A curriculum vitae (also known as a ‘CV’) is the initial way that an employer gets to know you. This will determine whether or not you are chosen to progress to the next stage of the interview. Businesses receive a large volume of job applications, so it is important that yours stands out and does not immediately dissuade them with unnecessary mistakes that could have been avoided.
10 Common CV Mistakes
Not demonstrating your skills and qualities for the role
You may have plenty of great skills and qualities, but your CV can only be so long. Focus on listing those which specifically apply to that role. Be sure to mention any achievements that demonstrate the relevant skills and qualities that the employer is looking for. This will help you to stand out and demonstrate that you have the skills that they are looking for.
Lying on your CV or in an interview is never a good idea. Not only can it result in you being handed work you’re not yet capable of, it’s unfair to your employer and it can result in immediate dismissal. That’s not to say do not do your best to make yourself sound like a great fit for the role, but be truthful.
Not including your personality
Whilst your CV should be a professional representation of you, employers are also interested about the person they are going to be working with. You can include a hobbies and interests section near the bottom of your CV to help them understand a little more about you as an individual which will help to make you more memorable.
Making your CV too long
The ideal CV is one side of A4. Employers go through many CVs, therefore it is crucial to ensure that yours is concise. If you are applying for a role that requires more experience and qualifications, this can be stretched to two sides of A4. This is typically only for those who have many years of experience that are entirely relevant and necessary for the role they are applying for.
Using fancy fonts
Using different colour schemes and fonts can make your CV stand out more but it is not always suitable. Make sure that the layout still looks professional and is clear to read. When using fonts, select one that is easy to understand at a quick glance and avoid those which are deemed ‘fancy’ as well as italics.
Not giving your contact information
Always include your full name, email address and contact number in your CV. You can also include your home address to let the employer know how local you are to the workplace but this is not necessary. The important thing is that they have a way to contact you.
Top tip: Use a professional email which is just your full name.
Leaving gaps in your employment history
Provide reasons for any long gaps in your employment history. While these gaps may not necessarily be for a negative reason, employers often like to know the reasoning behind them.
Spelling and grammatical errors
Always check your spelling and grammar to ensure your CV looks professional. Mistakes such as these can make it appear as though you have taken little care when writing your CV which can translate to the employer as your lack of interest for the job.
When reading CVs, employers will often see much of the same thing being said. A favourite that many like to use is how they work well regardless of whether that is as an individual or in a team. Try to phrase your sentences in a way which makes you stand out more than the average CV. Why should they choose you over the other applicants?
If you’re lucky enough to make it to the interview stage, they’re likely to question you about things you’ve mentioned in your CV. These can be about your qualifications and your achievements as well as work you’ve done in the past which demonstrates you are suitable for the role. Always prepare examples of your work to bring to the interview so that you can prove that you can do what you have claimed. This will show the employer that you are capable of doing the job role as well as the fact that you are forward thinking and well organised.