CV Mistakes You Might be Making

Hiring Managers, HR and Sales teams can plough through 100s of CVs each day searching for a suitable candidate, and there are certain things that can really improve your chances at being submitted and accepted.

We have a page on our website with a few candidate tips, but I thought I would share with you some common CV pet-peeves:

– No Name

First of all, it doesn’t look very professional on your part, and first impressions count. Secondly, prospective employers or recruitment consultants may print off your CV and whilst your name might be on the original email or the original cover letter, what if these are deleted or lost, but a copy of the CV remains?

– Incorrect or No Address

Your locality is crucial to know. Imagine the disappointment of a hiring manager who is working a role and has your CV passed onto them… you’re a perfect fit so they call you up immediately and impress you with an opportunity that is competitive and suitable… only to find out you live 3 hours away.

And, if your CV doesn’t show any address whatsoever, there will be a select few people out there who won’t pick up the phone because they’re pre-empting that you’re a no-go.

– Poor Personal Profile

Here you may include your latest employment position, or a few hobbies or interests, some key skills that you hold or qualifications that you have gained. All of these don’t belong in your personal profile – they belong in their own separate sections: Employment History, Hobbies & Interests, Key Skills and Qualifications…

Your personal profile should be a brief paragraph of your background, experience and career aspirations.

– Generic

Any profile that starts or finishes with a sentence like, “I am perfect for the role you are advertising and I believe I would be an asset to your business” is generic writing that highlights your laziness. Write a cover letter instead; name the company, give the role it’s full title, and use details and examples as to WHY you think you are perfect for it.

– Oversharing

More often than not, a Hobbies & Interests section is only necessary when applying for a long-term/permanent position as it allows the employer to see if you’re a suitable fit for their existing business culture. Whether you put it in your CV or not, keep it brief and keep it appropriate; it should never be a longer list than your key employable skills and  remember, hiring managers really don’t need to know all 8 different sports you follow.

– Liar, Liar

Whatever you do, don’t lie on your CV… don’t prolong employment dates or alter job titles, change grades of qualifications or lie altogether that you have one when you definitely do not. If the lie is spotted, your application will most likely be discarded immediately.

– Poor presentation

Content is very important to get right but, that said, presentation should not be ignored. So, remember the following:

  • Run a grammar check
  • Paragraphs give structure
  • Bullet points are best for lists
  • Use a legible font
  • Do not write in all caps

If you need more help then please take a look at our candidate tips page!


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