with spelling and grammar errors then not only will it make it difficult to read, but it will also mean that you come across as incredibly unprofessional and lacking in basic skills. These kinds of silly mistakes will usually throw a huge obstacle in the way of getting an interview.

2. Using the same CV every time. If there’s one thing employers really can see through it’s a bland CV that has been shipped round a million other jobs. If you want your CV to be effective then you need to make sure that it’s directed at the job you’re applying for. Tailor your CV for the position you’re applying for and bear in mind everything from the experience you include, to the order in which you list your previous jobs.

3. Being overly wordy. Particularly in the current working environment, most jobs have tens, if not hundreds of applicants. That means that the time employers have to read each CV is short. Make your CV focused and concise and make sure that it’s one that is read right to the end and not one where the reader gets lost in flowery language and excessive detail and gives up half way through.

4. Including the wrong information. A potential employer needs to see what you can do and this will be based on what you have done in previous roles. Your CV must include information that illustrates this – your achievements, talents and skills – not just a two dimensional list of the duties involved in your last job.

5. Providing incorrect contact information. This is something of a no brainer really, if you don’t give your potential employer the right contact information they can’t tell you if you’ve an interview!

6. Inconsistencies. Before you send off your CV make sure you give it the once over to ensure it makes sense. If your employment dates don’t match up or the university you list doesn’t actually provide the degree you claim to have gained there, this is not going to make a great impression.

7. Providing a CV that’s more than two pages. This is connected to keeping things concise, as the CV should say everything it needs to say about you, but it shouldn’t be a book. A two page CV is a great size is it’s long enough to include most of the relevant information, without giving the reader a reason to start skimming.

8. Leaving out experience that ‘doesn’t count.’ This could be anything from volunteering at a local homeless shelter to leading a team building houses in India. Although it might not seem particularly relevant to you, extras like voluntary experience can give you the edge over another candidate with a similar employment history.

9. Using ‘fun’ fonts and design. Your CV should be a professional document and using a pink font and wingdings is unlikely to convey a professional image. Stick to plain fonts and black ink and let your experience do the talking.

10. A lack of consistency. Taking on too much advice about your CV can mean you end up with a rather confused document that basically includes everyone else’s voices and not your own. Before you draft your CV, sit down and decide your approach and then stick to that – you don’t need to create exactly the kind of document that your potential employer would use, you just need to provide an effective vehicle for your skills and experience.

Ensuring that you don’t make these top 10 mistakes you can make on your CV can be the difference between an interview and a rejection. In the current tough employment climate it is worth spending a little extra time getting it right  – this kind of attention to detail can make all the difference.

About the author: Amy is a guest author who works for Gatwick Diamond Jobs – providing job search and career advice in the UK.


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  1. Top Five Resume Mistakes
  2. Top Ten Resume Mistakes
  3. 13 Resume Mistakes That Can Cost You The Interview