Most Common CV Mistakes


Don’t give recruiters reasons not to include your CV on their shortlist. Here are Fish4jobs Top 10 most common CV mistakes to avoid.

1)      Poor spelling and grammar

By far the most common mistake and yet the most important thing to get right to make a good first impression. Get your CV checked and checked again by friends to ensure it’s perfect. 

2)      Too long

The average recruiter spends less than 60 seconds scanning a CV, so keep it to two pages or three at most for those in senior positions. 

3)      Using fancy formatting

Remember what looks great on your PC screen might not display well elsewhere so keep formatting to a minimum. Recruitment consultancies often use their own templates, so make sure your CV is easy to copy and paste. 

4)      Starting at the beginning

Recruiters want to know what you’ve done recently, so list your work experience in reverse chronological order and place your educational achievements after your work experience. 

5)      Too fluffy 

Great project manager, good communicator, dedicated employee – all great skills but worthless unless you demonstrate what you achieved. Ensure everything you say is qualified by specifying the actions you took and the results and/or benefits. 

6)      Leaving gaps

Your CV should read as a continuous, chronological flow of activities, so make sure you explain any gaps such as travelling, maternity leave, sabbaticals etc. 

7)      Trying to cover things up

In the current economy, stating that you were made redundant doesn’t reflect badly on you. And if you don’t include it the reader might assume you were fired. 

8)      Including irrelevant information

If you’re unsure whether to include something, ask yourself: does this impact my ability to do the job? If no, leave it off. This includes: age, gender, marital and parental status and religion. 

9)      Too much about your interests and hobbies

Although your hobbies and activities may be really interesting, unless they’re relevant to the role or demonstrate a particular skill, keep this section to a minimum. 

10)   Having one version of your CV

This is one of the best-kept recruitment secrets: every role is different, so tailor your CV to that role. Go through the job spec and emphasise your relevant skills and experience on your tailored CV.

It does take time and effort to create the perfect CV, but get it right and it’s your most powerful ally in helping secure your dream job.

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