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12 Common CV Mistakes To Avoid
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12 Common CV Mistakes to Avoid

When you send off your CV (Curriculum Vitae) to a prospective employer or job agency, you want them to be so impressed with your skills, experience and enthusiasm that they want to know more about you and invite you for interview. However, if you send in a CV that is sloppily presented, has numerous mistakes and information missing, it is far more likely to be shredded. To avoid this fate there are common errors that you can avoid making and increase your chances of being shortlisted.

1. No contact details: It may sound obvious but you’d be surprised at the number of people who leave these off their CV. They can’t tell you that you’ve been shortlisted if you do!

2. Incorrect contact details: As above, they may find it impossible to contact you if you have given the wrong or out of date details. Make sure that these are correct.

3. Poor layout: Chunks of continuous prose with no headings or bullets, making it harder to read.

4. No “action” words: If you don’t use any action words such as “initiated”, “researched”, “managed” “devised” you will give the impression of being very boring and probably not someone an employer would want in their organisation.

5. No professional development: Most employers want to see that candidates have continued to learn and increase their knowledge in their chosen field.

6. Failure to address criteria: This is a foolish and unnecessary CV mistake to make. Make sure that you understand from the person specification and the job description that you understand the sort of person an organisation is looking for.

7. Poor examples of experience: If you want to be shortlisted then you need to include specific examples of your achievements and the impact they have had. Too often people say something like “I have successfully managed a team of 20 staff” without saying why it was successful.

8. Most recent job last: However, you are listing or writing about your work experience, you need to ensure that you talk about your most recent first. It is after all what employers will be most interested in.

9. Obvious lies: Of course you want to sell yourself in the best possible light, but in my view it is foolish to lie. You could get caught out and could jeopardise your chances of getting a job.

10. Unexplained gaps: There are lots of different reasons why someone may have a gap in their employment history, but you shouldn’t just ignore them and hope someone won’t notice. Make sure you explain any gaps.

11. Wrong tone: Writing as if you would be doing an organisation a great favour by going to work for them, will win you no friends. Of course you want to show what you would bring to an organisation, but you must not write as if you would do that as a stop gap before you move on to something bigger and better.

12. Incorrect spelling, poor grammar or typing errors: If you produce a sloppy CV with errors you will only give them impression that you couldn’t be bothered. Always proofread and get someone else to read through it as well.

If you’re applying for a job and preparing a CV or any other documentation required such as a cover letter, it is important that you get it right. In the current economic climate where there are so many people applying for positions, you don’t want to miss out by making foolish mistakes that are completely avoidable. Take the time to produce a first-class, well presented CV that will leave employers wanting to know more about you before moving on to prepare to be interviewed.


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