Published on May 17th, 2012 | by Amy Edwards0
Top 5 CV mistakes to avoid
Think you’ve honed your CV to perfection? You might want to take a closer look. Yep, that ‘perfect’ CV you’ve been proudly promoting could actually be hiding some glaring errors which are instantly taking you out of the running for a new job.
No matter how many times you’ve read your CV it’s easy for mistakes and errors to slip through. The trick is to find them and correct them… before someone else does!
1. Poor spelling and grammar: If you claim to have an excellent eye for detail then you’d better make sure that your CV is error-free, particularly when it comes to spelling and grammar. From saying you’ve had “sex jobs” in the past (instead of six) to claiming you enjoy “cooking Italians and Chinese” (really?!), it’s easy to make spelling mistakes but it can be costly (especially if you’re applying for a copywriter role!).
Just remember to spell check your CV and pass it around to friends and family – it’s easier to spot mistakes with a fresh pair of eyes. Also be careful to check whether you need to send your cover letter to a man or a woman – referring to a man as ‘Mrs’ and vice versa is really not the best way to make a first impression.
2. Being too enthusiastic: OK, so all employers love enthusiasm – they wouldn’t want someone who was unambitious and lazy – but be careful not to go too far. Writing “my aim is to become the CEO of your company within the next five years” might show you’re ambitious but it also shows that you’re a bit of a dreamer who doesn’t understand how the world of business works.
Similarly pointing out mistakes with the employer’s current website might show that you’re keen but you also run the risk of stepping on the toes of the company’s current employees – just remember, they’re the people you’re going to have to work with if you get the job!
3. Including irrelevant information: OK, so you might be 5’7″, have dark hair and be single but you don’t need to include it on your CV – you’re applying for a job not a dating site remember? Although you only have two pages to ‘sell’ yourself, it’s amazing how many people fill their CV up with useless information.
One of the biggest mistakes is including irrelevant work history on your CV. You might be proud of the fact that you worked in bar throughout uni to support yourself but it’s highly unlikely that employers will care when you’re applying for a social media job or analytics role. Instead of non-relevant work history, include relevant work experience or your own personal experience – remember it’s all about tailoring your CV to the role in question.
4. Lacking credibility: Your CV is your one chance to make a good first impression so you need to ensure your CV is credible. Helped to increase the social reach of a former client by ten fold? Put it on your CV and give a brief overview of the role you played. You need to give concrete evidence regarding your skills and achievements – that way an employer can clearly see if you have the experience and expertise they’re looking for.
Also remember to look at the job spec, find the key skills they’re looking for and then include them on your CV (if you have them, that is!) – you should also show when you’ve used these skills in previous roles and how they’ve helped you in past situations.
5. Incorrect personal details: You might’ve worked hard to keep your CV up to date regards your employment status but is it up to date in terms of personal contact details? It can be easy to send your new mobile number to your entire address book but you need to remember to change it on key personal documents like your CV too!
Up to date contact numbers and addresses are essential on your CV (this includes your references) as well as an up to date email address. Still using your random uni email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) or still using the email you created as a 15 year old (email@example.com)? It’s time to get a new one that won’t embarrass you or any potential employers who may need to contact you!
You can find more useful CV tips on Adam’s blog right here.