When you’re applying for jobs, it’s important to make a good impression. Unfortunately, many candidates put off employers by sending an unattractive CV. Here are the 10 biggest CV mistakes you should avoid:
1. Including unnecessary details
At the application stage, employers don’t need details such as your date of birth, gender, NI number, full address or references. These details simply take up space that can be used for more important information. Your name, contact number and email address are sufficient.
2. Using an unprofessional email address
Email addresses using nicknames like [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected] may have been fun when you set them up, but they don’t give the best impression to recruiters. Use a more appropriate email address when applying for jobs.
3. Having a poor layout
Big blocks of text, coloured backgrounds and hard-to-read fonts can put employers off before they even read what you have written. There are lots of great CV templates online that you can use to make your layout more appealing. Use headings such as ‘Employment History’ and ‘Education’ to make it easier for readers to find the information they need.
4. Not ordering work history correctly
Your work history should start with your most recent position and then work backwards. For each role, include the company name, your job title and the dates you were employed. For the most recent roles, include information about your key responsibilities and achievements. If you have been out of work, then explain the gaps in your work history.
5. Making wild claims or lying
Don’t make claims that can’t be proven such as; ‘I am the best salesperson in the country’. Use real examples of achievements such as; ‘I achieved the highest sales in my company two years in a row’ or ‘I exceeded my sales target by 10% within my first 6 months’. Don’t lie on your CV.
6. Too long
Employers don’t have time to read pages and pages of information. Your CV should include the most relevant experience and skills for the role you are applying for. It is an overview of your capabilities. Aim for no more than two pages.
7. Too short
If your CV is too short, employers won’t have enough information to decide if you are suitable. If you haven’t got much work experience include details of volunteer work, clubs you are part of or teams you play for. Explain how the skills you apply to these things can be transferred into the role you are applying for.
8. Not showing how you add value
Recruiters and employers read through hundreds of CVs so avoid overused phrases such as; ‘I am a great team player’ or ‘I am extremely reliable’. These don’t set you apart from other candidates. Instead, give specific examples of where you have demonstrated relevant skills or added value to a company.
9. Spelling and grammar errors
Don’t put employers off by sending a CV full of spelling and grammar mistakes. Read through your CV and check there are no typos. Use a dictionary to check spellings if you are unsure. Get somebody else to proofread your CV for you before you send it.
10. Lack of effort
Show employers that you really want to work for them. Tailor your CV to the job you are applying for by highlighting your most relevant responsibilities and experience. Put some effort into the layout and make it easy for employers to find information.
Avoiding the above mistakes won’t guarantee you an interview but will improve your chances of making the right impression. Securing a job with a regular income can make it easier to budget your money and save for emergencies.
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