7 common CV mistakes you should avoid

21 April 2019  
7 common CV mistakes
7 common CV mistakes

Even if you think you have all the needed qualifications and experience, there are still some things that may ruin your chances of getting a job: it’s the mistakes you make on your CV. Keep in mind that your resume is the first impression an employer will have of you, so poor written and weak CV can definitely lead to rejection. So make sure you avoid these mistakes when writing a CV:

1. Gaps in employment

Having gaps in your employment history might suggest that you’re not the most reliable or responsible person as it may imply that the company was the one that let you go in the past job. If you had to leave the company for personal reasons, such as illness, looking after a family member and so on, you won’t have any problem explaining the reasons if you get the job interview. Yet, if you took a break in your career because you decided to pursue further education, training, volunteering, trying out freelancer’s career or working on other projects, you can definitely include or explain why there was a gap in you resume or cover letter.

2. Clichés and exaggerating

Avoid using the same boring and exaggerated phrases in your CV just to sell your skills to the new employer. Instead of saying that you’re “an excellent team player” or “results-driven and detail-oriented person”, try to convey these attributes in more specific examples. Explain how those skills helped you achieve actual results instead of repeating general and irrelevant sayings. Tell the employer how, for example, you helped to increase sales by managing a team of professionals; how you communicated with various partners and completed a big project; or how your interpersonal skills let you attract more clients and continue working with them, etc. Throwing in some actual facts about your achievements will create a realistic image of you and give the employer and idea of how you could contribute to the company.

3. Mentioning the position, but not the responsibilities

Your skills, the things you did and learn at a previous job are way more important than just your position at that job. People tend to list all their previous occupations in CV without actually specifying what were their duties at each job. Make sure you emphasize your duties, experiences and valuable activities you did, as well. This will show what skills you gained at each company and maybe help you get noticed by a future employer.

4. Grammatical errors and messy CV

It goes without saying, but grammatical mistakes can definitely be a dealbreaker for any employer, especially when comparing a few candidates. Not proofreading, skipping obvious grammatical errors and leaving your resume all messy will indicate that you were a bit lazy and negligent and didn’t put enough effort into writing your CV – after all, it doesn’t take much time to use any sort of spell checking software. Don’t forget to capitalize certain words, add spaces, dots and commas where needed. You should also try to notice any stylist errors in your resume if you want to appear more professional and well-read: avoid using contractions of words (I’m, I’ll, didn’t…), don’t forget to add apostrophes and articles, avoid switching tenses or making the sentences too long or too short, repeating the same words many times. in general, just make your CV sound as well as it can, so erad your CV more than once or ask a friend to take a look at it, as it can be quite difficult to spot such errors.

5. Long text without unbroken paragraphs

Remember that the employers usually don’t even spend a minute looking through one CV. This means that writing down a whole paragraph without excluding the main points can be a bad idea. Make separate clear and informative statements, without giving too much details and making your CV hard to read. Put the most important information first and use short one sentence bullet points to describe your skills, education, work experience and personal qualities.

6. Not setting a goal

Before you start writing a CV, you should set a goal and think about what is it that you want to achieve with this CV. Don’t just say that you are looking for a job, try to be more specific. If you don’t have any particular position in mind, at least mention the sector you’re interested in. Also, avoid saying that you’re looking for “construction, advertising or sales job”: this will simply imply that you don’t have a clear vision for your career and will be satisfied by any sort of job.

7. Not having CV in PDF

If you want to send employer your CV or attach it to your CV form when creating a CV online, make sure it’s in PDF format. As there are some different versions of Word and other factors, the best way to avoid any layout changes and other inconveniences, is to convert your CV to PDF. Unless the employer asks to submit your resume in a certain way, PDF is the most promising option for online job search: this way you can be sure that the recruiter will be able to open your document without any difficulties or alterations in formatting.

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