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Top CV Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

January 20, 2022

Creating a CV or improving/updating an existing CV is often a task filled with dread for most. But fear not, we are here to give you some common CV mistakes and how to avoid them to ensure that your CV stands out.

Too many personal details

Leave out anything that doesn’t show the potential employer why you’d be the best candidate for the role. Things such as:

  • Full address – Employers do need to know your approximate location, as you are more likely to have longevity with a role you commute less than 45 minutes to. Your full address however is not something you want anybody to be able to access on a cv database for security reasons. Put something similar to: Battersea, London, SW8
  • Relationship status – Your potential employer does not need to know if you are single, married or in any sort of relationship. It’s not relevant to whether or not you’d be able to competently work for them.
  • Date of birth/Age – Unless you legally need to be within a certain age category for the role, they do not need to be aware of your age.

Making it too long

Your CV should be a maximum of 2 A4 pages.

Not networking

LinkedIn is an incredible online platform for interacting with others in your industry. It’s a great opportunity to reach out directly to hiring managers as it works as an online CV/Portfolio. Networking at events such as trade shows or conferences is also a fantastic way to meet others in your field.

Spelling and grammar

Spell check is fantastic and is highly advised before you send your cv to a potential employer, but sometimes it’s not enough. Get a second opinion from a friend or family member as they may spot something you’ve missed.

Formatting and Layout

  • Use a template: There are many great example CVs and layout templates available to give you an easy to read and engaging CV. Canva is a great free website to use where you can edit templates.
  • Use bullet points: Bullet points help reviewers scan information quickly and will make your CV easier to read.

Photo

I advise not adding a photo to your CV. Whether it’s on purpose or not, a picture on your CV could result in discrimination on the basis of age, gender, race, religion or other factors. Your resume is an important document to help you secure a job interview, and hopefully a position within a company, so don’t give a potential employer any reason to focus on your appearance rather than your skills.

Not tailoring the CV to the role

Most candidates don’t bother changing their cv depending on the role that they are applying for. A more personal CV that is tailored to the specific job you’re applying for is much more likely to be chosen for an interview. Things you can do to tailor your CV:

  • Mirror the language used in the job description. Use keywords and attributes desired in the ideal candidate from the job description in your own CV to catch the recruiter’s eye.
  • Add a short introduction at the top of your cv. Something that states who you are, why you’re right for the job and why you’re the best candidate.
  • Using your most relevant job history. Focus on boosting the parts of your employment history that are most relevant to the role you’re applying for. If you do not have a relevant experience, focus on your transferable skills.
  • Add some personality. Sometimes people get so focused on what they think employers want to read, that they completely forget to add their own personality to the CV. “Be yourself, everybody else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

Good luck on finding your dream role!