Common CV/Resume Mistakes You Shouldn't Make!

  | James Innes

Given how competitive the job market is, having a compelling CV is a must for most job applicants. Yet many fail at the first hurdle because their CV fails to pass muster. Try and avoid these basic missteps to ensure you are giving yourself at least a good chance to get somebody to take your CV seriously.

·       Spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. There is simply no excuse for your CV to contain spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, even if English is not your first language. Use a spell checker and, if need be, ask a friend or family member to have a look at your CV as well.

·       Poor formatting and layout. Make sure your document is laid out and formatted properly. Use a professional font such as Arial or Times Roman, make sure the font size and spacing is consistent, avoid colour except in exceptional circumstances, and keep it to no more than 2 pages in length.

·       Not tailoring your application to the job. A CV is not a generic document. It needs to be tailored to the position for which you are applying. Recruiters can immediately sense whether you have understood the job requirements. Assess which of your skills and experience match the role on offer and highlight those. Downplay or even remove irrelevant experience.

·       Lack of evidence. Bold statements on a CV need to be backed-up by evidence. Anyone can claim leadership skills. However, the effective CV provides evidence as to how you got those skills and have exercised them in real life. Wherever possible quantify your successes – for example, increased revenue by 20%, grew customer base by 25,000 etc.

·       Including irrelevant personal information. Recruiters will only give your CV a cursory initial glance. Don’t clutter it up with irrelevant information as they may not get to the important parts.

·       Lying. Too many candidates think that they can be economical with the truth by lying about degrees, jobs held, job titles or salaries. Don’t. You will get found out. This may either come out at this initial ${cv) stage, or during interview. In rare cases, there have been people who have lied their way into a job and subsequently got found out. The result for them has been severe – professional and personal disgrace, ruin, even imprisonment in some cases. It’s just not worth it.

Research has shown that the average recruiter spends less than 30 seconds reviewing a CV. Give yourself the best possible chance of getting then to take a second look by avoiding some of the common major mistakes.

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